History

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Design History Photography

The Wild Architecture of Soviet-Era Bus Stops Photographed by Christopher Herwig

December 6, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Christopher Herwig has circled the former Soviet Union, exploring the most remote areas of Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine to find and photograph its unique bus stops. After the success of his first book Soviet Bus Stops, he decided to explore the subject matter again for his new follow-up collection Soviet Bus Stops Volume II. In this book Herwig focuses on Russia rather than its former Soviet counterparts, driving nearly 10,000 miles around the massive country finding its incredibly diverse transportation shelters.

These architectural forms are more deeply explored in a forward by architecture and culture critic Owen Hatherley, who details the government policies that have allowed the bus stops to remain. You can view more of the Jordan-based photographer’s work on his website and Vimeo. (via Design You Trust)

 

 



Art Design History

Art Enamel Pins Inspired by the Masters

November 24, 2017

Christopher Jobson

The Pin Museum has a great selection of enamel pins featuring images lifted from iconic paintings and sculptures from Dali to Van Gogh. Their current lineup includes over a dozen different designs, all available in their online shop.

Update: Select Pin Museum styles are now available in the Colossal Shop.

 

 



Animation History Photography

Surreal Animated Photos and Artworks by Nicolas Monterrat

November 21, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Illustrator and animator Nicolas Monterrat (previously) has brought his wild imagination to historical photographs and artworks that he sets in motion and shares on Ello. The short animations blend images borrowed from old catalogues, newspapers, and textbooks with snippets of abstract footage to create collage-like images that range from humorous to downright terrifying. You can follow more from the Paris-based artist on Tumblr. (via Cross Connect)

 

 



Art History

An Astonishingly Small Stone Carving That Has the Power to Change Art History

November 10, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

The Pylos Combat Agate, an intricately carved 3,500-year-old sealstone discovered in a the tomb of a Greek warrior. All images courtesy of The Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati

More than two years ago researchers from the University of Cincinnati unearthed a 3,500-year-old tomb in the southwest of Greece. The tomb belonged to a Bronze Age warrior nicknamed the “Griffin Warrior,” and contained many treasures, such as four gold signet rings, that have challenged previous notions about the origins of Greek civilization.

Perhaps one of the most important and visually captivating finds from the tomb occurred a full year after its discovery. Researchers uncovered a carved sealstone no larger than an inch and a half wide. The “Pylos Combat Agate” meticulously displays two warriors engaged in battle with bodies strewn at their feet, with some details less than a millimeter wide. The carving is perhaps most astonishing because it predates artistic skills that were not associated with Greek civilization for another millennium.

“What is fascinating is that the representation of the human body is at a level of detail and musculature that one doesn’t find again until the classical period of Greek art 1,000 years later,” said Jack Davis, Carl W. Blegen professor of Greek archaeology at the University of Cincinnati in UC Magazine. “It’s a spectacular find.”

In a testament to the anonymous artist’s skills, it’s also worthy to note that magnifying glasses were not believed to be used for another thousand years. This ability and sophistication shows that the inhabitants of the area were creating art with an interest and knowledge of representational art not previously imagined. This new discovery, explained Davis and fellow dig leader Shari Stocker, is a catalyst to completely reevaluate the timeline and development of Greek art.

You can read more about the miniature carving and the Griffin Warrior’s tomb in UC Magazine. (via Neatorama and The History Blog)

 

 



Art History

Watch as a 17th Century Portrait Emerges From 200 Years of Discolored Varnish

November 7, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Art historian, dealer, and BBC television host Philip Mould recently posted a video to his Twitter that reveals a gleaming 17th century painting hiding underneath two centuries of yellowed varnish. The protective finish is applied to protect paintings from wear, but over time will begin to discolor. In the short video Mould gently paints a solvent to remove this layer from the work’s surface, slowly brushing it away in circular strokes.

The only details known about the mysterious lady in red is from an inscription on the painting that notes she was 36 when the work was completed in 1618. You can watch Mould remove the last bits of varnish from the subject’s face in the short clip below, and follow more of his painting adventures on Twitter. (via Twisted Sifter)

 

 



Art Food History

The Wines of Gala: Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist Wine Guide Republished for the First Time in 40 Years

November 2, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Last published in 1978, The Wines of Gala is Salvador Dalí’s eccentric guide to wine grapes and their origin. Filled with over 140 appropriated artworks and collages collected and created by Dalí, the book is an equally surreal follow-up to TASCHEN’s reprinting of the artist’s cookbook Les Diners de Gala. In addition to Jean-François Millet’s The Angelus, which was a constant point of reference in Dali’s works, visuals include a Bacchus-like kitten, and a sort of tableau vivant featuring Dali himself.

In keeping with Dalí’s efforts to create artwork based on his emotions, memories, and dreams, the artist chose to organize the wines in the book by how they influenced his mood. The groupings are appropriately imaginative classifications including such section titles as “Wines of Frivolity,” “Wines of the Impossible,” and “Wines of Light.” A section in the book also outlines Dalí’s method of ordering wine by emotional experience, quoting the artist’s famous credo: “A real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets.”

The 296-page wine bible published by TASCHEN is now available for pre-order. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 

 



History Illustration

Digitally Explore a 1,000-Year-Old Illustrated Guide to Plants and Their Medical Uses

September 25, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Cotton MS Vitellius C III is the only surviving Old English illustrated book describing plants and their uses. Recently the British Library, along with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, digitized the 1,000-year-old illuminated manuscript. The ancient book features illustrations of plants and animals alongside various bodily issues that can be treated by their use or consumption. For example, a snake is illustrated by the passage on sweet basil, an herb that has been known to help fight poisonous bites.

Despite the manuscript being an extensive guide, there have been questions posed by several scholars regarding the piece’s exact use.

“Although it might seem like a practical guide to finding plants and preparing remedies, this manuscript’s uses are debated,” explains the the British Library’s Alison Hudson. “First, the illustrations are not always very useful for identifying plants and animals in the wild: take, for example, these depictions of strawberries and elephants [seen below].”

You can flip through the entirety of the guide’s illustrations on The British Library’s website. (via Open Culture and Hyperallergic)