Tag Archives: creativity


1903: Dogs Playing Poker

In 1903, the Minnesota advertising firm of Brown & Bigalow tasked Cassius Marcellus Coolidge with producing a series of oil paintings depicting dogs engaging in human activities; nine of the 16 paintings ultimately created by the now rarely recalled “Michelangelo of the dog world” feature man’s best friend playing poker. More than 100 years later, […]


Friday Fun: Feeling Bookish?

When am I not? In the newly released Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books, contemporary authors including Philip Pullman, Claire Messud, Lev Grossman and Alison Bechdel talk shelving and the future of books. Speaking of shelves, Brainpicker’s selections from December 2009 are worth a second look. Books now provide the “dressing” and the inspiration […]

0d Isadora Duncan on the Lido in Venice (Raymond Duncan 1903)

1903: Modern Dance

When she lectured in Berlin on “The Dance of the Future,” Isadora Duncan articulated ideas that would form the core of Modern Dance, the movement she played a key role in originating: The dancer of the future will be one whose body and soul have grown so harmoniously together that the natural language of that […]

Creative Lives - Used

Think Again: Used Books

My book, Creative Lives: Portraits of Lebanese Artists passed its second birthday this past December and celebrated…by remaining in print. In defiance of the laws of economics, this publishing marvel apparently increases in value on entering the used book market. What other explanation can there be for these prices? For a new copy of the […]


Julian Barnes on Arthur Conan Doyle

From an interview with AbeBooks: Why did the story of George Edjali and his court case fascinate you and end up as the focal point of Arthur and George? Well, it seemed a) a very unusual story (the animal mutilation, the miscarriage of justice, the racial aspect); and b) something that could still happen today, […]

Paper tree

Tree Paper Scissors

This exquisite paper ‘poetree’ appeared in March as an anonymous gift to the Scottish Poetry Library, followed in June by a gramophone and coffin carved from the pages of an Ian Rankin novel. More statues followed, including this gloves of bee’s fur, cap of wren’s wing and a Tyrannosaurus Rex emerging from the pages of […]


Art is Messy

The New Yorker has a wonderful profile (abstract) of Pixar writer and director Andrew Stanton who’s making the leap from animation to live action with John Carter due out in spring of 2012. He makes some clip-worthy comments on writing and art. Stanton on the triumph of the old studio system at Pixar: [S]ome of […]