Top 10 of 2012: Arts & Humanities
Based on the interest and attention they gathered at Yale and beyond, here are the year’s top 10 Arts & Humanities stories:
Yale boasted five Pulitzer winners in 2012. (Gaddis’ book, “George F. Kennan: An American Life,” had already garnered a National Book Critics Circle Award.)
YaleNews’ look at Yale alumni who have earned Oscar nods over the years earned (virtual) applause from our readers. Also on the dramatic side, 2012 saw the endowment of a center devoted to the creation of new works for the stage. Not to be upstaged, the Bard was the focus of numerous activities, from plays to exhibitions, during the spring-term Shakespeare at Yale celebration.
The $1.95 million grant to broaden the scope of humanities teaching, learning, and research attracted a wide readership — as did a story about the Whitney Humanities Center’s new program that aims to promote collaboration between scientists and humanists. Nearly 4,000 people around the world read about of death of the Whitney Humanties Center’s former director, María Rosa Menocal, and many shared their remembrances of the Yale historian.
The Office of Public Affairs and Communication’s new Web series “@Yale Live” debuted in June with a program featuring a discussion about death by philosophy professor Shelly Kagan. Other guests in the series thus far have included Yale Cancer Center director Dr. Thomas Lynch, political historian Beverly Gage, planet hunter Debra Fischer, and a panel on the election that included Jacob Hacker, David Bach, and Gage.
News about languages — preserving them and learning them — had a wide appeal this year. In addition to the work by anthropologist and linguist Mark Turin (host of a three-part BBC series “Our Language in Your Hands”), readers visited YaleNews to read about the three Ivies that teamed up for long-distance teaching of rare languages and a program whereby New Haven public school students can study languages for free at Yale.
In addition to the performances by the five choral groups from around the world who performed at Yale as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, music lovers tuned in for encores of renowned Turkish pianist Idil Biret with the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and an orchestral adaptation by two alumni of the pop hit “Call Me Maybe.” Also a hit was the YaleNews video about the Yale Medical Symphony Orchestra.
The much-anticipated opening of the renovated and expanded Yale University Art Gallery attracted both crowds and readers (see pictures from the open house for Yale community members). Across the street, Yale’s other Louis Kahn-designed museum, the Yale Center for British Art, made headlines for its partnership with the Google Art Project and for the release of its digital collection of historic frames.
The Yale School of Architecture had a prominent presence at the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. (In fact, Dean Robert A.M. Stern was chair of the international jury.)
The high-tech Yale Collection Study Center on West Campus will house three major hubs— one of which, the Yale Digital Collections Center, just received a grant to develop new digital tools for the study of medieval manuscripts). In other conservation news, the Yale Library welcomed home the restored Harimaze Byōbu documents, a set of hand-written documents that span the history of Japan between the 12th and 18th centuries.
Students from Yale’s Schools of Art and Public Health teamed up to create posters designed to raise awareness about a variety of health issues; an exhibition of the works were on display in the State Capitol in July. School of Art photographers were also featured at an exhibition in New York this summer.