History

Section



Design History

Contemporary Cartographic Explorations Fuse with Historic Maps in Digital Works by Scott Reinhard

January 14, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Yellowstone National Park, all images courtesy of Scott Reinhard

Yellowstone National Park, all images courtesy of Scott Reinhard

Scott Reinhard combines contemporary land elevations with historic maps to create three-dimensional environments of a specific region, city, or state. To produce the digital maps, he pulls elevation data from the United States Geological Survey, which he then embeds with location information and merges with the original design of the old maps.

Producing these hybrids allows the Brooklyn-based graphic designer to gain a better sense of the topography found in large areas without aerial photography, while also developing a story from the cartographic information. He often selects locations he has personally visited or is generally curious about for his digitally produced works. “I am from Indiana, which always felt so flat and boring,” he explains to Colossal. “When I began rendering the elevation data for the state, the story of the land emerged. The glaciers that receded across the northern half of the state after the last ice age scraped and gouged and shaped the land in a way that is spectacularly clear.”

By visualizing the history that shaped a location’s composition at a large scale, Reinhard is able to notice trends in the environment in a more localized way. These forces affect how we traverse our daily environments, but are hard to comprehend without taking the time to zoom out, or look at from above. “As a visual person, I was most intrigued by the ability to visually harness data and create images that helped me gain insight into locations,” he continues. “I felt empowered by the ability to collect and process the vast amounts of information freely available, and create beautiful images.”

Reinhard was introduced to the methods he uses in his digital maps through Daniel Huffman’s website Something About Maps. You can see more of Reinhard’s digital works on Instagram and buy select high-quality prints, on his website. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

Teton Range

Teton Range

Yosemite

Yosemite

State of California

State of California

Southern California

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Glacier

Glacier

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

Acadia

Acadia

 

 



History

Edited Film Footage from 1890’s Paris Explores Some of the Everyday Thrills of Late 19th-Century Life

December 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Videographer Guy Jones (previously) slows down film from the late 1800s to early 1900s to more accurately match the speed at which modern footage is recorded and played. In addition to editing the pace of the century-old film, Jones also adds in sound effects to make the scenes more relatable. The editor creates foley to accompany the clomping of horses’ hooves, indistinctive background chatter of crowds, and the ringing of train bells.

In one of his Youtube videos from September, Jones edited together footage from Paris during the Belle Époque-era (1896-1900). The clips include visitors to the 1900 Paris Exposition standing on a moving walkway, a shot of the Eiffel Tower from a boat as it travels down the Seine River, and a short clip of boys playing with miniature sailboats in the Tuileries Garden. Passersby stare into the camera as they walk by in each scene, like a goateed man who walks across the screen near a minute and eight seconds into the clip, and then quickly returns for second appearance

The films were taken by the Lumière brothers, some of the first filmmakers in history. They are cited with making some of the first documentaries, albeit extremely short ones. You can see more of Jones’ video edits on Youtube. (via Kottke)

 

 

 



Design History Illustration

Who’s She: A Laser-Cut Guessing Game That Celebrates Accomplished Women Throughout History

December 3, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Who’s She is a new guessing game by Polish designer Zuzia Kozerska (previously) which celebrates the achievements of famous women across the world. The laser-cut wooden board flips up to reveal the faces of 28 painters, athletes, scientists, and astronauts, in a similar style the classic Guess Who? game did from the late 1970s. Instead of posing superficial questions such as “does your character have glasses?” the game asks players to inquire about achievements and contributions like “did she win a Nobel Prize?”.

Faces range from the early 20th-century painter Frida Kahlo to contemporary athlete Serena Williams, all illustrated in watercolor portraits by artist Daria Gołąb. The game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. You can follow the evolution of the project on Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design History

An Appliqued Solar System Quilt Used as a Teaching Aid in the Late 19th century

November 29, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

1876 Ellen Harding Baker’s “Solar System” Quilt, via The Smithsonian National Museum of American History

In the late 1800’s, teacher and astronomer Sarah Ellen Harding Baker spent seven years embroidering a star-covered quilt for her classroom in Cedar County, Iowa. In lieu of satellite images, the wool appliquéd quilt was created as a visual aid for her classroom to try to visualize the broad expanse of the universe. The design of the quilt is similar to illustrations in astronomy books of the time. It features a bright sun at its center, with several planets moving around the large star with their own orbiting moons, and Halley’s Comet streaking into the upper lefthand corner.

The piece was finished in 1876, a time when astronomy was presented as an “acceptable” interest for a women. This might have been the reason it was a popular theme for quilts of the time according to The Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where the quilt is currently stored. You can find several celestial examples in quilt historian Barbara Brackman’s Solar System Quilt post on her blog Material Culture. (via Open Culture)

 

 



Design History Illustration

Hundreds of Japanese Firework Illustrations Now Available for Free Download

November 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

In the early 20th-century English fireworks company C.R. Brock and Company (now known as Brocks Fireworks) published colorful catalogs displaying designs from Japanese companies such as Hirayama Fireworks and Yokoi Fireworks. Six catalogs of diverse pyrotechnic diagrams have been digitized and made available for download thanks to the city of Yokohama’s public library. If you don’t read Japanese, you can download each publication’s PDF by visiting their website, clicking one of the book’s English titles near the bottom of the page, and then clicking “本体PDF画像” link below the image. Each catalog is a tremendous and varied selection of the firework shapes and colors of the time, with several designs you might recognize no matter where you view contemporary fireworks displays. (via Open Culture)

 

 



Art Craft Design History

Art Historical Masterworks Come Alive at Annual Halloween Parade in Kawasaki, Japan

October 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Image via @_ellie_

Image via @_ellie_

Recently in Kawasaki, Japan, a sextet of famous paintings marched their way through the city’s annual Halloween parade— Picasso’s “The Weeping Woman,” Vincent van Gogh’s self portrait, Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” and of course Beast Jesus, the art world’s favorite botched masterpiece. Costume wearers presented themselves as the subjects of the famous paintings from the waist up, with fishnet stockings and heels from the waist down. The group won this year’s Pumpkin Award, taking home the grand prize and 500,000 yen, or around $4,400. You can see other prize winners of this year’s Kawasaki Halloween parade on their website, and view the paintings in action in a video by @_ellie_ below. (via Hyperallergic)

Image via @_ellie_

Image via @_ellie_

Image via @_ellie_

Image via @_ellie_

Image via @eurotwoner

Image via @eurotwoner

 

 



Art History

A Neoclassical Girl Towers Over Memphis in a Seven-Story Wheatpaste by Julien de Casabianca

October 10, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Julien de Casabianca (previously) is known for wheatpasting subjects from famous paintings onto public infrastructure as part of his ongoing Outings Project. Last month the French artist was invited to present a monumental installation at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee alongside an exhibition and workshop. De Casabianca’s seven-story mural features a melancholic girl pulled from William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1886 neoclassical painting “Au pied de la falaise,” which is included in the museum’s collection.

Like his previous interventions, de Casabianca wanted to give the subject a new home, while also liberating her from the structure of the painting’s frame. In her new position she gazes out over the city, surveying the landscape from the building’s fire escape. The work is part of Brooks Outside, a recent curatorial program that presents outdoor installations around the institution’s grounds and city. You can see de Casabianca’s new work at 62 E.H. Crump Blvd through November 2018 as weather permits, and follow his travels on Instagram. (via Brooklyn Street Art)