Research Leads to the Discovery and Return of a Statue Stolen from India

The Mackenzie Art Gallery in Canada returned a statue stolen from an 18th century century shrine in India after an artist unraveled its related circumstances. The statue originated from a shrine located in India over 100 years ago, which the museum acquired in 1936 as part of a collection bequeathed by a benefactor named Norman Mackenzie.

Canadian artist Divya Mehra, discovered the statue’s origins while doing a research of the MacKenzie collection in preparation for her exhibition captioned as “From India to Canada and Back to India.” Through her research she was able to identify the stone statue as the depiction of the Hindu goddess of food, Annapoorna.

Based on the title, it seems that Ms. Mehra already had an inkling that it was the same statue that went missing after a Canadian lawyer named Norman MacKenzie was reported to have looted an active temple during his trip to Varanasi in 1913. However, the lawyer had mistakenly identified the statue as the god Vishnu and not Annapoorna.

According to Mehra, the adventure of Indiana Jones were based on the stories told by Edgar James Banks, who turned out to be a close friend of the lawyer-art collector Norman MacKenzie.

In 1936 MacKenzie died leaving a last will and testament, which included bequeathing his art collection to the University of Regina. The university in turn built the MacKenzie Art Gallery to house the collection, among them the stolen stone statue mislabeled as an image of Vishnu. .

The Statue’s Repatriation to India

In light of Ms. Mehra’s discovery, the art museum through the University of Regina will be returning the statue of Annaporna back to India at an unspecified future date in light of the still ongoing global pandemic. Still, a virtual repatriation ceremony was held last November 19, 2020 as the university underscored the importance of doing what is right to correct historical wrongs in order to take part in undoing the harmful consequences of colonialism.

To show her appreciation of the university’s cooperation in returning the stolen statue to India, Ms. Mehra offered the Mckenzie Art Gallery one of her sculptures as replacement for the returned statue The donated piece is among the sculptures in exhibit at the MacKenzie Art Gallery museum received a sculpture by Mehra that is included in her exhibition as a replacement, where her concept made use of a scene from an Raiders of the Lost Ark; the part where Indiana Jones stole a golden idol by replacing its weight with a bag of sand.

In a statement of John Hampton, the museum’s acting chief executive said that in light of Ms. Mehra’s discovery, they have started to conduct a research on all the other art works included in MacKenzie’s collection. So far a few of those examined are also due for repatriation. Mr. Hampton gave a promise that the museum will do everything in its power to return art works that have been acquired through improper means.

Why Da Vinci’s Giant Crossbow was Never Built at All

While many know Leonardo Da Vinci as the Italian painter of iconic artworks like the “Monalisa” and “The Last Supper,” he is also well-known as an inventor. Recognized as a man of many interests, his concepts and designs for contraptions and equipment were way ahead of his time. In this article, our focus is on one of Da Vinci’s famous sketch plans for building a giant crossbow. It reflects not only Da Vinci’s work as a modern engineer but also as a genius caught between the world of art and military conflict.

Crossbows are said to have been invented in China in as early as the 5th century, during the country’s tumultuous “Warring States” era. The weapon later became the most important armament in Europe during medieval times until fire arms and gunpowder became the most favored weapon in battlefields.

What Drove Da Vinci to Make Plans for a Giant Crossbow

During his lifetime as an artist and an inventor in Italy, Da Vinci moved in a world where cities were independent states led by wealthy aristocrats. As head of such states, they coveted ownership of neighboring lands as a means to have greater wealth and power.

One way they could wield advantage over other territories is by having greater military power, for which they commissioned talented engineers and artisans to build the most destructive war machines possible.

One such talent was Leonardo Da Vinci, who in 1486 was hired by an Italian prince named Ludovico Sforza, who had plans to expand his sovereignty in the Milan region. Although Da Vinci responded to the request by presenting a sketch of a giant crossbow, which at that time was called “ballista” by Italians, it remained just a plan.

.The Italian prince was largely interested. As Da Vinci had described it, the giant crossbow will have such great propulsion it will be able to launch larger objects that can cause destruction at the highest level. Yet, as many historians had discovered, Da Vinci was a man who valued life more than anything else. Academicians widely surmised he had intentionally sabotaged the sketch plans for the giant crossbow, by deliberately making basic calculation errors that any skilled mathematician is not likely to overlook.
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Apparently, Da Vinci’s giant crossbow was not actually designed to cause the most damage but only to impress a great degree of intimidation. Word had spread that Da Vinci’s giant crossbow will propel huge balls of flames and giant boulders and not arrows. The mere though of battling against an enormous war machine was enough to sow fear and terror, it made Storza’s enemies think twice before challenging him in a battle.

Actually, Da Vinci’s giant crossbow worked, but only as a psychological weapon as it was never built at all; even as modern day engineers tried to do so.

Museum Photography : Dealing with the Challenges Posed by Delicate Environments

Museums are usually strict on visitor photography; yet relationships between museums and professional photographers exist if in terms of museum photography. Museum photography is different because shots will be taken in a delicate environment Not unless it involves producing photographs for museum exhibition purposes.

When used as a method for documenting museum collections as well as promotions, museum photography facilitates archiving of historical, archaeological, anthropological or scientific objects, to be stored as supporting documents of artefacts, events and stories of museum exhibits.

In both cases, museum photographers share some tips on what to consider when taking photographs. The quality of the images rely not only on using the best photography cameras but also on the approaches used in taking shots of rare and delicate articles or special editions placed in dimly lit environments; whilst restricted from using flash and other photography equipment. Some museum artefacts tend to deteriorate overtime; rapidly at that if they are constantly exposed to bright lights.

Important Pointers for Museum Photography

Museums are confident that a professional photographer will use methodological approaches that conform to the limitations of the environment. Thankfully, advancements in digital technologies have enabled photographers to develop ways of working on modern and historical materials.

Dealing with Low Light

Use a camera with a large aperture, i.e. (f/2.8 – f/4), a fast shutter speed and push the ISO by up to 400 at the least. Doing so will allow an adequate amount of light in. Some artefacts displayed inside glass encasements have even dimmer lights as a way of minimizing reflective light. In such cases, set the ISO to 1600 to improve the lighting.

However, even if your camera offers a higher ISO, setting it too high can make the captured image look grainier.

Avoiding Glass Reflections

Rare artefacts and valuable paintings are often enclosed behind glass, which automatically eliminates the use of flash as a way to avoid glass reflection. One effective approach is to carefully push the lens right next to the glass without any gap in-between but do this only if permitted. If not, use a polarizing filter to reduce reflections.

Be Meticulous with the Details

If there is one thing that makes museum photographers stand out, it is their attention to details but without losing the drama of the story behind the object. If getting close to the artefact or precious object is allowed, use a macro lens as this can pick out details with precision. Still, when shooting from a distance use a zoom lens, especially on facial features, because you need to emphasize life behind the model who posed for the image.

If use of flash is not allowed, set the shutter speed to 1/60th of a second or even slower; but make sure to use a large aperture (f/1.8 – f/4).

Lastly, don’t forget to take shots of the museum’s indoor and outdoor architecture since they can help set the mood of the museum photography, especially if for promotional purposes. Most museums have incredibly ornate designs, they are art works by themselves.

Although museums do not prohibit visitor photography, they impose certain restrictions on who to allow, where and what can be photographed. After all, photographs taken by visitors also serve as promotions, knowing that selfie takers inside museums are likely to circulate their photos online across different social media sites.

Screw Artist Andrew Myers – A Blind Man’s Artist

Through the years, art has been evolving; and many artists driven by the desire to be creatively unique, now enhance their artworks with multisensory components. Andrew Myers, one of the early proponents of multisensory art, invented Screw Art, which are paintings that can be enjoyed not only by the sighted, but by blind visitors as well.

As the art world is now seeing the development of multisensory art museums and art institutes have been exhibiting the screw paintings of Andrew Myers. In a Cantor Art interview, Myers said:

”For me, it is not enough to paint a beautiful figure … or to have the perfect thought to express a feeling.” “In my opinion, an artist is successful if he or she can express a feeling that can make someone think.”

Myers recalled that when his Screw Art first went on exhibit, one of his fondest memories is when he observed a blind man ran his hands over a huge 3-D portrait on which Andrew had spent hundreds of hours adding thousands of pieces of painted screws. Myers said he watched as the man’s blank expression broke into a warm smile, because to Myers, the smile meant the blind man had felt something that other visitors can only see.

What Inspired Andrew Myers to Invent and Develop Screw Art?

Actually, Andrew Myers said he invented Screw Art in 2008, out of necessity. It was the year of the financial crisis when people had stopped buying art. As he was trying to focus on new ideas, he realized that the art market is already full of great painters and sculptors, as well as thinkers. That was when he decided to go forward in his chosen career by becoming all three at the same time.

Since then, Andrew has been making visually appealing paintings, to which he adds a 3D effect by putting in painted screws to complete every artwork. For more than 15 years now, his works can be seen as a collection in art institutions throughout the world, while constantly being featured in major art exhibits.

Street Artists Convey Messages of Gratitude, Oneness and Hope

In many parts of the world and while COVID-19 pandemic was rapidly spreading in communities, street artists came out to paint heart-warming messages. It cannot be said that the street artists intended to vandalize because they painted beautiful works of art to send messages of gratitude to the professionals and key workers in the medical industry, for braving the threats of the deadly virus.

The sad reality is that many medical workers and professionals are among fatalities included in death toll statistics. Their courageous and relentless efforts did not go unnoticed, which a lot of street artists made sure will be remembered for years by making use of empty public spaces as canvass for their artworks.

Murals Mostly Paid Tribute to Medical and Healthcare Workers

In the UK, the still anonymous street artist who goes only by the name of Banksy paid homage to the country’s NHS workers by leaving a painting  entitled “Game Changer.” outside of the Southampton Hospital. Banksy’s artwork depicts a young boy who has come to appreciate nurses as true heroes in real life; replacing his Spiderman and Batman action figures with that of a Hospital Nurse doll.

Another mystery street artist Rebel Bear, Banksy’s counterpart in Glasgow, Scotland also sent a message of love and gratitude for the tireless frontliners. Rebel Bear painted a mural of a nurse, whose hands formed a heart symbol.

In Milan, Italy, artist Lapo Fatai painted a mural that covered 90 square meters to present a nurse giving a thumbs-up signal for people who heeded stay-at-home orders. It can be recalled that Italy became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic because many believed that the virus was not as serious as Italy’s health officials had warned.

One of Amsterdam’s famous street artists known as FAKE, created an impressive mural by painting a life-like illustration of a “Super Nurse,” wearing a face mask imprinted with Superman’s “S” logo.

 

Messages of Hope and Unity Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis

The UK seems to have the most number of artists who ventured out of their safe shelter to paint graffiti’s of “Thank You” missives and of words that encourage unity and hope. On walls, on sidewalks and even on public roads, and using paint sprays, artists wrote:

“Please believe these days will pass”
We can beat this together.”
“We’re all in this together”
“Be kind. Let’s look out for one another.”
“ Thank You NHS and Keyworkers”

Cultivating Creativity When Sheltered-in-Place

Chase away the blues of a mandatory shelter-in-place order by cultivating your creativity, instead of ceding your idle hours to moments of boredom

Staying cooped up all by yourself in your home for days or at worst, for an indefinite period of time, can really be downright disheartening. Until your community or state can control the spread of the Covid-19 disease, the best protection you can have against possible exposure to the virus is to stay within the safety of your home. However, there may be occasions when you experience moments of loneliness and anxiety, which could lead to depression.

Understanding the Rationale Behind Shelter-in-Place Restrictions

Keep in mind that you are not the only one who is going through this type of ordeal. Millions of people in China, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Poland , El Salvador and Spain are going through the same experience. The governments in those countries have implemented mass quarantine, as a measure that will prevent the disease from infecting the majority of their population.

Except for Italy, which took on the mass quarantine approach at a stage when thousands have already been infected, most of those countries, including China, have succeeded in “flattening the curve” so to speak. “Flattening the curve” as the World Health Organization (WHO) explains, is that phase of an epidemic in which the rate by which the infectious disease is spreading, has already slowed down. Once achieved, health care systems can manage and effectively attend to all patients needing medical attention. .

In the U.S. only the states of California, Illinois, New York and a handful of communities in Colorado, Georgia and Maine have imposed mass quarantine measures, which American authorities prefer to call a “shelter-in-place” directive. The rest of the nation is still trying to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 by ordering the closure of bars, nightclubs, casinos and movie houses, as well as prohibiting the holding of events, concerts, fairs, festivals or any gathering where more than 25 to 50 people will be in attendance.

Currently, the U.S. is still dealing with a rapid rate by which the Covid-19 disease is spreading. As it is, the number of community-transmitted cases has spiked from hundreds, to thousands, which to date is nearing 20 thousand in a matter of one week.

Embark on Creative Activities to Chase Away Quarantine Blues

Many of those who are currently under mandatory quarantine or shelter-in-place order, have put forward recommendations on how to while away time creatively and productively. So far, the most popular recommendation is to cultivate one’s creativity by learning how to draw, paint, sculpt or recycle scrap materials. After all, there are several how-to, easy-to-follow instructional videos available at YouTube.

Learning how to draw seems to be the most practical, since you will only be needing pencils, papers and erasers. Painting and sculpting materials tend to be expensive, and it would be wiser to save whatever extra money you have for food and for emergency purposes. However, do not drive yourself to frustration if it seems you do not have a natural ability to draw, no matter how hard you try.

According to astrologers, creativity among individuals comes in different aspects and not just in terms of creating art works. The sun sign and moon sign of a person can influence the kind of creativity possessed by a person, which suggests that it depends on the inclusive zodiac signs dates in which a person was born.

Some are said to be born under zodiac signs that yield individuals with natural talent to create artwork. Some others demonstrate creativity by analyzing and solving problems in ways that not everyone could imagine. There are also zodiac signs that influence a person’s creativity in developing designs, concepts, methods, approaches or applications on how to make life on Earth better.

The point being driven at is that in order not to be frustrated with your creativity project, it would be best to first find out your creative strengths. That way, you can focus on areas where you will likely be more productive during the shelter-in-home period.

Mexican Art Critic Causes Controversy by Breaking a Sculpture at the Zona Maco Art Fair

Avelina Lesper, a Mexican art critic, has stirred quite a controversy when she decided to place her empty soda pop can next to a delicate glass-sculpture created by contemporary artist Gabriel Rico. As a result, the glass and stone art work in which several objects had hung on a balance, toppled down  and caused the glass pane to fall on the floor, shattering into bits and pieces.

 

The art fair host, Galeria OMR, known for supporting contemporary artists, condemned Ms. Lesper for her “enormous lack of professionalism and respect.” in a statement posted on Instagram, Galeria OMR said they do not understand why an art critic claiming to be a professional, would come close to an art work, and place an empty soda can, just to show her disdain.

The gallery added that Rico’s work is currently in high demand and the glass sculpture entitled “Nimble and Sinister Tricks (To Be Preserved Without Scandal and Corruption)” has an estimated value of US$20,000.

Although Ms. Lesper apologized and insisted that the destruction was not intentional, she admits placing the soda can on the glass sculpture to show her disdain for the piece. As a solution, she suggested that the gallery leave the shattered sculpture as it is, as a way of demonstrating its evolution. However, the suggestion was rejected by Galeria OMR; prompting Ms. Lesper to offer a replacement instead.

In a statement she made in Milenio, the Mexican newspaper that features Ms. Lesper’s column, the art critic described the incident as “lamentable,” whilst stating

”It was as if the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it.”

Galeria OMR Still to Decide on What Actions to Take

Galeria OMR, the art gallery founded by Patricia Ortiz Monasterio and Jaime Riestra in 1983, and which The Observer cited last year as “one of Mexico City’s largest blue-chip and longest-running galleries” still has to decide on the appropriate actions to take,

The gallery officials informed Ms. Lesper that she will hear from them after discussing the matter with sculptor Gabriel Rico and the organizers of the Zona Marco art fair. The gallery made it known though that currently, the demand for Rico’s art work is high, being one of the most outstanding artists of today.

Gabriel Rico on the other hand told BBC News that he was saddened by the disrespect shown by Ms. Lesper, and has described the situation as regrettable.

Will the Culturally Historic Binna Burra Lodge Rise Again?

The catastrophic Australian fire that is currently engulfing swathes of regions around the country had started out in September 2019. as a bushfire that decimated the culturally historic Binna Burra Lodge. The fire was swift, barely giving time to evacuate about a hundred guests staying at the heritage-listed lodge at the time the fire started.

Binna Burra Lodge Chairman, Steve Noakes said the experience of seeing the damage the bushfire made to the complex was fairly traumatic.The devastation was extensive and far worse than what Mr. Noakes had imagined. It practically took his breath away when he first saw the extent of the damage. Mr Noakes reported

“The places where people had gathered through generations, the dining area, the library, the lounge, and even parts of the newly built Skylodge buildings, are gone.”

 

Binna Burra Lodge a Significant Part of Australian Heritage

Since Binna Burra opened in 1933, the environmental lodge had provided temporary home to hundreds of thousands of ordinary people coming from different parts of the world, when they set to explore and experience the grandeur of the world-heritage rainforest site known as Lamington National Park.

Started 86 years ago by prominent Australian conservationist, journalist, photographer and adventurer Arthur Groom with fellow conservationist and national parks advocate and engineer Romeo Lahey, Binna Burra never took on the air of plush and luxury.

The quaint wood-slab cabins, and the reception lounge with its big fireplace were all built with ordinary folks in mind. Binna Burra gave access to the national forest with only one road in coming from the Gold Coast; from the ridge of Beechmont to a final climb through a single-lane through the eucalyptus forest going to the edge of the rainforest.

Spanning 86 years, the Binna Burra Lodge had served as a beacon to bushwalkers, camping out school children and tired business executives looking for moments of quiet respite.

Binna Burra is gone and its future remains uncertain at the moment, because restoring the site to its original condition has to take a lot of things into consideration. Mr. Noakes acknowledges that there are now different dynamics affecting the way land is managed today, when compared to how it was 86 years ago.

Professor Catherine Pickering from the Griffith University – School of Environment and Science at Griffith University, said that if rebuilding of the complex is to be tackled, the structures must be designed in a way that factor in changes in climate conditions. As it is, changing patterns of dryness and rainfalls have been expanding, which is also driving changes in the way humans must interact with the land and its ecosystems.

Still, the Binna Burra website carries on with hope for the rapid rebuilding and rehabilitation of Binna Burra Lodge with the help of the taskforce created by the Queensland State Government.

Note: This guest post is sponsored by mebsites.com, which provides facilities for web hosting gold coast.

Art Censorship Wielded on Karachi Biennale’s “Karachi Killing Fields” Exhibit

Art censorship and repression have become issues that have received annual reports detailing documented cases of intolerance to artworks. In light of the threats posed to artistic freedom, Freemuse published a report last April 2019, captioned as “Whose Narrative Counts;” presenting hundreds of documented cases of art censorship from across 80 countries during the past year.

The most recent case that the Freemuse organization will like include in its next report is the closing down of the “Karachi Killing Fields,” sculptural exhibition of Paskistani artist Adeela Suleman. A few hours after the courtyard of the historic Frere Hall opened to display Suleman’s 444 tombstone-like sculptures, a pair of plainclothes policemen arrived and ordered the biennale organizers to shutdown that particular exhibit.

Suleman, who teaches at the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, held a press conference to voice her reaction against the censorship; saying

“My work was just a story of incidents that took place in Karachi around a year ago.” — There was nothing in it that was not already public knowledge”

However, Pakistani authorities also ordered the discontinuance of the press conference, since Suleman was referring to the numerous incidents of extrajudicial killings carried out by local police authorities working under former police chief superintendent Rao Anwar. Her tombstone sculptures reminded people of victims that died as a result of instantaneous and wide open summary killings.

Actually, Suleman’s tombstone sculptures were also knocked down and the door leading to the “Karachi Killing Fields” exhibition was padlocked. The head of the Karachi Parks Division later told Samas TV said that the exhibition was removed because Suleman’s installation was as a form of vandalism

Biennale Organizers’ Reaction to the Shutdown and Destruction of Suleman’s “Karachi Killing Fields” Exhibit

The shutdown of the exhibit mounted by Suleman sparked outcries of protests coming from both local and international artists and activists. Some even staged a “die-in” protest against the censorship, but to no avail.

The Karachi Biennale organizers issued a statement saying that they are also against censorship of art. However, with regard to the exhibit in question, they came to realize that the artist’s perspective was not compatible with the biennale’s theme of “Ecology and the Environment” and the ethos of the biennale under KB No.19.

UK Study Provides Proof that the Arts and Culture Offer of Communities Pose as Place-Shaping Factors

In 2017, the Arts Council England commissioned Wavehill Ltd to conduct research to determine whether the arts and cultural offering of an area is a factor that attracts individuals and businesses to settle there; and of how that area’s cultural offer shapes local identity of that place.

The report on the study entitled “The Value of Arts and Culture in Place-Shaping” was published on August 21, 2019, giving insights on the impact of arts and culture in shaping six (6) different places: Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Halifax, Hastings, Southampton and Redruth. In conducting the study, the research company examined 1,756 responses to the UK-wide survey launched in 2017. The report proved that funding for the arts is a valid cause, as the analysis showed that art and cultural features have been instrumental in attracting new residents to the smaller communities.

Nicholas Serota, the chairperson of Arts Council England and former Tate director, also wrote an essay in The Guardian, giving emphasis to the hard evidence provided by the research. He elaborated on how the study shows that the arts matter to people across the country, giving support to the importance of making greater investments in cultural dwvelopments.

Based on the latest report commissioned by the Arts Council England, Mr. Serota wrote of how from Hull to Margate, creative projects not only brought money and life back to high streets but also also boosted wellbeing, among community dwellers. Moreover, the study also revealed how people tend to base decisions on where to live by looking into the arts and culture, in addition to offers of good schools. The Arts Council England chairman wrote

”There is not only tangible value in investment in the arts, but also huge public demand for it.”

The City of Hull Sets a Good Example of How Investments in Arts and Culture Create Positive Impact

In the essay, Chairman Serota cited the city of Hull as the most obvious example. The positive impact of art and culture made Hull the City of Culture in 2017. Hull’s economy received a boost from their programme, as the local tourism industry generated £300m throughout the year.

The Art Council England chair also wrote that the benefits experienced by the city went far beyond economic growth. Arts and culture helped instill in the local people, a renewed pride in the history of Hull and in boosting their confidence over its global role. At the end of the year, 75% of Hull residents said they were proud to live in the city.

Even worth mentioning is that Hull’s achievement has been replicated by smaller towns, including post-industrial, coastal and market towns.

Studies Prove the Importance of Emotional Connection to Creative Marketing Ideas

Marketing professors Kelly Herd of the University of Connecticut and Ravi Mehta of the University of Illinois recently conducted experiments that proved the importance of emotional connection to the effectiveness of creative marketing ideas.

According to Professor Herd, the study can be linked to a 2016 report published in the Business News Daily, which found 82% of company executives sharing the belief that there is a strong connection between business results and creativity. The view relates to the current marketing strategy of sourcing new ideas directly from consumers; by asking suggestions about products or services that they want the company to introduce as new product line.

Professor Herd cited how companies like Starbucks, Frito-Lay, LEGO and even the U.S. Army, base their innovation, as well as their research and development mostly on consumer recommendations. The view is that in a highly competitive marketplace, innovation and new products based on consumer recommendations, will enable manufacturers to survive and endure the competition.

Yet mental imagery depicting consumer emotion, used creatively in marketing new products is also of utmost importance. Through their research, marketing professors Kelly Herd and Ravi Mehta, provided new evidence demonstrating the importance of creativity influenced by mental imagery and its ability to affect consumer emotion. They then presented the results in a report entitled “Head vs. Heart: the Effect of Objective versus Feelings-Based Mental Imagery on New Product Creativity,” .

How the Study was Conducted

The objective of the experiments conducted was to show, how giving value to an end-user’s feeling can be a powerful tool in developing designs for new products deemed as solutions to problems found in the marketplace.

The research was founded on the premise that initially focusing on emotions or feelings based on the point of view of consumers creates cognitive flexibility among the designers. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to simultaneously consider matters in different perspectives. In having such an ability, product designers can “shift avenues of thought” when perceiving and processing information toward creativity.

Separate experiments were conducted in which participants were asked to design a kid’s toy, to select ingredients for a new cereal for children and to reinvent a grocery cart for the benefit of the elderly. Half of the groups of participants were instructed to imagine their respective target consumer’s feelings and emotions before starting out with the task. The other half was simply tasked to perform the assignment objectively, without considering consumer emotions or feelings.

Judges regarded as experts in the subject product, were simply asked to identify the most creative design based on their own expertise and knowledge of the subject. They had no knowledge of the objective and the emotion-based approaches that specific groups received as instructions. As the judging results demonstrated, creative product designs that took into consideration consumer-emotions, proved the importance of using product imagery created by way of cognitive flexibility.

Van Gogh’s Letter to Critic Who Wrote First Printed-Review of His Artwork Now on Public Exhibit

Vincent van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter acclaimed as the greatest Dutch painter next to Rembrandt, but only much later after his death in 1890 at the age of 37. Throughout his career as a painter, this famous Dutch artist was practically unknown, and had remained poor during his lifetime.

After a series of failed courtships and relationships, as well as rejections encountered in his bid to become an evangelist, Van Gogh’s psychological condition slowly deteriorated. Hi mental decline had led to a particular incident in which he cut off his ear and subsequently committed to a mental asylum.

Today, Van Gogh paintings are ranked among the most priceless in the world, fetching owners as much as $53.9 million, (“Irises”) to $82.5 million (“Portrait of Dr. Gachet”) at auctions.

A Backgrounder to the Critic’s Letter

Even while at the asylum, Van Gogh continued to paint, to which the most notable artwork he produced was “The Starry Night.” An art critic named Albert Aurier, wrote a first ever-printed review that praised one of Van Gogh’s works, describing it as

“…excess, excess in strength, excess in nervousness, violence in expression.”

Vincent was so elated over Aurier’s positive review, he wrote the critic a thank-you letter, expressing his appreciation,

. “I rediscover my canvases in your article, but better than they really are – richer, more significant…”

Sadly, four months after sending the thank-you letter, Vincent Willem van Gogh committed suicide. Although Van Gogh was discharged from the mental asylum earlier, he was still distraught about his future and apparently found a reason to end his life by fatally shooting himself in the chest.

Van Gogh’s Letter to Critic Aurier Goes On Public Display at Amsterdam Museum

Through the years since Van Gogh became one of the world’s most important artists, Van Gogh’s letter to the critic passed through the hands of several art collectors. The last owner, a murky character named Aristophil was able to purchase the letter from an auction where the Van Gogh Museum had hoped to procure it. Aristophil though, a known schemer of investments went bankrupt, finally sending the much coveted Van Gogh letter in the auction market in Paris.

Early this month, and with the financial assistance of Hong Kong tycoon Cheung Chung-kiu, the Van Gogh Museum was able to secure Van Gogh’s letter to Aurier, and put it in public display in what is believed to be a first time.