The return of the murals

first_img Making history A snapshot by an unknown photographer, c. 1935-36, shows a view of Rubenstein’s fresco in progress on the north wall of Busch Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer Otherworldly This view of Busch Hall shows its magisterial, almost otherworldly beauty, featuring plaster casts of the Naumburg Cathedral west choir screen and the Collegiate Church of Wechselburg triumphal cross. Plaster cast A view of the plaster cast of the Freiberg Golden Portal and the sandstone sculpture “Spring” (c. 1760-1765), by the workshop of Johann Joachim Günther. Restoring Busch Gods and giants A detail of one panel of the restored murals by Lewis W. Rubenstein, “Scene from the Ragnarök Legend, Battle Between the Gods and Giants,” c. 1935-36. 9.DDC111924_500 Photographed before treatment is Rubenstein’s “Scene from the Nibelung Legend, Alberich’s Hand,” c. 1935-36. Photo courtesy of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, Harvard Art Museums. On a recent morning, Daniel Ziblatt paused to gaze at the two bold frescoes that adorn the walls of Adolphus Busch Hall. The Harvard professor of government smiled, grateful he comes to work in a place filled with such stunning, albeit — in the case of the murals — “somewhat disturbing” creations.“I am in awe every time I come through,” said Ziblatt.He is one of the lucky few with an office in what was once the location of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and Harvard’s extensive collection of art from the German-speaking countries of Europe. The building’s main hall still contains a number of artistic treasures, including the two murals, created in the 1930s amid a political firestorm, and newly restored as part of a multiphase revitalization of the ornate space by the Harvard Art Museums.Named for the philanthropist and brewing mogul Adolphus Busch, who helped to fund its construction, the building housed the Busch-Reisinger Museum from 1921 to 1991. Originally home to a collection of plaster casts of Germanic sculptural and architectural monuments, the museum’s emphasis expanded in 1930 when Charles L. Kuhn, fresh from his Ph.D. studies at Harvard, took over as curator. A strong proponent of the modern German art that was considered degenerate by the Nazis, he commissioned Harvard graduate Lewis Rubenstein, known for his social realism style, to create the murals for the building’s vaulted Rotunda Hall.The evocative frescoes generated controversy long before they were completed in 1936. Rubenstein based the murals on ancient Germanic and Norse myths, but his inclusion of modern imagery left little doubt of their charged meaning. Fusing themes of social inequality, economic injustice, fascism, and war, he created two hauntingly provocative works.Gods, equipped with modern flamethrowers and gas masks, repel an attack from giants in one panel. In another, a man with a thin but unmistakable mustache brandishes a whip while frightened workers cower beneath him.For years, Rubenstein publicly denied the murals were political in nature, insisting they were merely artistic renderings of famous legends. But decades later, he bluntly said, “It was actually an attack on Hitler and the Nazis.”The recent restoration confronted the recurring problem of efflorescence, the formation of white salt crystals on the frescoes’ surface. The building’s lack of climate controls and resulting fluctuations in relative humidity cause the chemical reaction, and have challenged conservators for generations with the reappearance of a hazy, white coating on the works.Last fall, Louise Orsini, a former fellow at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, and her colleague, current fellow Gabriel Dunn, again tackled the delicate restoration process. Often perched high on intricate scaffolding, sometimes for hours at a time, they gently brushed away the powdery layer that had long obscured certain sections of the murals almost entirely from view.To cover “glaring white” sections where the painted plaster had come loose, they applied a special conservation-grade adhesive and reattached large intact flakes. In other areas, they filled in missing or faded color with fresh matching paint.Richer hues and revived images are the vivid rewards of their diligent work. In one of the lower panels, a background scene, previously invisible, now appears perfectly clear. “A lot of depth and perspective was completely flattened before,” said Orsini, of the lower panel’s missing body of water and horizon line. “That was completely illegible.”During the next phase of the restoration project, workers will replace the Plexiglas panels that cover the murals’ lower sections, adding newer, nonglare models. One covering also will be fitted with an environmental conditioning system to help control humidity and to mitigate the efflorescence. Conservators will monitor the section closely over the next several years to determine if the new system helps alleviate the white film.Workers have repainted walls, repaired leaks, and replaced railings and an 800-pound faulty radiator. In recent weeks, a master stonemason has been carefully removing traces of signage once affixed to its limestone walls and Art Museums staff have updated signage and restored several of the plaster casts.Soon, visitors to the building may also get a peek at other objects that have been hidden from view.Tucked behind the choir screen, a plaster cast replica of the 13th-century original from Germany’s Naumburg Cathedral, are many more plaster casts from the Harvard Art Museums’ vast collections. Officials hope to replace current wooden doors in the screen with Plexiglas to create a visible storage area, a common practice for museums with more art to display than available gallery space.“It’s a wonderful way to make visible that moment in the Busch-Reisinger Museum’s collecting history and the historical role of plaster casts, especially for a teaching museum,” said Lynette Roth, Daimler-Benz Associate Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, who helped initiate the project.Restoring the building to its original state and treating the hall itself as a work of art are major goals of the revitalization effort, said museum officials, who hope to promote the continued use of the space as a teaching tool for researchers, scholars, and students, as well as a concert hall for its famous Flentrop organ.“Our aim is to showcase the objects still housed here and to highlight the architecture of the building,” said Roth, “to treat it with the same kind of care that we would treat works in our collection.” Entryways A close view of the plaster cast of the Hildesheim Cathedral bronze doors. Controversy The works of muralist Lewis W. Rubenstein sit in Adolphus Busch Hall. The murals were created in the 1930s amid a political firestorm, and newly restored as part of a multiphase revitalization of the ornate space by the Harvard Art Museums. Busch league Michael Eigen, assistant facilities manager at the Harvard Art Museums, takes in Busch Hall. Named for the philanthropist and brewing mogul Adolphus Busch, who helped to fund its construction, the building housed the Busch-Reisinger Museum from 1921 to 1991. last_img read more

Study mixed with cello

first_imgIf Harvard were an Aaron Copland song, says Hansung Ryu of Seoul, it would be “Hoe-Down” — “difficult to play but very colorful and exciting.”Ryu, a summer research intern at Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center and a cellist, had never encountered the famed American composer before joining the Harvard Summer School Orchestra, which played selections from Copland’s “Rodeo” during a concert Aug. 3 at Sanders Theatre.Now, Ryu said, “whenever I play Copland, it makes me feel the way I do about America.”His summer at Harvard was his first extended trip from South Korea, said the 31-year-old graduate student in Korean medicine. Ryu returned home this past week after two months as an intern in the lab of Steven Shoelson, the Helen and Morton Adler Chair in Structural Biology and associate research director at Joslin Diabetes Center, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).Ryu —”Andrew” among his American friends — said he hopes to apply the experience he gained at Joslin to the practice of Korean medicine, which combines traditional Chinese techniques like acupuncture with Western medicine.When he looks back at his Harvard summer, he said, he’ll think of the friendly welcome he received, the opportunity to pursue research and make music, the pleasure of strolling through Harvard Yard, and the cheeseburgers and sweet-potato fries at Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage in the Square. And beyond: jogging along Memorial Drive at sunset, the buzz of Central Square on a Saturday night, visits to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Red Sox beating the Yankees at Fenway Park on an 11th-inning homer.“I want to let students in Korea know, there are so many opportunities to have a great experience here,” he said. “I hope they will have this sort of experience.”Ryu was one of three research interns in the Shoelson lab this summer and one of the 40 at the Joslin Diabetes Center. “We try to draw them in, and get the research bug to bite,” Shoelson said.The internships are a win for both students and labs, said Gail Musen, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a co-director of the summer student program at Joslin. Interns given a portion of a study to work on during the summer receive guidance from the principal investigators and postdoctoral fellows, and at the same time “contribute meaningfully” to research that affects diabetes care, Musen said.Ryu’s work at Joslin involved tracking inflammation levels in the pancreatic muscle tissue of mice, part of a research project shedding light on the correlation between obesity and diabetes.Away from the lab, he rehearsed with the Summer School Orchestra Monday nights at Sanders, and further practiced at the cello in time there alone. A pianist in his younger days, Ryu took up the cello only three years ago, but managed to win a place in the orchestra, a cross-section of Harvard summer students.“The sound of the cello is very similar to the human voice,” he said. “There are so many beautiful songs to play on it.”Several of his Joslin colleagues attended last week’s concert. In South Korea, he said, “students usually only study, study, study.” A summer at Harvard need not be so narrowly focused, one reason he hopes more of those students will seek out opportunities to visit. “It was a great experience,” he said.last_img read more

Increasing daily coffee consumption may reduce type 2 diabetes risk

first_imgPeople who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a four-year period had a 11% lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes to their coffee consumption, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. In addition, the study found that those who decreased their coffee consumption by more than a cup per day increased their type 2 diabetes risk by 17%.“Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower type 2 diabetes risk,” said Shilpa Bhupathiraju, lead author and research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at HSPH. “Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect type 2 diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.”The study appears online Thursday, April 24, 2014 in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).The researchers analyzed data on caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated tea consumption from 48,464 women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-based Nurses’ Health Study (1986-2006), 47,510 women in Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2007), and 27,759 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2006). Read Full Storylast_img read more

Little-Publicized Supreme Court Case Around Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Will Affect Wind and Solar

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Matthew Bandyk for SNL:The U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 already issued one decision that shook the energy industry, but another, more obscure case likely to be decided in the spring could also have widespread reverberations, this time for power projects — especially renewable energy.Various interest groups have lined up on either side of Hughes v. Talen Energy, both claiming that the wrong move by the court could inadvertently frustrate developers of wind and solar installations as they work to keep growing the nation’s renewable energy supply. Wind and solar have soared from providing less than 0.5% of the total electricity generated in the U.S. in 2005 to providing more than 5% in 2015 through November, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.But a major developer of renewable projects says it already has been blocked from pursuing new solar projects by state policies like the one the Supreme Court must rule on in the Hughes case.The state of Maryland is asking the court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that struck down a Maryland plan to incentivize the building of a new natural gas-fired plant. Under the program, the developer that won a competitive bidding process had to agree to build a new plant and then bid all of the facility’s capacity into the PJM Interconnection LLC’s capacity market. However, the state’s local electric distribution companies had to sign contracts with the developer and pay a specific amount for that capacity over the length of the contracts regardless of the prices set by the PJM market. To that end, if the contract prices turn out to be higher than the market prices, the utilities would pay the difference to the developer, and vice versa if the market prices were higher than the contract prices.Unlike the Supreme Court’s decision earlier in 2016 concerning demand response, Hughes is a case that has largely flown under the radar, perhaps in part due to the technical complexity of the issue, which has left even Supreme Court justices scratching their heads.In Feb. 24 oral arguments, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement tried to help out Justice Stephen Breyer, who freely admitted that he was confused about the complicated case. Clement was an attorney for the Talen side, arguing that Maryland’s scheme interfered with the price-setting process in competitive wholesale electricity markets and thus intruded on FERC’s jurisdiction.In trying to help Breyer understand what was so objectionable about this specific type of subsidy, Clement said the problem is that Maryland’s policy sends the message to electricity generators to stop competing “based on market forces and efficiency” and instead compete for “subsidies” and “guarantees.”Full article ($): US Supreme Court could alter path for renewables in 2016 Little-Publicized Supreme Court Case Around Fossil-Fuel Subsidies Will Affect Wind and Solarlast_img read more

Uzbekistan government moving forward with major renewable energy investment initiative

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Uzbekistan plans to more than double its power generating capacity over the next 10 years, with half of new capacity coming from solar plants and wind farms, the Central Asian nation’s government said on Monday.The former Soviet republic of 34 million aims to increase its capacity to 29.3 gigawatts (GW) from the current 12.9 GW, and rely less on natural gas, which dominates its power mix at present, it said in a strategic plan.Out of the added capacity, 5 GW is set to come from solar power plants and 3 GW from wind farms, the government said. Renewables will thus account for more than a quarter of the country’s capacity by 2030.Uzbekistan has already launched a handful of projects, including with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power and United Arab Emirates’ Masdar, for the construction of solar and wind facilities with long-term power purchase agreements.It is also working with Russia’s Rosatom to build a nuclear power plant. Uzbekistan has large natural gas reserves, but aims to reduce its consumption in the power sector from 16.5 billion cubic metres to 12.1 billion cubic metres by 2030.[Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov]More: Uzbekistan to double power generating capacity, go heavy on renewables Uzbekistan government moving forward with major renewable energy investment initiativelast_img read more

Grab driver in harrowing viral tale just ‘didn’t know the way’

first_imgA driver for ride-hailing service provider Grab has been cleared of allegations of attempted kidnapping after meeting with his accuser, saying the incident had been the result of miscommunication and his lack of knowledge about South Jakarta roads.The driver, Muhammad Imam, and his passenger, Istiani, agreed on a peaceful resolution to the case after a meeting mediated by police at the Jakarta Police Headquarters in South Jakarta on Tuesday.“Today I will retract the police report [I made],” Istiani said after the meeting, as quoted by “The driver and I have apologized and forgiven each other. I apologize to [Imam], his family, and Grab for all the fuss.” In panic, she pushed Grab’s Emergency Help button in the app, after which, in panic, Imam dropped her by the side of the toll road. The frightened Istiani was then picked up by a Grab officer who reported the incident to the police.According to Imam, however, his navigation app had pointed him in the wrong direction.Imam said he had only been a GrabCar driver for a month and was also new to the city, being a native of Brebes, Central Java.“I don’t really know the South Jakarta area, I only know a bit of West Jakarta,” he said.He added that what Istiani thought was a walkie-talkie was just him answering a phone call in a low voice in an attempt not to disturb her.“I want to apologize to all affected parties, including Grab, the Jakarta Police, and [Istiani] for this miscommunication. This [incident] also probably happened because I haven’t fully grasped how to use the Grab application,” he said. (gis)Topics : Istiani’s harrowing account of her ride with Imam went viral on Twitter and Instagram over the weekend.Read also: Woman uses Grab emergency button to escape shady driver in viral cautionary taleThe incident started when she ordered a GrabCar service to two destinations, to her office in the Dharmawangsa area in South Jakarta, and then to Indonesia Convention Exhibition in Bumi Serpong Damai.Istiani had claimed that Imam was driving further away from Dharmawangsa and sped toward a toll road. During the ride, she also said she heard something that sounded like a walkie-talkie. He also frequently looked at her over his shoulder, making her suspicious and uncomfortable.last_img read more

Japan defense review slams China’s virus ‘disinformation’

first_imgChina has been spreading “disinformation” about the coronavirus and its naval activities are a matter of “grave” concern, Japan said in its annual defense review published Tuesday.After a period of warming relations between the two Asian powers last year, ties have cooled in recent months amid international souring of sentiment on China over the virus and Beijing’s imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong.The closely watched paper on Japan’s defense policy accused China of “propaganda efforts… including the spread of disinformation” over the virus, which first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan. A Japanese defense official presenting the report cited as examples comments made on Twitter by China’s foreign ministry that US forces may have brought the virus to Wuhan, as well as claims that Chinese herbal medicines can treat the disease.China has “relentlessly continued its unilateral attempts to change the status quo by coercion in the sea around the Senkaku islands”, the review says, referring to disputed islets the Chinese call the Diaoyu.This is a “grave matter of concern”, Japan said, adding that Beijing “has sustained a high-level defense budget without transparency over more than 30 years”.The United States has ramped up pressure on Chinese activities in the South China Sea, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo branding Beijing’s pursuit of resources there illegal.China hit back on Tuesday, attacking Pompeo’s claims as “unjustified”.In general the coronavirus pandemic would divert military resources to domestic crises, but could also lead to greater “strategic competition among countries”, the 596-page report suggested.On North Korea, the report repeated its assessment that the rogue state “has already miniaturized nuclear weapons to fit ballistic missile warheads”.Topics :last_img read more

Gov. Wolf: Mask-Wearing is Required, Critical to Stop COVID-19 Spread

first_img Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians that mask-wearing is required when entering any business in all counties in the state in both yellow and green phases of reopening. Masks are considered critical in stopping the spread of COVID, now and in preparation for a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall.The mask requirement is part of Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel’s Levine’s order, “Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations,” which pertains to all counties regardless of the phase of reopening.“In yellow and green counties, it is required that masks are worn when visiting businesses to protect employees, employees’ families, and communities as a whole,” Gov. Wolf said. “Mask-wearing has proven to be an important deterrent to the spread of the virus, and as more counties move to green and more things reopen, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to continue our mitigation efforts.”A recent study from Cambridge and Greenwich universities in the United Kingdom found that cloth masks, “even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce transmission rates if worn by enough people, regardless of whether they show symptoms.”Peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine corroborate the need for masks and the U.S. Surgeon General said that wearing a mask doesn’t impinge on our freedom – it gives us more freedom from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.The state’s business guidance outlines mask-wearing requirements and additional safety parameters for both employees and customers.Read more on Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA here.Ver esta página en español. June 18, 2020 SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Gov. Wolf: Mask-Wearing is Required, Critical to Stop COVID-19 Spreadlast_img read more

Gobernador Wolf: El Congreso debe tomar medidas para ayudar a los restaurantes

first_imgGobernador Wolf: El Congreso debe tomar medidas para ayudar a los restaurantes SHARE Email Facebook Twitter July 17, 2020center_img Economy,  Español,  National Issues,  Press Release El Gobernador Tom Wolf insistió hoy al Congreso a proporcionar rápidamente ayuda financiera a los restaurantes de la nación al aprobar la Ley de Apoyo Económico Real que reconoce la Ley de Asistencia Única a los Restaurantes para Sobrevivir (RESTAURANTS, por sus siglas en inglés). El proyecto de ley bipartidista en el Congreso proporciona $120 mil millones para ayudar a restaurantes independientes con los desafíos económicos creados por la pandemia COVID-19.“Los restaurantes locales independientes de nuestra nación se han visto especialmente perjudicados por esta pandemia y necesitan ayuda federal”, dijo el Gobernador Wolf. “Estas pequeñas empresas son una parte importante de cada comunidad. Sirven como lugares que ayudan a unirnos y son un importante motor económico en las comunidades locales que crean miles de empleos de los que dependen las familias trabajadoras. La Ley de RESTAURANTES es un paso crítico para ayudar a muchas de estas pequeñas empresas y salvar empleos del comedor a la granja”.El proyecto de ley federal otorga subsidios para cubrir la diferencia entre los ingresos de 2019 y los ingresos proyectados hasta 2020, con un subsidio máximo de $10 millones. Las subvenciones estarían disponibles para el servicio de alimentos o establecimientos de bebidas que no cotizan en bolsa o que forman parte de una cadena con 20 o más ubicaciones que operan con el mismo nombre. Los fondos se pueden usar para nómina, beneficios, hipotecas, alquileres, equipos de protección, alimentos u otros costos.La legislación fue presentada por una coalición bipartidista que incluye a los representantes de Pennsylvania Dwight Evans, Susan Wild y Brian Fitzpatrick.El Gobernador insistió a la delegación del Congreso de Pennsylvania a apoyar el proyecto de ley.Un resumen de la legislación se puede encontrar aquí.View this information in English.last_img read more

Brisbane home values could reach new high in just 4 months

first_imgBrisbane home values are on track to make a full recovery in just four months, CoreLogic says. Image: AAP/Darren England.BRISBANE house prices are climbing so quickly, they could be breaking records by early next year, new analysis reveals.The Queensland capital’s housing market is on track to hit its peak in just four months if the current rate of growth continues — marking a huge turnaround from the start of this year, according to property analyst CoreLogic.HOME VALUE RECOVERY PROJECTIONSRegion 3 mths to Oct From market peak to Oct Date of peak Mths to recoveryGreater Brisbane 1.1% -1.6% Apr 2018 4 Logan 0.1% -4% Aug 2017 86South 1.2% -3.8% Nov 2017 9Moreton Bay South 1.1% -2.9% Jan 2019 8Ipswich 0.6% -1.7% Mar 2018 9Brisbane city 2.1% -1.6% Nov 2018 2North 0.5% -1.6% Apr 2018 10West 1.1% -1.3% Dec 2018 4Moreton Bay North 1.8% -0.7% Dec 2018 1East 0.9% -0.5% Apr 2018 2Source: CoreLogicThe past three months of gains has put Brisbane home values on a path to fully recover by March 2019 — the second strongest capital city market set to bounce back after Melbourne. RELATED: Shock numbers point to new property boom CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said Brisbane had suffered a mild correction in comparison to some other capital cities, so that it put it on track for a faster recovery.“Brisbane is showing the next fastest recovery time frame (after Melbourne); not because values are rising rapidly, but mostly because the correction in values across Brisbane was quite shallow (down 2.9 per cent from peak to trough),” Mr Lawless said. Houses are seen in the Brisbane suburb of Paddington. Image: AAP/Darren England.Melbourne is the strongest capital city market in the country at the moment.If the current rate of growth continues, Melbourne will be at another peak as of January next year.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoSydney – due to the size of its falls – has a bit longer to wait.House prices are currently around 10 per cent below their 2017 peak and will take at least six months to recover. Melbourne is on track to make the strongest recovery in home values, according to CoreLogic. Picture: Mark Stewart.Nationally, property values are also on track to fully recover in six months.In just the last quarter, values have jumped by 2.9 per cent. Most capital cities have recorded a rise in home values over the past three months, with the exception of Perth and Darwin, where values have been trending lower since mid-2014.Mr Lawless said the housing market recovery should provide some support for the national economy by boosting household wealth which would potentially lead to improved confidence and a greater willingness to spend. MORE: Buyers push to be in by Christmas Rising home values could impact housing affordability. Photo: Brett Wortman.On the flipside, he said the rapid recovery in home values would impact affordability. “With housing values rising rapidly in some areas, we could see less first home buyer participation in the market as affordability pressures start to dampen activity across this important sector of the market,” Mr Lawless said.last_img read more