Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.

On our site of the month page you can see the astonishing 3D printed fashions of Iris Van Herpen. Here are some equally dramatic outfits by Pierpaolo Piccioli, not 3D printed but pretty dramatic. They look like overgrown down jackets in exuberant colors, far superior to a lot of what I see on the red carpets of multiple award shows.

Take a look at an ancient earth globe with simulations of how the earth might have looked as far back as 450 million years ago. Then enter your address, select the time frame you want, and see how your local area might have appeared.

The U.K. owns roughly 150,000 public sculptures and all of them are being catalouged and shown online. The works come from all over the world, with the only exclusion to be the pre-AD1000 antiquities. 200,000 oil paintings have already been digitized and uploaded. Works on paper will also be added, as will watercolors done before 1900.

Sometimes our heroes turn out to have clay feet. A case in point is Charles Dickens, who apparently tried to put his wife away in a mental institution when he had an affair with a young actress. The revelations appear in a treasure trove of letters discovered by a University of York professor who found them listed in a 2014 auction catalogue. The letters were written by a Dickens family friend and neighbor, and for the first time reveal the viewpoint of Dickens' wife Catherine.

A new body of work by Jasper Johns is being shown at the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York CIty. Working on water-soluble plastic, paper and papyrus, Johns reveals his fascination with living and dying as a human. Johns' aesthetic has been described as "take an object / Do something to it / Do something else to it". Now 89 years old, he has continued to evolve his use of materials: a piece called "Farley Breaks Down - after Larry Burrows" from 2014 conveys an evocative even sensual impression of movement that I have not seen before in his work.

In spite of some curatorial reservations by the reviewer I find the exhibition of jewelry from Mesopotamia to Today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be fascinating. Be sure to visit the Museum's own site for additional images and data on the works displayed. There are hours of pleasure and learning available here.

Watch as these robots use fiberglass to weave a structure as large as a bus. The bots are able to communicate with each other, to be sure they don't crash, via the Internet and they can vary their pattern and design.

Paradise turned out to be anything but for residents of the fire-devastated town in California, but one artist used his ingenuity to create something positive out of the tragedy. Shane Grammer painted murals onto the sides of destroyed houses and cars. The fire killed 86 people and destroyed rougly 19,000 structures last November. Grammer calls the works "beauty among the ashes" and feels they offer hope to a devasted community.

Perhaps the most minimalist sculptures you will see have been constructed by Berlin artist Mikael Christian Strobek. Combining light, photography and digital processes, Strobek hopes to create a "frame" into which the viewer can bring individual experiences. There is no question that the negative spaces in these sculptures are dominant and aggressive.

A Kurdish-Iranian journalist tried to enter Papua, New Guinea without a valid visa in 2017. He was imprisoned in an Australian detention camp on the island of Manus and yet has just received two of Australia's top literary prizes, one for non-fiction, and one the Victorian Prize for Literature. Together the awards totaled $125,000. Australian dollars. He was not allowed, however, to attend the award ceremonies. Behrouz Boochani wrote a book called "No Friends But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison" using his cell phone, sending pieces at a time to the publisher Picador Australia via text. The judges commented, "A voice of witness, an act of survival, a lyric first hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile."

Artist Larry Bell has constructed large translucent glass cubes, meant to reflect the rolling fogs that characterize coastal communities in California. Bell has worked for 50 years along the coast of Los Angeles. Boxes within boxes are used to resemble the light that suffuses the Califoria coastal cities. The exhibit is being held at Hauser & Wirth in Zurich.

"Root Bench" has been constructed in Seoul's Hangang Park. The large circular ground sculpture is meant to resemble tree roots. Included are elaborate wooden benches at different heights. Artist Yong Ju Lee explains: "Root Bench is fused into the grass and blurs the boundary between artificial installation and natural environmen". Lights are turned on at night, offering a safe place for visitors to lounge and adding a new dimension to the experience.

The U.S. Postal Service has released a new set of stamps based on the art of Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly died in 2015 at the age of 92. The vibrant, colorful stamps remind us of his words, "I want a lilt and joy to art".

c. Corinne Whitaker 2019