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How Two Artists Turn Old Encyclopedias Into Beautiful, Melancholy Art

I find few things sadder than a print encyclopedia. Encyclopedias were once so stalwart and useful, sold as a stable repository of knowledge that would carry a family through life for years; the relic sets are now utter dead weight.Show More Summary

Day 1 in Polis

So, today was our first day working at the apotheke in Polis. We got off to a late start, and that might have been my fault. I woke up at 5:00 am, and was thinking about checking my email, and then … Continue reading ?

Dig at Malcolm X’s house finds 18th c. artifacts

An archaeological excavation at the house Malcolm X lived in during his teens and early 20s has surprisingly unearthed artifacts from the 18th century. Built in 1874, the house at 72 Dale Street in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood belonged to Ella Little-Collins, Malcolm’s half-sister who was his guardian after his mother was committed to a psychiatric [...]

This Day in Ancient History ~ ante diem vi kalendas februarias

ante diem vi kalendas februarias 6 A.D. — dedication of the Temple of Castor and Pollux by the future emperor Tiberius 98 A.D. — death of Nerva (?); dies imperii of Trajan ca. 303 A.D. — martyrdom of Devota 1887 — birth of Carl Blegen, future excavator of Pylos (etc.)

Reviewing the Dare Stone, clue to Lost Colony of Roanoke

The first Dare Stone was found by a California grocer named Louis E. Hammond who claimed to have discovered it while looking for hickory nuts in a swamp on the east bank of the Chowan River near Edenton, North Carolina, in September of 1937. He couldn’t read the inscription which appeared to be in an [...]

Witness the Controlled Chaos of Boston Traffic, As Filmed From a Streetcar in 1906

To make this short documentary of Boston streets, cinematographer Billy Bitzer stood on an electric streetcar operated by the Boston Elevated Railway and filmed what he saw. The vantage point offers a view of the way wagons, streetcars, and pedestrians jostled for space and dodged around each other in hectic early-twentieth-century traffic. Show More Summary

This Day in Ancient History ~ kalendae ianuariae

[I don’t think I’ve posted this feature on New Year’s Day in a decade] 291 B.C.– dedication of the temple to Aesculapius on the Tiber Island 194 B.C. — dedication of the temple to Vediovis on the Tiber Island 153 B.C.– beginning in this year (if not before) the Consuls would enter office on this date 7 B.C. […]

This Day in Ancient History ~ pridie kalendas januarias

pridie kalendas januarias 192 A.D. — death of Commodus; dies imperii of Pertinax 1855 — death of Karl Friedrich Hermann (Classicist and antiquary) 1910 — birth of Jeanne Robert (Hellenist)

Lost Caravaggio Nativity recreated

On the night of the 17th or early morning of the 18th of October, 1969, one or two men broke into the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily, and stole the Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence by Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio. They cut the monumental painting (9.7 by [...]

Met acquires Crown of the Andes

The Crown of the Andes, a rare surviving example of 17th and 18th century colonial Spanish gold work, the oldest and largest collection of emeralds in the world and the oldest surviving emerald and gold crown or tiara, has been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Famous and coveted for [...]

A Midcentury Composer’s Luminous Rainbow Wheels Representing Music Through Color

Russian composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a 20 th -century avant-garde pianist devoted to “creating a work capable of awakening in every man the slumbering forces of cosmic consciousness,” according to his journal. To achieve this mystical ideal, he set out to create sounds that no one had ever heard before. Show More Summary

This Day in Ancient History ~ ante diem v kalendas decembres

ante diem v kalendas decembres 43 B.C. — the lex Titia de triumvirato gave G. Julius Caesar Octavianus, Marcus Antonius, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus the title of triumviri rei publicae constituendae with near-dictatorial powers for a period of five years 8 B.C. — death of the poet Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) ca 110 A.D. — […]

This Day in Ancient History ~ ante diem xii kalendas decembres

ante diem xii kalendas decembres Mercatus — time to restock the cupboards after the Jupiterfest! 63 A.D. — shipwreck of St. Paul (by one reckoning) 270 (?) — birth of the future emperor Maximinus Daia (more) 284 A.D. — elevation of Diocletian to the rank of Caesar (more) 1846 — birth of Maurice Croiset (one of the […]

A Midcentury Composer's Luminous Rainbow Wheels Representing Music Through Color

Russian composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky was a 20th-century avant-garde pianist devoted to “creating a work capable of awakening in every man the slumbering forces of cosmic consciousness,” according to his journal. To achieve this mystical ideal, he set out to create sounds that no one had ever heard before. Show More Summary

Royal Collection restorers find hidden pooper

A painting in the Royal Collection has been hiding a man captured in the moment of answering a call of nature for more than a hundred years. A Village Fair with a Church Behind by 17th century Dutch painter Isack van Ostade is a vibrant, bustling scene of peasants exploring market wares in a fictional [...]

What Was Gay?

“You know,” observed a recent dinner guest, glancing around our living room between sips of his digestif, “there are a lot of strong women in this apartment.” I follow his gaze toward the massive tangerine-on-yellow She-Ra painting that anchors one end of the room—a tough lady if there ever was one. Show More Summary

How Texas Could Mess With Us

By last Friday, three days after the re-election of President Obama but before the final tally of electoral votes had been confirmed, a curious phenomenon was already taking place on the "We the People" website, which the Obama White House set up in 2011 as an easy way for Americans to petition the executive branch for the redress of grievances. Show More Summary

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