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Leipzig - music centre of the world?

Joe and I were staying in Berlin itself for a week, but that only left seven extra days for Dresden, Meissen, Leipzig and Dessau. The addit­ion­al tours, therefore, had to be professionally organised and detailed.Discover Leipzig noted...Show More Summary

How Man Ray Made Art of Math and Shakespeare

While advanced math and Shakespeare combine to make a nightmare curriculum for some students, for artist Man Ray, one of the most intriguing minds of 20 th century art, they were “such stuff as dreams are made on,” or at least art could be made from. Show More Summary

A sterling silver dinner-set fit for a maharaja

One of the questions I was asking in Maharaja splendour in Canada was how many Princely States were there in India and how wealthy/influential were the maharajas. Wiki estimated that the number ranged from 160 princely states in 1872...Show More Summary

Decadent Rome

Bacchanal (1890) by the Croation painter Mato Celestin Medovi? (1857-1893). A well done painting about roman decadence. This subject was very popular in the late 19 th century.

Brisbane 1919 - racist red flag riots

This history comes from: The red flag riots: a study of intolerance by Raymond Evans, Riot Acts: The History of Australian Rioting by David Lowe, the SBS television programme Remembering Brisbane's anti-Russian Red Flag Riot and from my own Russian-Australian family. Show More Summary

Arts and Crafts, De Stijl and Bauhaus - chair design

I know a great deal about Arts and Crafts and a great deal about Bauhaus but nothing about De Stijl. This is strange.. since all three movements were European, and all three were late 19th century or early 20th century. So many thanks...Show More Summary

Facing African-American History Through African-American Art

When the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased Henry Ossawa Tanner’s painting The Annunciation in 1899, they became the first American museum to acquire a work by an African-American artist. That purchase announced a new era of recognition...Show More Summary

Vae Victis

An illustration by the French artist Paul Lehugeur (1854-1932?) for “Histoire de France en cent tableaux”, Paris, 1886. There is the Gaul chieftain Brennus weighing the Roman ransom money in 387 BC. According to Livy, during a dispute...Show More Summary

Literary visitor to Australian shores: Anthony Trollope

In this blog I've been interested in many famous citizens who made the long and dangerous trip to Australia by ship. In 1836 Charles Darwin visited Australia and wrote up the experience. Lola Montez knocked the socks off the diggers in the Victorian goldfields in 1855. Show More Summary

What Does Football Really Teach Us?

Football replaced baseball as the “national pastime” long ago (despite some arguments to the contrary). The hoopla surrounding the upcoming secular American holiday of Super Bowl XLIX Sunday testifies conclusively to that fact. The trickle...Show More Summary

British children evacuated overseas in 1940-41

Under the Empire Settlement Act of 1922 and 1937, the British Gov­ernment formally assisted private organisations to help people who wanted to settle in His Majesty’s Overseas Dominions. Most were adults.What happened to the children? The Fairbridge Plan for caring for British child migrants originated with Kingsley Fairbridge’s Vision Splendid. Show More Summary

Kind of Fairy Tale

Le droit du Seigneur (1874) by the Russian painter Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov (1844-1927). It's highly probale that this medieval right ever existed. Nevertheless the artist made up a real spectacle where an old man brings his young daughters to their feudal lord.

French art nouveau architecture in London: Michelin House 1911

Michelin Tyre Company started operating in Clermont-Ferrand in France in 1889. Art Nouveau architects perfected their style during the 1890—1910 years. Exactly in that era, in 1894, Monsieur Bib­end­um became the advertising symbol of...Show More Summary

"The Lunchbox" - two lonely Indian souls meet over a packed hot lunch.

Some critics have called the 2013 film “The Lunchbox” a romantic comedy, but I am not sure that there was much normal romance.. nor was it intentionally comic. Nonetheless I loved the film, which was directed by Ritesh Batra. This very restrained, understated story was set in Mumbai, surely the most noisy, crowded and unrestrained city on the planet. Show More Summary

Madame Cézanne: The Case of the Miserable Muse

If Mona Lisa is the smile, Madame Cézanne is the scowl. Hortense Fiquet, Paul Cézanne’s model turned mistress turned mother of his child turned metaphorical millstone around his neck, endures as a standard art history punch line—the muse whose misery won immortality through the many masterpiece portraits done of her. Show More Summary

1949 New York State - anti-black, anti-Jewish and anti-Soviet riots

Peekskill is in Westchester County New York. The town is on a bay alongside the Hudson River, not the sort of place I, a non American, would have selected for a pro-right wing, anti-black riot. But the population of the northern Westchester Hudson River communities was mixed. Show More Summary

Princess Sophia of Hanover, Queen of Britain?

Queen Mary II (d1694) had no children but her sister Anne (1665–1714), who inherited the throne after Mary died, was pregnant most years of her married life. Just one of these 18 live births survived infancy and, if he lived, would have eventually inherited his mother’s throne. Show More Summary

Botticelli in the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo’s paintings  aren’t the only ones in the Sistine Chapel.  A generation before he worked there, the best painters in Italy decorated it, and some of their paintings are still there. Pope Sixtus put Sandro Botticelli in charge of the … Continue reading ?

Spanish Colonial Vs American Indian arts and culture in Santa Fe

My students are always fascinated by the Golden Age of Spanish art and architecture; there was a powerful religious element that grew in importance with the Counter-Reformation and soon spread to territories conquered by Spain in the New World. Show More Summary

JFK: The Opera?

Whereas European countries were once able to tap into their history for subjects for opera, America’s never succeeded in doing the same. That problem comes in part from the decline in opera as a popular, public art form, but also perhaps from the lack of operatically epic subjects to be found in American history. Show More Summary

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