Monster Mash: An Army ally aids the arts; Irving Penn portraits for sale; a ‘new’ Michelangelo at the Met?

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-- New strategy: America can use the arts to help achieve its military and diplomatic goals, a retired Army general tells Congress during testimony designed to seek more funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. (Los Angeles Times)

-- Prized pictures: Dozens of portraits by Irving Penn will be offered at auction in New York in the largest single sale of the late photographer’s work. (Reuters)

-- Hidden treasure? An article in ARTnews magazine suggests that a painting in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art -- ‘Saint John the Baptist Bearing Witness’ -- is attributed to the workshop of the Florentine artist Francesco Granacci but actually may be a Michelangelo.
(Los Angeles Times)

-- Evening out: Several Pulitzer Prize board members reportedly went to see the Broadway musical ‘Next to Normal’ the night before the board made the show the surprise winner of this year’s drama prize. (New York Times )


-- Why wait? The original cast album for ‘American Idiot’ will be released Tuesday to coincide with the opening of the Green Day-inspired Broadway musical. (

-- Exploring their options: Business and civic leaders ponder ways to use the arts to boost the economy in the Pasadena Playhouse District -- even when the playhouse is dark. (Pasadena Star News)

-- Opening the door: A bankruptcy judge’s decision allows Honolulu Symphony musicians and other parties to compete with the Honolulu Symphony Society in coming up with plans to reorganize the financially troubled organization. (Honolulu Advertiser)

-- Big birthday present: Leipzig, Germany -- the final home of Johann Sebastian Bach -- has marked the 325th anniversary of the composer’s birth by opening the renovated and greatly expanded Bach Museum. (Wall Street Journal)

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Theater critic Charles McNulty reviews Conan O’Brien’s traveling comedy-variety show in Oregon; St. Louis Symphony Orchestra music director David Robertson comes home to L.A.; a political poster show in Hollywood makes bold statements about U.S. involvement overseas.

-- Karen Wada