Vanishing Social Spaces

Recently, I sat in my office preparing a lecture. New slide, copy, paste, insert text. Powerpoint transformed the lives of art historians when it was introduced at colleges and universities circa 2000. It was revolutionary, life-changing, for that discipline in ways unknown to scholars in other fields. Some older art historians even retired earlier than… Continue reading Vanishing Social Spaces

Wondering About Wu

Around 10 p.m., the doorman rang to ask if he should allow a Chinese gentleman up, and a few minutes later, Professor Wu rang my tenth-floor doorbell. Professor Wu spoke little English, and I had trouble understanding why such a well-dressed (he always wore a suit and tie) Chinese bureaucrat would need to crash with a stranger…

The Well-Traveled $8K

Before I left for Europe in late February 2020 for what I assumed would be a six-month visit that, due to pandemic circumstances, morphed into an eighteen-month stay, I went to a Fifth Third (my bank) branch in Cleveland and asked it to wire $8,000 to my euro account in Germany. When they told me the wire fee had escalated to some amount exceeding $100, I requested cash…

Aristocratic Bibliophiles

Jim’s count boyfriend, Pascal, gave him permission to invite me for a long weekend in Brittany that includes a reunion of nobility on Sunday. I’m excited. Although I have friends descended from noble families—des and de las, vons and vans —I’ve never attended a more-or-less artistos-only event….