The estate of Maurice Sendak, acclaimed author and illustrator of beloved children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” is currently fighting a lawsuit from the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Ever since Sendak’s death in 2012, the estate has been in the hands of Lynn Caponera, who was Sendak’s housekeeper and caretaker for over 30 years. Caponera chose to withdraw more than 10,000 original artworks Sendak had lent to the Rosenbach Museum for decades, despite the fact that many assumed that the works would remain in the Rosenbach following Sendak’s death. Claiming that Sendak had later decided that the Rosenbach didn’t respect him as an artist, Caponera returned the collection to Sendak’s home in Connecticut. The Rosenbach Museum is suing the estate on the claim that some of Sendak’s rare books by William Blake and Beatrix Potter, worth millions themselves, are being withheld despite Sendak’s earlier promises to give them to the museum.
Many sources have been cited in the ongoing Supreme Court battle over what may be prosecuted as a threat and what can be understood as a joking threat meant to entertain, rather than frighten. The latest intellectual quoted in this legal fight is none other than rapper Eminem. Earlier this week, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. quoted Eminem’s song “ ’97 Bonnie and Clyde,” in which Eminem seems to threaten to drown his wife. The lyric, “Dada make a nice bed for mommy at the bottom of the lake,” was included in a question to the lawyer for the government, Michael R. Dreeben, regarding whether lyrics in rap songs could be prosecuted. “This sounds like a road map for threatening a spouse and getting away with it,” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said. “You put it in rhyme and you put some stuff about the Internet on it and you say, ‘I’m an aspiring rap artist.’ And so then you are free from prosecution.”
Art can inspire. Art can teach. Art can express happiness, sadness, love, pain or ambivalence. And sometimes, art can make us feel like Godzilla. Robot Swarm, an exhibit featuring robots that will scatter in your path, will open on Dec. 14 in New York City at the National Museum of Mathematics (known as MoMath). The robots, which look like glowing, motorized horseshoe crabs, are built to interact with museum-goers, who stand on a glass platform above them. The robots can be set to “pursue,” where they follow the people on the platform like giant cockroaches, or to “run away,” which invites them to flee as you approach. Settings like “On Your Marks” tells the robots to line up by color like a miniature beetle army, ready to attack. The exhibit holds four visitors at a time, who wear a reflector pod on their shoulder that transmits their location to the robots.