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Les UDs take a train to Boston today…

… for Christmas with the family. Among UD‘s many blessings is a great deal of reader email – some of it with book and cd suggestions, some of it links to the latest university absurdities. Assuming she has anything like a steady internet connection on the train, she will answer all of that on her way north.

UD has been working on a post about the Sackler family, those tireless global ambassadors for OxyContin. Why should opioid epidemics with the effect of neutron bombs visit only our cities and towns? We must gift the Chinese – already busy with their tobacco and pollution epidemics – with this most up-to-date form of the opium the Chinese of course have known from way back.

The Sacklers are of particular interest to University Diaries because they combine at the highest level UD has ever seen that whole Madoff/Yeshiva thing: A totally disreputable business model and a hoitsy-toitsy record of philanthropy to universities (in their case, medical schools). In a subsequent post, we shall examine in greater detail this whole killing them softly approach to the life of the mind and the life of the body.

Margaret Soltan, December 23, 2016 6:22AM
Posted in: march of science

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3 Responses to “Les UDs take a train to Boston today…”

  1. Greg Says:

    Lucky you!! Though I suspect your luck will pause for a few hours with the train wi-fy.

    We’ve been planning to go to Boston soon largely to see art and the city where we just missed each other, living across an alley, a few years before our orbits brought us together.

    From older posts I remember, you’ll be in the hands of a capable art historian in-law.

    Still, let me recommend two things which you might or might not know about and have considered. Max Beckmann, Self Portrait in a Black Tuxedo at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum is terrific. This Youtube by Professor Joseph Koerner, is really good but –warning — involves 20’s and 30’s German themes that have an unfortunate resonance.


    The portrait was not in the recent Met Beckmann show. Beckmann follows next, or nearly next after Rembrandt, in the number of self portraits. Which brings me to the next item.I’m sure you’ve see the BFA’s Rembrandt’s Portrait of An Artist in His Studio. But let me recommend pages 14 to about 17 or so of Simon Schama’s great Rembrandt’s Eyes in which he goes through parts of the painting in a characteristically enchanting way. If it is easy to read those pages in bookstore before seeing the painting, it might be worth it.

    Finally I know you know Boit’s daughters in the BFA. One of my very favorite paintings. But just a side note. A while back, on an intuition, I checked to see if others saw connections to Las Meninas. Yep, the Prado once flew the girls over to Madrid so that they could hang out with the Infanta, the reflection of her parents,her entourage, and DV.

    Safe travels.

  2. Greg Says:

    And here is the Prado’s description of their 2010 show in which the two paintings hung side by side:


  3. dmf Says:


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