400

Ambassadors of Art

When the Museum of Art at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, hosted “Phantom Punch,” it marked the fourth show in a multi-year, multi-city exhibition tour of the United States by an eclectic group of some two dozen artists from Saudi Arabia, where over the past decade, a once-marginal contemporary art scene has become one of the world’s fastest-growing creative movements. Thought-provoking, socially engaged and at times whimsical and even satirical, the works vary from painting and rubber stamps to sculpture, assemblage, photography, video, calligraphy, performance and installation pieces. All share what one curator calls as “an honest need for explanation, an exploration of the world we live in and a desire to understand.”
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  • Creatives
  • Now

Ambassadors of Art

400

FirstLook: Galata Bridge, circa 1890

“Constantinople: Kara-Keui et vue de Péra” reads the caption for this skillfully colorized view of late-Ottoman Istanbul, a city connecting East and West and driven by global commerce and trade, at a time when the advances of the Industrial Revolution in fields including photographic processes were connecting people as never before.
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  • Creatives
  • History

FirstLook: Galata Bridge, circa 1890

400

I Witness History: I of the Storm

“You have marveled at me since beyond memory, at once dreading the flash of my blinding light and eager for my return. My brilliance was recorded and sung about; my rumbles of warnings, in pithy Latin on a North African stone inscribed—’FVLGVR CONDITV’--‘Lightening was buried here.’”
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  • Creatives
  • History

I Witness History: I of the Storm

400

Iftar Potluck Baltimore

In a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, 15 families with origins across the world gather in the author’s backyard for iftar, the evening meal breaking the day-long fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It’s an American-style potluck, and each family brings not only food from homelands and traditions, but also stories and recipes. “Iftars are to me very much a party,” says Francesca Pagan, who has prepared an Italian stew of escarole and beans. “Food is one of those things that you do without during the day so you can get spiritually closer to God, but the reward of enjoying it after the sunset takes it to a whole new level.”
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  • Now
  • Tastes

Iftar Potluck Baltimore

400

The Silent Silk Road Rendezvous of Konye Urgench

Abandoned for more than 300 years following its eclipse by competing cities, the remnants of a once-flourishing capital of a once-powerful Silk Roads realm remind us of centuries of craftsmanship and scholarship in one of Central Asia’s most intact historical sites.
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  • History

The Silent Silk Road Rendezvous of Konye Urgench


2021 Calendar: Flavors

2021 Calendar: Flavors

Cooking at home: Many of us are doing more of it than ever. Stories and recipes selected from our own regular “Flavors” section show just how delicious 12 months of discovery can be.
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The Westward Journeys of Buttons

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

We all use them. Most fasten; some decorate. A search for origins points toward the Indus Valley and China. By the Middle Ages, buttons reached Europe along with other garment techniques and fashion influences from lands east. Their stories are as interwoven as the textiles they make possible and as varied as their infinite designs.
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Artists Answer COVID-19

Artists Answer COVID-19

Amid this year’s travel bans, museum and gallery closures, lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing, visual artists are responding with fresh imagery and creative collaborations across new platforms to articulate this moment and carry culture forward into the next.
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The Future’s Golden Fiber

The Future’s Golden Fiber

Jute grows in tropical wetlands worldwide but nowhere as organic and plentiful as the deltas of Bangladesh and India, where its golden-hued fibers are inspiring a new generation of biodegradable products from carpets to car seats, clothing to “bioplastic” grocery bags.
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A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own

In the era when baseball emerged as "America" National Pastime," the sons of Syrian Lebanese immigrants were smitten by the sport too— including a leftie slugger in Port Arthur, Texas, named Bill Anawaty.
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Sitar Master of Maryland

Sitar Master of Maryland

With a lifetime of training from leading sitar virtuosos, Alif Laila is one of few women to achieve international recognition with the mesmerizing instrument whose sound evokes the musical identity of the greater Indian subcontinent. She is as passionate about music as she is about encouraging other women.

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FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

FirstLook: East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964

East Coast of Saudi Arabia, Circa 1952–1964
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Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

An easy Sudanese recipe for this great snack or mezze/appetizer that is probably as popular in the West as in the Middle East, where it originated.
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The Dialogues of Don Quixote

The Dialogues of Don Quixote

Amid the fearful turbulence of the 17th century, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes invented a plot, characters and names that seemed innocently comical, but they cleverly cloaked his insistence that Spain recognize its historical diversity—and Don Quixote became the bestselling novel ever published.

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