Commentary

Arts Commentary: The Declining State of the Art of Arts Journalism

February 13, 2024
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Theater critics, film reviewers, A&E editors, and arts columnists have been stripped from our dailies and weeklies. Why should you care? Oscar Wilde warned that an age without criticism is “an age that possesses no art at all.”

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Theater Commentary: Facing Some Hard Truths

February 13, 2024
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The time is overdue for a serious discussion of what is happening (or not happening) in Boston-area theaters. Just don’t expect to see anything in our sheepish mainstream media.

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Music Commentary: In Memoriam, Seiji Ozawa (1935-2024)

February 13, 2024
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Taking in the totality of Seiji Ozawa’s life and career, it seems clear that Boston got him in his prime and that he largely returned the favor, ingratiating himself with the community, at times truly elevating the BSO while conveying a lot of joy and energy in the process.

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Visual Arts Commentary: The Problematics of Multiculturalism at the MFA — On the Dallin Front

January 30, 2024
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Boston’s MFA owns the ethical and cultural dilemma regarding the location of Cyrus Dallin’s monumental statue “Appeal to the Great Spirit,” acquired as a gift in 1913.

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Book Review: “The Geography of the Imagination” — Longing for Something Lost

January 14, 2024
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Touted as “perhaps the last great American polymath,” Guy Davenport had a singular mind; never was an artist more deserving of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant.”

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Jazz Reviews and Appreciations: Sheila Jordan at 95 and Ran Blake at 88

January 4, 2024
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It is something of a miracle that we can still hear Sheila Jordan and Ran Blake in live performance, and those experiences should be treasured by their audiences because those opportunities are so precious.

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Special Feature: Quotes for the New Year

January 1, 2024
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A few quotes for the New Year that will sting or sustain.

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Theater Feature: Favorite Stage Productions of 2023

December 31, 2023
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Our theater critics salute the year’s outstanding productions.

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Visual Art Commentary: Boston and Sargent, For Better, For Worse.

December 31, 2023
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Boston’s veneration of John Singer Sargent is awkwardly implicated in the city’s habit of denouncing modern art.

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Arts Feature: Recommended Books, 2023

December 29, 2023
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An eclectic round-up of the favorite books of the year from our critics.

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