Data mining gets religion as campaigns target voters of faith

My article “Data mining gets religion as campaigns target voters of faith” appears in Religion News Service.

Update: Houston Chronicle, America magazine, and National Catholic Reporter have reprinted the RNS piece.

A poetry museum that eschews having a home

American Poetry Museum

Jon West-Bey, left, board chair of the American Poetry Museum, and Samuel Miranda, the museum’s secretary, stand outside the Center for Poetic Thought in the District’s Brookland neighborhood. (Menachem Wecker)


My article “A poetry museum that eschews having a home” appears in the Washington Post.

Chicago’s creepy cabinet of curiosities

Hall of Immortals

Hall of Immortals/International Museum of Surgical Science


My article “Chicago’s creepy cabinet of curiosities,” about the International Museum of Surgical Science, appears in the Washington Post.

Corot acknowledges male gaze in painting

Corot Diana and Actaeon

“Diana and Actaeon” by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1836. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Corot (1796-1875) was and is much better known for moody landscapes, within which dabs of white paint flicker like candlelight from amid deep green trees and undergrowth. Once one gets to know the artist’s oeuvre, his works become easy to spot from across a room, and there is a pretty good chance of seeing a Corot canvas in most major or mid-sized museums in the country. When one considers Corot’s lesser-known body of figures, as the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition “Corot: Women” (through Dec. 31) does, one finds the artist flirting with a modern and self-conscious way of acknowledging the male gaze all but inherent in model painting, even as Corot remained of his time and still clung to some of the traditional and stylized ways of painting the female nude.

Read the rest of my article “Corot acknowledges male gaze in painting,” about a National Gallery of Art exhibit, in National Catholic Reporter.

The true story of a Jewish news agency that peddled fake news to undo Hitler

My article “The true story of a Jewish news agency that peddled fake news to undo Hitler” appears in Religion News Service.

Last-minute invite appears to treat White House call with rabbis as an afterthought

My article “Last-minute invite appears to treat White House call with rabbis as an afterthought” appears in Religion News Service.

‘I’m an Experiment’: Why the Israel Museum Hired Ido Bruno, a Tech-Savvy Designer With No Institutional Experience, to Be Its New Director

Ido Bruno. Photo: Menachem Wecker

Ido Bruno. Photo: Menachem Wecker


My article “‘I’m an Experiment’: Why the Israel Museum Hired Ido Bruno, a Tech-Savvy Designer with No Institutional Experience, to Be Its New Director” appears in artnet.

Kasich thinks Cleveland’s Kusama show is ‘fantastic’

Gov. Kasich at the Kusama exhibit

Gov. Kasich at the Kusama exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Photo: Menachem Wecker


My article “Kasich thinks Cleveland’s Kusama show is ‘fantastic’” appears in Art Newspaper. Gov. Kasich, who was visiting the exhibit with his wife and one of his daughters, generously answered my questions.

Update: The article made ARTnews’ morning links on Aug. 23.

A pocket watch turns back the clock on Jewish life aboard the Titanic

Titanic Jewish pocket watch

Source: Heritage Auctions

My article “A pocket watch turns back the clock on Jewish life aboard the Titanic,” about an item to be sold by Heritage Auctions, appears in Religion News Service.

Update: Haaretz (Israel) mentions the piece.

The suit Billy Graham wore on his final crusade in 2005

Billy Graham suit

The suit Billy Graham wore on his last crusade in 2005. Photo: Menachem Wecker

While reporting a Religion News Service article about a Billy Graham exhibit at Washington’s Museum of the Bible, I noticed wrinkles on the sleeve of the suit, which Billy Graham wore on his last crusade in 2005 and which the Billy Graham Library lent.

Graham was not Catholic, but many of the artifacts in the exhibit had the aura of relics. I wondered, eyeing the wrinkles, if the suit had been purposely left unlaundered to retain some of the late Graham’s presence. A curator I approached expressed surprise at the state of the suit and said it was supposed to have been dry-cleaned. It was suggested the wrinkles would be ironed out. But when I returned a week later, the wrinkles were still there.

Perhaps the suit has since been pressed, but as long as it remains rumpled, I like the idea that it suggests a used object — even if it’s been cleaned since Graham last touched it.

  • Selected articles

    Bobby Fischer gravestone "Searching for Fischer’s Legacy." Chess Life magazine. March 2018. (PDF file).

    Confederate monuments "Confederate Monuments and the Power of Absence." Religion & Politics. Oct. 2017.

    Jules Olitski star "A Memorial That Knows Its Biblical History." Wall St. Journal. Sept. 22, 2017.

    CIA art collection "Infiltrating the CIA’s Secret Art Collection." Playboy. Jan./Feb. 2017.
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