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The New Criterion

It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
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Week in review

by Benjamin Riley

Posted: Feb 05, 2016 12:39 PM

Heinrich Bunting, Map of Europa Regina, ca. 1581

Recent links of note:

Everything has gone right for the Eurosceptics. So why are they in crisis?
James Forsyth, The Spectator
Europe is in crisis. The ecumenical experiment whereby millions of migrants were accepted into unsecured borders with nary a background check has proved disastrous. The Eurozone economy is continually unsound and new tax proposals have member states upset. In short, those supporting the so-called “Brexit” could not have drawn up more favorable conditions in which to make their case for Britain leaving the Eurozone. And yet, the “out” vote trails the “in” by a not insignificant margin. This week in The Spectator, James Forsyth expounds on the ways in which the “out” camp has squandered its dream opportunity. Chief among them is the lack of a unified voice; as Forsyth puts it, “The arguments for Brexit are all there, waiting for someone persuasive to marshal them.” Pray that someone does. 

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Meet the Met

by James Panero

Posted: Feb 04, 2016 03:34 PM

Recently I visited every gallery in the main building of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—in a single day. In today's Wall Street Journal, I describe what it was like to see over four hundred galleries, and just what I discovered on this Grand Tour.

I knew it would be a challenge. There are tens of thousands of objects on display out of more than 1.5 million in the permanent collection, overseen by 2,200 employees and 17 curatorial departments. They are spread across some two million square feet of space occupying two-plus floors, and housed in over 400 galleries, period rooms, and installations—a mind-boggling array. A few weeks earlier, when I asked Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, how long it would take to see every room, he said: “Two years.

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New York's new maestro

by Eric C. Simpson

Posted: Feb 02, 2016 11:04 AM

Jaap van Zweden; photo by Marco Borggreve, courtesy IMG Artists


The New York Philharmonic is in the midst of a major facelift—they have already brought in a new Concertmaster and Chairman, and by 2021 they will have a new Music Director and more or less a new concert hall, as well.

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Week in review

by Benjamin Riley

Posted: Jan 29, 2016 03:30 PM

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, via

Recent links of note:

The Humbling of the West
Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal
As if the West's recent diplomatic capitulation to Iran weren't embarassing enough, the consequences felt in Italy make clear just what sort of "deal" we've gotten. President Hassan Rouhani visits Italy, and the Capitoline Museum covers nude statuary; later, Italy's President, Matteo Renzi refuses to serve wine at a state dinner. And here we see just how sinister the "deal" was. Not only must we now trade in Iranian goods, giving immense economic support to an almost unthinkably repressive regime, but we must also subordinate ourselves to the country's nugatory notions. As Daniel Henninger says in in the Journal, now that the onslaught has begun it's hard to foresee where it will stop.

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by Jay Nordlinger

Posted: Jan 28, 2016 02:35 PM

Jaap van Zweden. Image by Hans van der Woerd, courtesy IMG Artists.

I have heard some people say, “Congrats, Jaap!” They are referring to Jaap van Zweden, who has just been named the next music director of the New York Philharmonic. I’m more inclined to say, “Congrats, Phil.”—you got Jaap. And you chose well.

This decision reaffirms the Philharmonic’s commitment to being a serious orchestra. I don’t know what Jaap van Zweden brings you “politically.” But he is an excellent and potentially great conductor. On purely musical grounds, this is a wonderful choice.

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Go Down Moses(es)

by James Panero

Posted: Jan 26, 2016 02:55 PM

Reggie Wilson Image 3 Eblast
”Moses(es) Moses(es),“ Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group, 

Timed to its annual conference, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters recently came to town and with it a "convergence of a dozen major performing arts industry forums and public festivals," which it called "January In NYC." These showcase performances ran the gamut from opera to chamber music to jazz. For those who follow dance, the Joyce Theater organized the first of what it promised would be an annual "American Dance Platform,” sponsored by the Harkness Foundation for Dance, this year curated by Paul King and Walter Jaffe of Portland's White Bird dance festival.

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Outsider art at the Metropolitan Pavilion

by Andrew Shea

Posted: Jan 22, 2016 03:43 PM

Andy Dixon, Sailing, 2015, acrylic, house paint, and oil pastel on canvas, 57 x 70 inches/Photo Courtesy: The Outsider Art Fair

Running from Thursday through Sunday at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th Street, the 2016 Outsider Art Fair devotes 24,000 square feet of exhibition space to the uneducated, the mentally ill, and the provincial. The Fair’s press release uses Jean Dubuffet, the original champion of art brut, to draw its boundaries“works produced by persons unscathed by artistic culture, where mimicry plays little or no part (contrary to the activities of intellectuals).” 

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Week in review

by Benjamin Riley

Posted: Jan 22, 2016 01:18 PM

João Glama Ströberle, Allegory of the 1755 Earthquake, 18th Century, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

Recent links of note:

The Enigma of Germany
Victor Davis Hanson, National Review
There is something darkly comical about the fact that Germany is now the European country most welcoming of those who are said to not share its values. As Victor Davis Hanson tells it, Germany now finds itself acting as “the most recklessly postmodern of all Western nations in order to reassure the world, 77 years after the outbreak of World War II, that [it is] no longer the most recklessly nationalistic.” Alas, there’s nothing funny about the chaos that has emerged as a consequence of Chancellor Merkel’s ecumenical fixations. Germany has asserted its will on the European continent again, this time by coercing its neighbors to open their borders; the truth is, of course, often stranger than fiction.

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The New Criterion

About ArmaVirumque


( AHR-mah wih-ROOM-kweh)


In the Aeneid, the Roman poet Virgil sang of "arms and a man" (Arma virumque cano). Month in and month out, The New Criterion expounds with great clarity and wit on the art, culture, and political controversies of our times. With postings of reviews, essays, links, recs, and news, Armavirumque seeks to continue this mission in accordance with the timetable of the digital age.


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March 29, 2016

Friends and Young Friends Event: The Climate Surprise

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