Search engine giant Google is celebrating the 105th birthday of renowned Bangladeshi painter, educator and activist Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin.
He is widely considered a founding father of Bangladeshi modern art. Throughout his colorful life, Zainul Abedin strived to preserve and honour Bangladeshi heritage.
Google Doodle made an alteration on its Bangladeshi homepage on Sunday, showing the great artist painting Google sitting under a tree with his brush while another man passing by carrying two pots.
Zainul Abedin was born along the Brahmaputra River in Mymensingh in 1914. He attended the Government School of Art in Kolkata studying European academic styles.
After completing his education, he was inspired to create an art piece that paid homage to the scenic views of his childhood, which won him the Governor’s Gold Medal at the age of 23.
Free to craft his own style, Zainul Abedin released a series of sketches in 1943 depicting an avoidable famine that affected the region, which is widely seen as his most popular work. He would continue to draw inspiration from the human experience throughout his career, such as with Struggle which was painted more than 30 years after his famine sketches.
To foster Bangladeshi cultural life, he established the first centre for modern art in the region with the Government Institute of Arts and Crafts (now the Faculty of Fine Arts) at the University of Dhaka in 1948. A decade later, he was honoured with his country’s highest civil award, the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance, for his cultural contributions.
Four years after Bangladesh gained its independence from Pakistan in 1971, Zainul Abedin opened the Folk Art Museum at Sonargaon and the Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (a gallery of his personal collection) in Mymensingh to instill pride in native culture.
The International Astronomical Union named an impact crater on Mercury for Abedin in 2009, calling it “Abedin.”
The 85th birth anniversary of celebrated writer and poet Syed Shamsul Haque was observed in the district town on Friday through various programmes .
Locals, cultural activists and various organisations brought out a procession and placed wreaths at the grave of the writer in the morning.
A daylong book fair was arranged on this occasion which was inaugurated by deputy commissioner Sultana Parvin.
Besides, a discussion on his life and work and a cultural programme were also arranged at PTI Institute.
Shamsul Haque was born on December 27, 1935 in Kurigram. He passed away on September 27, 2016.
In 2008, the Newseum — a private museum dedicated to exploring modern history as told through the eyes of journalists — opened on prime Washington real estate.
Sitting almost equidistant between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue, the glass-walled building became instantly recognizable for its multi-story exterior rendition of the First Amendment.
Eleven years later that experiment is coming to an end. After years of financial difficulties, the Newseum will close its doors Tuesday.
"We're proud of how we did our storytelling," said Sonya Gavankar, the outgoing director of public relations. "We changed the model of how museums did their work."
The building was sold for $372.5 million to Johns Hopkins University, which intends to consolidate its scattered Washington-based graduate studies programs under one roof.
Gavankar attributed the failure to a variety of factors but acknowledged that the Newseum's status as a for-pay private institution was a harder sell in a city full of free museums. A Newseum ticket costs $25 for adults, and the building is right across the street from the National Gallery of Art and within blocks of multiple Smithsonian museums.
"Competing with free institutions in Washington was difficult," Gavankar said.
Another problem, organizers said, is that the Newseum struggled to attract local residents, instead depending on a steady diet of tourists and local school groups. Actual Washington-area residents, who do frequent the Smithsonian and elsewhere, mostly came on school trips and rarely returned as adults.
Claire Myers fits that profile. The D.C. resident recalls coming to the Newseum in high school in a senior-year class trip. She only returned in late December for a final visit because she heard it was closing at the end of the year.
"I do think part of the reason was because it's a paid museum," she said. "Why go out of my way to do this when I could just go to any other free museum?"
The $25 price tag, Myers said, creates a pressure to set aside the whole day and take in every exhibit, whereas at one of the free Smithsonian museums, she knows she can come back another time to catch whatever she missed. But Myers said she was deeply impressed by the exhibits, particularly the Newseum's signature gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs.
"I do wish it wasn't going away," she said.
The museum's focus evolved over the years, showcasing not just journalism and historic events, but all manner of free speech and civil rights issues and some whimsical quirks along the edges. Exhibits during the Newseum's final days included an exploration of the cultural and political influence of Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show," a look at the history of the struggle for LGBTQ rights and a display depicting the history of presidential dogs.
Gavankar said the Freedom Forum, which originally maintained the Newseum in northern Virginia for years, would continue its mission in different forms. The educational foundation maintains a pair of exhibits on the Berlin Wall in both Reagan and Dulles airports. Next year, those displays will be replaced by exhibits on the women's suffrage movement. The current Rise Up! exhibit on LGBTQ rights will move to a new long-term home in the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.
William Greider, a longtime political writer for The Nation, Rolling Stone and The Washington Post, died Wednesday at the age of 83, according to his former editor.
The Nation's Editorial Director Katrina vandenHeuvel tweeted Thursday that Greider understood "something all too rare in this 24-7 media world. The process of reimagining democracy requires not only real respect for the people, deep reporting, historical insight, but also patience."
Before joining The Nation in 1999, Greider was a columnist at Rolling Stone for 17 years. Before that, he was a reporter and editor at The Washington Post.
One of Greider's first well-known articles was a profile of David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's budget director and a champion of supply-side economics. When "The Education of David Stockman" appeared in The Atlantic in 1981, his comment that "None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers" created a White House firestorm. Stockman later said he was "taken to the woodshed" by Reagan after the article was published.
Greider's books included "Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country," "Who Will Tell the People? The Betrayal of American Democracy" and "One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism."
Greider died at his home in Washington complications of congestive heart failure, his son, Cameron, told The New York Times.
Southwest China's Sichuan Province Thursday unveiled the signboard of China's first museum on antique book repairing, an endangered craft vital to the country's huge inventory of ancient texts.
The 1,100-square-meter museum in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, displays 500 artifacts that allow the public to better understand the craft's complicated procedures and behold the works of accomplished restorers.
It also features a demonstration zone for visitors to view the process, which includes over 20 steps from making glue to bookbinding.
Peng Dequan, who initiated the founding of the museum, said China is under strain to salvage many ancient books and documents that suffer from mildew, moths and other forms of damage.
Many skilled restorers, however, are elderly without successors, which prompted him to open the museum to promote the craft.
In China, books written or printed before 1912 featuring classical book-binding styles are classified as antique books. It is estimated that China has about 50 million antique books, among which the foremost 20 million have been protected, leaving a daunting task for book repairers.