By the Book: Barbara Kingsolver: By the Book

The author, most recently, of the novel “Unsheltered” loves “fiction that educates me on the sly, especially about something I didn’t realize I wanted to know. I’m open to any kind of arcana.”
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Barbara Bush Marries Craig Coyne: See the Stunning Photos

Barbara Bush, Barbara Pierce BushBarbara Bush was officially a bride!
The former first daughter, 36, married 37-year-old screenwriter and actor Craig Louis Coyne Sunday on the coast of Maine, her sister Jenna Bush Hager…

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Are Dylan Sprouse and Barbara Palvin Dating? All the Romantic Evidence

Dylan Sprouse, Barbara PalvinDylan Sprouse and Barbara Palvin have fans convinced that they’re an item.
The 25-year-old Disney Channel alum and the 24-year-old supermodel have been sparking romance rumors over…

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New Book Reveals Barbara and George H.W. Bush’s Secret to a 73-Year Marriage: Never Sleep in Separate Beds

George H.W. and Barbara Bush‘s epic love story is chronicled in a new book by their granddaughter Ellie LeBlond Sosa that reveals details about the former first couple’s “secret” engagement and advice on a lasting marriage. (“It’s a two-way street!”)

A week before her death on April 17 at the age of 92, Barbara Bush gave a last interview for Sosa’s book, George and Barbara: A Great American Love Story, out Friday. According to Sosa, Barbara was “still bright and candid — and in love with my grandfather.”

“You have to go 75 percent of the way,” Barbara said after Sosa asked for marital advice, according to the book. “Be thoughtful and make things nice for your husband or wife … it’s a two-way street.”

She added, “I believe I’ve had a very happy marriage and I’m having a happy marriage.”

George and Barbara shows how deeply Sosa’s grandparents loved and respected each other. The book references some of the numerous love letters the couple wrote each other during WWII, and reveals that George was adamant about remaining sexually abstinent until he was married.

“Some men and women who were uncertain of their fates decided to skip the long-established rule of waiting until marriage, but George and his older brother Prescott did not agree,” Sosa writes.

George and Barbara shared their first kiss before he left for training, which was “a first for both of them.”

While it’s well-known that the young couple married on Jan. 6, 1945, after a “secret” engagement, the book sheds light on how news of their engagement first leaked. During WWII, George served as a Navy pilot, while Barbara pursued studies at Smith College before eventually dropping out. They’d privately agreed to get married when George returned home on leave, but Sosa writes that their secret didn’t last long.

“A classmate at Smith kept pressing Barbara to go out on a double date,” Sosa writes. “After Barbara declined a few times, the classmate decided she must not like men and said she was an item with her roommate, Margie. That’s when Margie told everyone Barbara was actually engaged to George Bush.”

After word got out, the couple told their parents and friends. Their wedding announcement ran in The New York Times, and George made sure to keep a copy.

It remained in his wallet for decades, Sosa writes.

The book also excerpts one love letter George wrote to Barbara on Dec. 12, 1943.

“I love you, precious, with all of my heart and to know that you love me means my life,” he said. “How often I have thought about the immeasurable joy that will be ours some day. How lucky our children will be to have a mother like you.”

The couple’s son, former President George W. Bush, pays tribute to his parents’ 73-Year marriage in the foreword for the book, writing, “Because they were more committed to their marriage than they were to themselves, they were each willing to sacrifice their own needs in order to satisfy the other’s. Throughout my life, Mother and Dad demonstrated truly selfless love.”

The couple’s deep connection supported a relationship that spanned more than seven decades. Together George and Barbara navigated their daughter’s death (Robin died of leukemia when she was three), and the ups and downs of George’s political career and failed reelection bid. (George H.W. Bush served one term as the 41st U.S. president and his son George W. Bush went on to serve two terms as the 43rd president.)

Even when their health began to fail, the Bushes’ love gave them strength.

“Their doctor suggested that consider sleeping in separate beds because rest is so important at their age,” Sosa writes. “But they refused for as long as possible. George argued that when he woke in the middle of the night, he needed to be able to reach out and know that Barbara was there.”

Since Barbara’s death, George H.W. Bush, 93, has been in and out of the hospital. But he still considers himself lucky.

“Enjoying a great book and a wonderful walk down memory lane this morning,” George H.W. Bush tweeted on Friday, holding a copy of his granddaughter’s book. “Yet another reminder of just how lucky I have been in life.”

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George and Barbara: A Great American Love Story by Ellie LeBlond Sosa and Kelly Anne Chase is on sale now.


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On the Runway: Barbara Bush: Soft Power in Fake Pearls

The former first lady’s legacy and approach to her role was reflected in her signature style.
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Books of The Times: Barbara Ehrenreich Urges Us to Accept, Accept the Dying of the Light

In “Natural States,” Ehrenreich assails the American conflation of health with virtue and offers charming contrarian thoughts about the wellness movement.
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The Long View: Barbara W. Tuchman, Folly and the Stream of History

Current U.S. politics can be defined by what the historian referred to in her 1984 book “The March of Folly” as a “wooden-headedness” in statecraft.
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How Jenna and Barbara Bush Were This Close to Becoming Besties With Beyoncé

Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush-Hager, BeyonceWhen apart of political dynasties, exchanging digits with world-famous pop stars is just another perk.
Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush revealed in an interview…

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In Barbara Cook’s Final Days, Her Friends Came to Sing at Her Bedside

Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis, and others came to sing by Ms. Cook’s bedside as she lay dying. Others sent audio and video recordings to say goodbye.
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Barbara Sinatra, Model And Wife Of Frank Sinatra, Dead At 90

R.I.P.
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Inside Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s $10 Million Santa Barbara Beach House

Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, HomeMila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are about to make some new family memories in their brand new beach house.
The A-list pair recently purchased a breezy beachside pad for the cool price of…

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Mary Tyler Moore’s 5 Best Interviews: Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, and More

Mary Tyler Moore, who died Wednesday at the age of 80, was an extremely influential actress and comedian who was viewed by many as an icon of women’s liberation and empowerment, encapsulated through her role in the 1970’s series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” In the many interviews Moore gave during her decades-spanning career, she brought along her on-stage… Read more »

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George H.W. Bush And Barbara Bush Celebrate 72 Years Of Marriage

Happy anniversary to George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush!

The former president, 92, and former first lady celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on Friday. They are the longest-married couple in presidential history, followed by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, who married in 1946. 

The couple tied the knot on Jan. 6, 1945 in Rye, New York while George was home on leave from the Navy during World War II. They went on to have six children ― four sons including George, Jeb, Neil and Marvin and two daughters Dorothy and Robin, who died at age three of leukemia. 

The couple’s story first began in 1941 when they met at a Christmas dance in Greenwich, Connecticut. 

In a 1994 love letter, George wrote to his beloved wife, “I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I’m even happier today. You give me joy that few men know. I’ve climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”

May this year be the couple’s happiest one yet! 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that John and Abigail Adams had the second longest marriage in presidential history; that distinction goes to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Easy Listener: Barbara Carroll, Jay Leonhart, Barb Jungr, John McDaniel, Gabrielle Stravelli, Michael Kanan, Cheyenne Jackson Make Great Music on New CDs

When it comes to gift giving, is there anything better than music? Not much. So for anyone looking around for music to delight potential giftees, here are four new CDs that would make any stocking proud:

Barbara Carroll Plays at Birdland – Barbara Carroll with Jay Leonhart (Birdland): At 93, the classiest femme musician in New York City has been playing local and other keyboards since 1947. If you can’t do the math, that’s coming up on 70 years. The incredible aspect of the astonishing fact is that she gets better and better. Hard to believe? Just listen to this new live recording with now longtime collaborator bassist Leonhart (no, not 70 years, too). Part of what makes Carroll so skilled at jazz is her early classical training. She swings but with that extra-special grounding. The popular composers she shows off here include Harold Arlen, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington (in a 10-minute-plus medley), Jerome Kern, Michel Legrand, George Gershwin and John Green (that’s Johnny Green to you, although the formal version indicates his “Body and Soul” authorship). (No lyricists mentioned here, because, though Carroll sings like a pert angel, she doesn’t go vocal anywhere on this outing.) If you want the measure of her supernal artistry, pay attention to how she explores the chromatics of Hampton’s “Midnight Sun.” She works the familiar descending sections of the melody for over nine minutes and, as she returns to them over and again, never plays the inspired chords the same way twice. Pure, unadulterated beauty.
******************
Stairway to the Stars – Gabrielle Stravelli Michael Kanan (garbiellestravelli.com, michaelkanan.com): Has Gabrielle Stravelli turned herself from audacious rock belter, which is how she started, into just about our finest jazz interpreter? Probably not, when the likes of Jane Monheit, Joyce Breach and Stacey Kent are around. But Stravelli is firmly ensconced in the echelon. Is Michael Kanan the suavest accompanist on hand today? Not really when ivory-ticklers like Bill Charlap, Tedd Firth, Billy Stritch and John McDaniel (see below) are working. But Kanan is right alongside them. All of which goes a way to explaining why the Stravelli-Kanen collaboration is absolutely impeccable. They do work a formula for most of the 10 Great American Songbook inclusions. She sings one time through with him supporting, he takes the musical break, and she returns for a full repeat or a bridge to finish repeat. Formulas can become tiresome, of course, but not when this duo sticks to theirs. And, oh brother, the surprising touches along the way. When, for example, Stravelli pays lovely attention to the Hoagy Carmichael-Ned Washington romantic prayer, “The Nearness of You,” her different versions of the repeated “oh, no” lyric are irresistible. The musicality she lends to the “Do Nothing ‘Til You Hear From Me” title phrase is ravishing. In a departure from their formula, Kanan begins the album’s title song with something that sounds like a classical prelude retooling. With tracks like that and every one of the others, any lucky auditor can only be grateful.
******************
Renaissance – Cheyenne Jackson (PS Classics): The sometime Broadway leading man, who shows up in movies and on television and looks and sings like a contemporary version of John Raitt, demonstrates his recording prowess with a eclectic group of songs. Only one–the Anthony Newley-Leslie Bricusse “Feelin’ Good”–was first heard on the musical stage. The other 11 come from the pop arena over the last 70 years or so. “Besame Mucho” was hot in the ’40s, as was “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home.” The sultry Matt Dennis-Earl Brent “Angel Eyes” came to prominence in the ’50s, whereas Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” is strong ’60s stuff and the Elton John-Bernie Taupin “Your Song” and Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” are ’70s products. One of the choicest inclusions is “Red Wine is Good for My Heart, which Jackson wrote with Michael Feinstein. It makes a listener wonder what other dapper ditties the team may have up their sleeves. Jackson delivers Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” with such pained beauty (Tedd Firth is on piano, sparely) that it may demand repeated listens before moving on. A hallmark of the enterprise is the number of arrangers employed–Scott Whitfield, Sam Shoup, Jonathan Bartz, Fred Barton, Tim Beens, John Baxindine and Firth. The seven of them, their output conducted by Kevin Stites, account in great measure for Jackson’s unmitigated success here.
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Come Together: Barb Jungr & John McDaniel Perform the Beatles – Barb Jungr John McDaniel (Kristalyn): Full disclosure–This reviewer wrote the liner notes for the release from the new and powerful Jungr-McDaniel team. Needless to say, that’s all the more reason for this scribe to encourage those not already in possession of the masterwork to repair the lapse. At the moment no one working the cabaret circuit and related venues is better at it than Jungr. She’s valuable because she makes a point of exploring works of songwriters she admires–Jacques Brel, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, among them–and finding meaning and depth the creators may have no idea is there. Partnering with musical director-arranger John McDaniel, who’s as nonpareil as they come, she now gives Beatles John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison the once-, twice- and thrice-over on 20 instantly recognized songs. For much of the time the pair renavigates the Beatles, they are brilliantly pensive, proving the one-time moptops weren’t merely a teen phenomenon. One piece of evidence is “Eleanor Rigby,” and another the heart-breaking “For No One.” Jungr and McDaniel begin with “Got to Get You Into My Life” and end with “In My Life.” Between, they get rowdy on “Back in the USSR” and “Come Together,” and Jungr seizes a few opportunities to wail on her harmonica. As McDaniel sings in “Mother Nature’s Son,” you should “listen to the sound of pretty music”–except this music isn’t merely pretty, it’s gorgeous.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Singer Sharon Jones Remembered by Barbara Kopple: ‘She Was So Vibrant!’

Sharon Jones, who died Nov. 18, “was one of the most phenomenal human beings I’ve ever met,” said filmmaker Barbara Kopple, who spent nearly three years with the powerhouse singer for the recent documentary “Miss Sharon Jones!” Film workers are nomads, creating intense working relationships for a few months, then moving to the next project… Read more »

Variety

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A Talk with Barbara Hershey About Her Long-standing Career

2016-05-03-1462298198-1491655-BHHeadshot.JPG

Barbara Hershey is a multi-award winning actress who has been gracing us with her presence on the big screen for quite some time. She is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a “Killing in a Small Town” and was nominated for an Academy Award for a “Portrait of a Lady” as well as a BAFTA award for “Black Swan”. In the 1980’s Barbara was at the height of her career. She has played many roles, from “The Stunt Man”, “The Right Stuff” to “Hannah and Her Sisters” with Woody Allen, and “Hoosiers” with Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper, Barbara is the epitome of what it takes to have a lifetime career pursuing your dreams and doing what you love. From her award winning role in “Anne of Green Gables” for PBS for which she received a Gemini Award to co-starring opposite of Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson in “Insidious” Barbara’s gift of acting is beyond amazing.

I had an opportunity to speak with Barbara about her long-standing career and to find out what’s next for her.

ABCs “Once Upon a Time” is an amazing show, so let’s talk about your return to the show this season.

I was in two episodes this season. I was truly excited about it because I was asked to do more than I’d ever been asked to do before on the show. It was really an exciting show to get to do, and a very emotional show. They’re wonderful people and I enjoyed doing it and touching base again.

You play the standout character Ann Rutledge on the A&E series “Damien”, what has your experience been like?

Well one of the things that attracted me to it was the question, ‘what would you do if you found out you were the Antichrist?’ because we are starting with the iconic version of the film, the first one with Gregory Peck and Lee Remick and not dealing with any other sequels or anything since, and the little child at the end of that first film that looks at the camera and smiles, is Damien. This is him all grown up and during that period, the human part of him blanked out who he was. He couldn’t deal with it. He then found himself always drawn to pain so he became a war photographer. He’s now thirty years old. My character Ann Rutledge, has been in the shadows his whole life guiding him and protecting him, unbeknownst to him. He’s not aware of her at all, and at this moment she steps out of the shadows and lets him know who he is. But we approach this like the original film in that we approach it realistically. It’s much more like a psychological thriller with edges of horror rather than out of horror. We deal with a lot of interesting issues about good and evil and what is preordained and what isn’t. I find it very interesting and very surprising. The words Antichrist and Damien bring certain images to mind, but the show doesn’t really go in the obvious direction.

You’ve had a long a successful career, what has been your best and favorite role?

This is a very hard question to answer. I have five or six favorite roles and then as soon as I say that, I feel disappointed that I didn’t say something else. It’s hard. It’s like picking your children and saying which one you like best. They’re all a part of me and it’s a difficult thing to pick.

Let’s talk about “Black Swan” and how amazing the film was and your role in that.

I really loved the film. I don’t think I ever worked on a film where I had less of an idea of how the actual film was going to turn out. I don’t mean in terms of good or bad but in terms of my performance specifically, but the film itself. Darren’s way of directing is getting a lot of different varieties on a scene so you do lots of takes that are different from each other, and then he puts it together. The first time I saw the film, I didn’t know what the effect of my character was going to be. Especially that film because you’re looking at the movie through the eyes of someone who is going insane. It’s a subjected film. The character’s version of that is very warped and accelerates. You’re not just presenting a character, you’re presenting what’s going on and her perception of what’s going on kind of at the same time. It was a fantastic film to do and Darren is a really huge talent and wonderful to work with. It was intense. I came in the last three weeks of filming after they had done all of the ballet and everyone was pretty exhausted.

How did winning an Emmy and Golden Globe Award, change the direction of your career?

I don’t know if it did. I won the Cannes Film Festival twice too. It doesn’t seem to affect anything with me. I haven’t noticed any difference. But on a personal level, it has meaning. Film actors actually act in a vacuum, since they don’t have an audience. When you do get an award, it’s kind of an undeniable circumstance where you have to admit what you did which is gratifying. But I always think acting awards are writing awards anyway.

What’s next for you and do you have any aspirations to work behind the camera?

I don’t know what’s next which is often where I’ve been in my life and that doesn’t bother me but I have to stay in a state of openness. Hopefully “Damien” will get renewed and that will be next, but you never know about things. And behind the camera, I don’t know and I don’t think that’s a good enough answer to step behind the camera. I think you have to know. Sometimes I think it would be good but I don’t know. It’s not a big aspiration. I’ve always been just an actor. That’s my love.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Dame Barbara to exit EastEnders for good

EastEnders actress Dame Barbara Windsor says she is leaving the show for good and her character Peggy Mitchell is to be killed off.
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Actress Barbara Windsor To Be Made A Dame

A Palace source says the former EastEnders star has been “part of the fabric of the way of life in Britain for many years”.
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Steep Your Soul: Barbara Brown Taylor | Super Soul Sunday | The Oprah Winfrey Network

Tune in Sundays 11am/10c

How you wake up can set the tone for your entire day. That’s why Episcopal priest and spiritual author Barbara Brown Taylor begins each morning with a three-step ritual in which each part plays an essential role. Watch as she describes what it is, and learn which part sparks a major aha! moment for Oprah.

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“Super Soul Sunday” is a two-time Emmy award-winning series that delivers a thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspiring block of programming designed to help viewers awaken to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them. The series features exclusive interviews and all-new conversations between Oprah Winfrey and top thinkers, authors, filmmakers and spiritual leaders. Exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, wellness, spirituality and conscious living. “Super Soul Sunday” presents an array of perspectives on what it means to be alive in today’s world.

About OWN:
Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand — and the magnetism of the channel.

Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

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In Santa Barbara: A Masterfully Presented Delacroix Exhibition

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is currently presenting Delacroix and the Matter of Finish featuring 27 paintings and 18 works on paper: it is the first exhibition of works by Eugène Delacroix in the U.S. in over a decade. At its heart is a previously unknown version of the artist’s dramatic rendering of The Last Words of Marcus Aurelius, a canvas from a Santa Barbara private collection which has recently been authenticated by the museum’s Assistant Director and Chief Curator, Eik Kahng.

The show is accompanied by a catalogue that features essays by Dr. Kahng; Marc Gotlieb, Director of the Graduate Program and Class of 1955 Memorial Professor of Art, Williams College; and Michèle Hannoosh, Professor of French, University of Michigan.

2013-11-17-ScreenShot20131116at7.53.45PM.jpg

Eugène Delacroix, The Last Words of Marcus Aurelius, n.d.

Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 31 3/4 in.

Collection: The van Asch van Wyck Trust.

In her role as a curator, Eik Kahng has been deeply involved in the design and installation of the exhibition. Since it is extremely difficult to do a Delacroix show in the United States — his monumental works are in Europe and rarely travel — Kahng sought ways to maximize the impact of the intimate selection of works on view and give them a rich context. “We wanted to maximize the potential for visitors to interpret the show on their own terms,” Kahng explains. In the final installation design a variety of elements — including texts, images, wall colors, music and digital technology — all make significant contributions.

2013-11-17-SBMADelacroixInstallation_4.jpg

Installation View: A Brief History of the Life of Delacroix

Near the entrance to the exhibition visitors are greeted by a chronological history of the artist’s life which is interspersed with key images of his art. It provides a sense of historical and personal context and also provides an introduction to the evolution of the artist’s subjects and ideas over time.

As the show’s title suggests the issue of finish is extremely important in experiencing Delacroix’s oil paintings. Delacroix and the Matter of Finish is the first exhibition to invite side-by-side comparison between Delacroix’s paintings and the so-called “sketch-copies” by his closest students, Pierre Andrieu (1849-1935) and Louis de Planet (1814-1876). Delacroix’s oils tend to be executed with a certain roughness and his use of impasto caused him to be derided as a “pastry cook” painter during his lifetime.

The artist, who felt that his execution allowed viewers to complete his images and ideas in their own imaginations, has a distinctive hand that Eik Kahng wanted to be apparent and available in a variety of scales and contexts. To give visitors a sense of the monumentality and dynamism of Delacroix’s large works, the museum has installed digitally printed scale facsimiles adjacent to his actual works.

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Scale facsimiles: Delacroix’s Massacre at Chios (left)

Delacroix’s The Sultan of Morocco and his Entourage (right)

As a counterpoint, a group of tethered iPads available in the exhibition area are equipped with a specially developed “Delacroix” app which allows close inspection of the master’s surfaces which range from relatively tight to explosively abstract. The app also facilitates comparisons to paintings in the exhibition — including those of Delacroix’s students — and related works of art in other museums throughout the world.

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An exhibition visitor tries out SBMA’s Delacroix iPad app

The exhibition marks the first time rugs have been included in an SBMA exhibition. “They offer a sense of intimacy,” Eik Kahng explains, “and they help with acoustical issues presented by the high ceilings of our gallery.” As visitors peruse the show they hear Romantic music played at low levels via SONOS wireless speakers.

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Installation view: Delacroix and the Matter of Finish

Delacroix and the Matter of Finish has been presented with a sense of generosity and invention: it provides visitors with every tool they need to experience Delacroix’s works in their imaginative intensity. The exhibition’s thoughtful installation appeals both the the mind and the senses and lets every visitor feel welcomed, informed and engaged.

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Installation view: Delacroix and the Matter of Finish

Delacroix and the Matter of Finish
October 27, 2013 – January 26, 2014
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Museum Hours: Tues-Sun 11AM-5PM, Thursdays 5-8PM
Arts – The Huffington Post
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