Anna Somers Cocks (left) being interviewed by Alison Cole (right) via Zoom
Alison Cole: How did you come up with the name “The Art Newspaper” and how important is the newspaper element of the equation?
Anna Somers Cocks: It wasn’t I who invented it; it was the Turin publisher, Umberto Allemandi, who realised in 1983 that the art world needed a newspaper and launched Il Giornale dell’Arte. I was editor of Apollo magazine when a copy landed on my desk, and I realised immediately that there would be a demand for it because it brought the fragmented branches of the visual arts together. Contemporary art people were not speaking to historians of older art; museum people were not talking to academics; conservators were out on a limb; the art market was treated as though it was on the other side of the tracks, and so on. I got an introduction to Allemandi and then started The Art Newspaper for him, based on the same concept but with news for an English-speaking readership. The newspaper side of it was, and is, the essence of the publication. We are not about art; we are about the world in which art happens and we aim to apply the same standards of journalism as the New York Times. We don’t plagiarise, we check our facts and we are not subservient to any interest groups.
What sort of international coverage of the art scene was there at the time? And why is a global perspective so vital?
Apart from the reviews of international exhibitions in some of the learned journals, such as the Burlington Magazine, there wasn’t any. But then as now, the art world actually was interconnected: by art and artists, collectors, dealers, scholars, tax regimes, legal systems and politics. It was just a question of looking below the surface. You can’t understand art and the art world without doing so. How have the French gained the cultural upper hand in the UAE, where they’ve built the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia, where they are doing a vast archaeological exploration and building museums? It is due to the centuries-old tradition in France of seeing culture as an indispensable instrument of political power, so recent presidents got personally involved in making it happen.
What do you think are among the most important stories that The Art Newspaper has covered?
In the first Gulf War (1990-91), we discovered and pointed out to the Pentagon that many of the most important strategic targets were also very close to major cultural sites—Ur was actually inside an air base—and that the allies were fighting in ancient Mesopotamia and should tread lightly (see opposite). We reported extensively on the damage that the illicit trade in antiquities was doing to our knowledge of the history of the world; the consequences of sea-level rise, especially to Venice; the opening up of the UAE and Saudi Arabia to contemporary art; and the shelling of the historic town of Nablus by the Israelis, which led to an unpleasant row because a leading Israeli former museum director insisted it was not true, and then we were accused of antisemitism—something that couldn’t have been further from the truth. And so we sent in a journalist, who came back with numerous photos that confirmed our story. We stuck to our guns and were proven right.
Anna Somers Cocks, pictured at her desk in 2001 by Lucy Anne Dickens for the National Portrait Gallery
Have you ever fallen for a hoax?
We had a nice American working for us who called himself Rockefeller—he even interviewed Paul Mellon for us—and then I discovered he was actually called Jones.
What is your most memorable art-world event, from the sublime to the ridiculous?
Ridiculous—or rather sad: the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma playing in the corner of a crowded gallery of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha at its inauguration as though he were a mere entertainer. Fascinating and original: Wael Shawky’s Dictums 10:120 at the 2013 Sharjah Biennial, with the Pakistani Sufi musicians singing words from the curatorial statements.
Whom would you invRead More – Source
Michael Apted: TV documentary pioneer and film-maker dies aged 79
Film director Michael Apted, best known for the Up series of TV documentaries following the lives of 14 people every seven years, has died aged 79.
He also directed Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas In The Mist and the 1999 Bond movie The World Is Not Enough.
The original 7 Up in 1964 set out to document the life prospects of a range of children from all walks of life.
The show was inspired by the Aristotle quote “give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man”.
The first 7 Up show was followed by 14 Up at the start of the next decade, which interviewed the same children as teenagers – and the pattern was set right up until 63 Up in 2019.
Throughout all those intervening years ITV viewers became engrossed with the stories of private school trio Andrew, Charles and John, of Jackie who went through two divorces, of Nick who went from jobless and homeless to Liberal Democrat councillor, and of working class chatterbox Tony, whose life ambition was to become a jockey.
Apted’s shows – which won three Bafta awards – have often been described as the forerunner of modern-day reality TV series, giving its participants the time to tell their own stories on screen.
But unlike their modern counterparts, the original Up children tended to fade away from the limelight in the seven years between each chapter.
In 2008, Apted was made a companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the British film and television industries.
Thomas Schlamme, president of the Directors Guild of America, said Apted was a “fearless visionary” whose legacy would live on.
He said Apted, who was born in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, “saw the trajectory of things when others didn’t and we were all beneficiaries of his wisdom and lifelong dedication”.
ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo said the director’s six-decade career was “in itself truly remarkable”.
He said the Up series “demonstrated the possibilities of television at its finest in its ambition and its capacity to hold up a mirror to society and engage with and entertain people while enriching our perspective on the human condition”.
“The influence of Michael’s contribution to film and programme-making continues to be felt and he will be sadly missed,” Lygo added.
Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond film franchise, said Apted “was a director of enormous talent” and “beloved by all those who worked with him”.
“We loved working with him on The World Is Not Enough and send our love and support to his family, friends and colleagues,” they said.
A post on the Twitter account of the band Garbage, who performed the theme for The World Is Not Enough, labelled Apted a “delightful, charming soul”.
Composer David G Arnold, who composed the Bond theme and worked with Apted on three other non-Bond movies, said he felt “lucky” to work with him.
“A more trusting, funny, friendly and, most importantly, kind, person you’d never meet. So pleased to have known him and so sad that he’s gone,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55597263
Liverpool FC anthem singer Gerry Marsden dies aged 78
Gerry and the Pacemakers singer Gerry Marsden, whose version of You’ll Never Walk Alone became a football terrace anthem for his hometown club of Liverpool, has died at the age of 78.
His family said on Sunday he died after a short illness not linked to Covid-19.
Marsden’s band was one of the biggest success stories of the Merseybeat era, and in 1963 became the first to have their first three songs top the chart.
But the band’s other best known hit was Ferry Cross The Mersey came in 1964.
It was written by Marsden himself as a tribute to his city, and reached number eight.
Marsden was made an MBE in 2003 for services to charity after supporting victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
At the time, he said he was “over the moon” to have received the honour, following his support for numerous charities across Merseyside and beyond.
Liverpool FC posted on social media that Marsden’s words would “live on forever with us”.
While Marsden was a songwriter as well as a singer, his most enduring hit was actually a cover of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical number from 1945, that he had to convince his bandmates to record as their third single.
In many interviews over the years, he explained how fate played a part in his band ever recording the song. He was watching a Laurel and Hardy movie at Liverpool’s Odeon cinema in the early 1960s and, only because it was raining, he decided to stay for the second part of a double feature.
That turned out to be the film Carousel – which featured that song on its soundtrack – and Marsden was so moved by the lyrics that he became determined that it should become part of his band’s repertoire.
In a 2013 interview, Marsden told the Liverpool FC website how You’ll Never Walk Alone was adopted by the club’s fans as soon as it topped the chart in 1963: “I remember being at Anfield and before every kick off they used to play the top 10 from number 10 to number one, and so You’ll Never Walk Alone was played before the match. I was at the game and the fans started singing it.
“When it went out of the top 10 they took the song off the playlist and then for the next match the Kop were shouting ‘Where’s our song?’ So they had to put it back on.
“Now, every time I go to the game I still get goose pimples when the song comes on and I sing my head off.”
Sir Kenny Dalglish, who managed Liverpool at the time of the Hillsborough tragedy, tweeted that he was “saddened” by the news of Marsden’s death, and that You’ll Never Walk Alone was an “integral part of Liverpool Football Club, and never more so than now”.
By BBC Radio Merseyside’s Spencer Leigh
Gerry was an entertainer. He loved being an entertainer; he loved people seeing him in the street and asking him for his autograph and the like.
He had a very distinctive voice, and that is terribly important. You knew instantly it was him on those records. He was best on those ballads.
I think he really did them very well indeed. You’ll Never Walk Alone was a big show song that had been around for years and years, and lots of people had done it.
Just before Gerry brought his version out, Johnny Mathis brought his out. If that version had been played on the Kop, I don’t think the Kop would have taken to it because you couldn’t sing along with Johnny Mathis – he had too big a range and too perfect a voice.
But Gerry sounded like everyman and it was absolutely perfect for the Kop. I think it’s the greatest football anthem of the lot.
As well as being a Liverpool anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone has also been adopted by fans at both Celtic in Scotland and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.
Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram posted a tribute on Twitter, saying he was “devastated” by the news.
Marsden’s career began at legendary live music venue, The Cavern Club, where The Pacemakers played nearly 200 times.
The club said on Twitter that Marsden was “not only a legend, but also a very good friend of The Cavern”.
Gerry and The Pacemakers were spotted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who gave them the song How Do You Do It, which had been turned down by the Fab Four and Adam Faith, for their debut single.
The band achieved nine hit singles and two hit albums between 1963 and 1965, before splitting up.
Marsden pursued a solo career before the band reformed in 1974 for a world tour.
In 1985, Marsden was back in the pop spotlight when he was invited to be one of the vocalists of a charity version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which was released to raise funds for victims of a fire at a Bradford City match.
In doing so, Marsden set another chart record by becoming the first person to sing on two different chart-topping versions of the same song.
So when, after the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, the other Pacemakers classic of Ferry Cross The Mersey was chosen to raise funds for its victims and a group of famous Liverpudlian singers was gathered, Marsden was again included and was back at number one once more for a cause he held dear for the rest of his life.
Marsden was awarded the Freedom of Liverpool in April 2009, an occasion he marked by boarding a ferry across the Mersey and getting out his guitar to sing his famous hit which described the scene.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55524795
Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ dies of Covid-19 complications at 82 Lisa France byline
Dawn Wells, who played the lovable castaway Mary Ann Summers on “Gilligan’s Island,” died in Los Angeles on Wednesday from Covid-19 complications, her publicist Harlan Boll confirmed to CNN.
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