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24th December
Beagle 2. The British mission to Mars. News, images and weblog.

We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement. 'Thomas Jefferson's stirring words, written in 1776 in our Declaration of Independence, defined the promise of America--freedom and equality for all. The words rang hollow, however, for the millions of African Americans held in slavery prior to the Civil War, and later denied political, economic, educational, and social equality by unjust laws and social customs. This National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary tells the powerful story of how and where the centuries-long struggle of African Americans to achieve the bright promise of America culminated in the mid-20th century in a heroic campaign we call the modern civil rights movement. Many of the places where these seminal events occurred, the churches, schools, homes, and neighborhoods, are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are included in this itinerary.'

Bulfinch's Mythology, by Thomas Bulfinch, 1855.
'The religions of ancient Greece and Rome are extinct. The so-called divinities of Olympus have not a single worshipper among living men. They belong now not to the department of theology, but to those of literature and taste. There they still hold their place, and will continue to hold it, for they are too closely connected with the finest productions of poetry and art, both ancient and modern, to pass into oblivion. '
'We propose to tell the stories relating to them which have come down to us from the ancients, and which are alluded to by modern poets, essayists, and orators. Our readers may thus at the same time be entertained by the most charming fictions which fancy has ever created, and put in possession of information indispensable to every one who would read with intelligence the elegant literature of his own day.'

The Sibylline Oracles. 'As prophecy, the Pseudo-Sibyllines never rise to the level of Nostradamus. However they are a gold mine for students of Classical mythology and early first millenium Jewish, Gnostic and Christian beliefs. Notable are apocalyptic passages scattered throughout which at times seem like a first draft of the Biblical Book of Revelation. The Pseudo-Sibyllines were referenced by the early Church fathers and in one instance have a Christian code-phrase in successive first letters on each line (an 'acrostic'). These books, in spite of their Pagan content, have been described as part of the Apocrypha, although they do not appear on any of the canonical lists ... '

Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland, by Lady August Gregory, 1920.

Arthur Szyk: Artist for Freedom. 'Arthur Szyk (1894 - 1951) was one America's leading political artists during World War II, when he produced hundreds of anti-Axis illustrations and cartoons in aid of the Allied war effort. Throughout his career he created art in the service of human rights and civil liberties -- in his native Poland, in Paris where he was trained during the 1920s, and in America, the country he adopted in 1940 ... '

Al Hirschfeld, Beyond Broadway. 'Al Hirschfeld and Broadway have been inseparable for seventy-five years, since he published his first theatrical caricature in 1926. Yet for Hirschfeld there has always been a world beyond Broadway exciting his passions and focusing his vision. His intellectual horizons have embraced a wide variety of influences. He studied art in New York and Paris, traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, and began his professional career at the precocious age of eighteen in the budding movie industry. He took art classes at night, studied the art of the great European illustrators, and learned from such celebrated American masters as Charles Dana Gibson and John Held, Jr. During the 1920s he found inspiration in his friendship with Mexican caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias; they shared a studio, a love of graphic line, and a profound interest in the Harlem Renaissance. In 1928, Hirschfeld traveled to Russia to review the impact of the Revolution on the performing arts. In 1932, he followed Covarrubias to Bali, where the contrast of dark shadows and bright sunlight transformed his art. During the early years of the Depression he empathized with the aims of Works Progress Administration (WPA) artists, producing witty, stylized cartoons and powerful political prints supporting social reform. Soon, however, motivated more by art than politics, he eliminated social content from his work entirely, pursuing instead with single-minded devotion the spirited, irrepressible linear style for which he has become internationally renowned.'

Odd Architecture of the World.

Cincinnati Art Museum: European Painting. Virtual tour.

Hirano Hakuho: Before Mirror.

Hirano Hakuho: Reflection in Mirror.

Hirano Hakuho: Summer Rain, Beppu Hotsprings.

Hirano Hakuho: After Bath.

Architecture of New York, New York. New York buildings and cityscapes.

Monastery of the Holy Cross. Benedictine Monks of Chicago.

Los Angeles Photo Gallery.

Treasures from the Ark: 1700 Years of Armenian Christian Art.

Celebrate the Life of Oscar Wilde. 'Oscar Wilde, dramatist, wit and bon viveur, charmed, entertained, intrigued and often astonished his contemporaries. Now, one hundred years after his untimely death, the British Library brings you the opportunity to enjoy something of the man, his life and his works. '

Chapter & Verse: 1000 Years of English Literature.

The Ramakian. 'The Ramakian (The Glory of Rama), the national epic of Thailand, is a written poem that shares many features with works belonging to a purely oral tradition. The story of Rama, the hero, is practically unknown in the Western world, although it is central to the literature of India and mainland Southeast Asia, as well as China and Tibet ... '
Murals and masks of the Ramakian.

Maryland Firsts.

Telephone Wire Baskets from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Kuba Cloth Pillows. 'Our one-of-a-kind Kuba pillows use the bold geometries and rich textures of vintage hand-woven raffia cloth from the Kuba people of the Congo. Several kinds of raffia cloth are employed in these unique pillows. Flat-weave cloth is woven of fibers from the raffia-palm leaves. Left in its natural color or dyed with organic red, brown and ochre dyes, it is sewn into applique and reverse-applique, traditionally used in long wrap-around dancing skirts ... '

Mud Cloth Pillows from Mali.

Album of Watercolour Drawings of Australian Natural History, c. 1800.

Trading Places: The East India Company and Asia. 'Imagine an England without tea in china cups, without pepper, chintz or chutney; imagine an India without cricket or gin and tonic, a world without Bombay or Singapore.'
'Interested in finding out more about the East India Company and its effects on life in Asia and Britain? Then go on a Journey of Discovery ... '

Magic Pencil: Children's Book Illustration Today. 'It's easy to fall under the spell of a picture book; to open the pages of a favourite and to feel its magic ... '

Pictures of Health.

Dreams of Vietnam. Images of Vietnamese classical literature.

Hay-on-Wye. A 'book town' on the Anglo-Welsh border.

Fine Arts of Vietnam.

Psychedelic Republicans.

Two Newfoundland Songs.

Infrared Horsehead Nebula.

Orion's Great Nebula.

23rd December
Theater of Pompey - Theatrum Pompei Project. 'The Theatrum Pompei Project is a collection of resources that pertain to the monuments of Cn. Pompeius Magnus. Since his most famous projects arose during the fifties B.C., various aspects of that tumultuous decade have been treated. His monuments both defined and were defined by their contemporary context. This broad focus then allows the monuments of Pompeius to be studied abstractly and contextually. '
History and images.

Monstrous Craws & Character Flaws. 'For centuries great graphic artists have created enduring images that demonstrate the power of art as a vehicle for social and political commentary. Caricatures and cartoons are among the most lasting and effective of these images. These drawings, often depicting principal events and figures of the day, become in the hands of a master at once topical and timeless, unique and universal. Usually created under short deadlines for reproduction in a commercial format such as a newspaper or magazine, cartoons and caricatures reflect the artists' attempts to enlighten, amuse, provoke, or persuade their readers. In the effort to express themselves and engage their audience, these artists have produced original works of extraordinary historical and artistic value, shedding vivid light on their times, and, in retrospect, our own. '

A Petal from the Rose: Illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green.

Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, by Lady Augusta Gregory, 1904.

Aboard the Underground Railroad. 'The Underground Railroad refers to the effort--sometimes spontaneous, sometimes highly organized--to assist persons held in bondage in North America to escape from slavery. Historic places along the Underground Railroad are testament of African American capabilities. The network provided an opportunity for sympathetic white Americans to play a role in resisting slavery, and brought together, however uneasily at times, men and women of both races to begin to set aside assumptions about the other race and to work together on issues of mutual concern. At the most dramatic level, the Underground Railroad provided stories of guided escapes from the South, rescues of arrested fugitives in the North, complex communication systems, and individual acts of bravery and suffering in the quest for freedom for all.'

Paulinho: The Art of the Hand-Painted Sign. 'Not long after moving to Rio, I was amazed to discover, right next door, a small restaurant's painted sign that displayed the house specialties. The colors formed a perfect harmony. The lettering seemed to stand out in relief. Words were no longer just words but images in a painting, which was signed, "Paulinho Artes." Soon, I realized that the works of Paulinho were scattered throughout the city. I started to see Rio as a sort of very large, yet disorganized museum.'
'Wanting to know more, I called Paulinho who warmly invited me to visit his workshop, located in the Madureira neighborhood, the land of funk and samba, a Mecca of street trade. Since the bus dropped me off several blocks from the workshop's building, I could confirm en route that Paulinho's talent left little room for competition. Most of the neighborhood's businesses with painted signs had used his services ... '

Graphic City: Tunis. Photographs of the city.

Buenos Aires in the Fifties. Photography.

Photographs from the Collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Goyo: Woman Washing Her Hair.

Goyo: Young Woman in Summer Kimono.

Goyo: Woman Folding a Kimono.

Goyo: Woman Folding a Hand Towel.

Nek Chand - Figures from the Rock Garden, Chandigarh.

Wisconsin Concrete Park.

NYCLondon. Fab black and white photographs of New York and London.

The Ramayana. 'For the past two thousand years the Ramayana has been among the most important literary and oral texts of South Asia. This epic poem provides insights into many aspects of Indian culture and continues to influence the politics, religion and art of modern India. The following material is designed to provide an entry into the study of this tradition. We hope that it will be useful to teachers and students of Indian culture. '

Buttons of the Sixties. 'The bulk of this collection of buttons was donated by Tane Datta, who lived in Washington, DC during the Sixties and was active in the fight for high schoolstudent rights and the antiwar movement. '

Vietnam: An Antiwar Comic Book.

India: Pioneering Photographers 1850-1900. 'In the 19th century, India was at the forefront of photographic development, and this exhibition includes a wide range of arresting images many of which have never been seen in public before. The photographs are drawn from two of the most important collections of Indian photography: the British Library and the Howard and Jane Ricketts Collection.'

The Secret Life of Maps. 'Fascinating and unexpected stories in maps, old and new.'

Cupid and Psyche. 'Once a king and queen had three beautiful daughters. The two elder ones were so stunning it was only just possible to find words to describe them - but Psyche, the youngest, well, she just took away the power of speech entirely from all who set eyes on her. From all over her father's kingdom, and from abroad too tourists queued up in their thousands daily just to catch a glimpse of her. Rumours flew: some said she was Venus herself, come down to earth in mortal guise. Others said she was a new goddess of Love, who, because she was a virgin, was better even than Venus. Soon Venus' own temples and shrines were ignored as more and more people flocked to adore the princess. No one even bothered to sweep them or clean up the bird-droppings any more - and gradually the temples themselves became neglected ruins ... '

The World of Dante.
Map of Hell.

Alexander the Great: The Journey. 'By the time he was 30, Alexander III of Macedon had created an empire the likes of which the world has seldom seen. Stretching from the Balkan Mountains to the Indus River, it brought most of the known world under the command of this young and dynamic leader. But, just who was this enigmatic man? '
'Was he the person we know as Alexander the Great, a political visionary on an heroic search for glory . . . the folk hero of Jewish tradition . . . the "perfect knight" of medieval Europe . . . Superman as a real life hero? '

The Holy Grail in literature and art.
Aubrey Beardsley: The Achieving of the Sangreal.

Kuru Kalahari. San artists from Botswana.
'Deep in the Kalahari sandveld a group of San artists relive their ancient past when the veld was endless and game and food abundant. They revive it in strong forms and vibrant colours and express it in a yearning for better days that are forever gone. But also they show to their own people and to the world that they are still the "First People", not about to disappear or become assimilated. They are searching for their own (artistic) place in this new world order in which their land is all but lost, veldfood is scarce and the thrill of the hunt is rare. '

Kheto Lualuali. 'The artwork of the Mozambican artist Kheto Lualuali can be divided in seven different phases; according to him they represent his 'archives', made of different artistic forms and styles, or techniques that the artist tries to develop continuously. These phases are totally separate from each other, each has its own style, without mixture, although they refer to the same artist ... '

Alassane Drabo / Saliou Traore. Two artists from Burkina Faso. 'Both artists were fascinated by the similarities between artistic traditions of the Netherlands and Burkina Faso, such as the patterns and colors of Amsterdam canal houses that can be seen on certain masks of Burkina Faso.'

Skateboard. 'See skateboards dating from the 50s right up to the present day. The exhibit includes skate cars, slalom boards, vertical, downhill, longboards--even motorized boards--from 12 inches to 9 feet! The Earliest known skateboards were made by kids who attached the wheels from their roller skates to two-by-fours and since have put wheels on anything--skis, surfboards, fences, chairs, guitars, even toilet seats ... '

Skin Diving. 'The first skin divers ventured into a mysterious new world inhabited by sharks, sea lions, and strange creatures previously unknown to man. Armed only with crude, homemade face masks and gear, these pioneers would plunge to depths of 30 meters, holding their breath for up to 7 minutes to catch lobsters and abalone - and spear large fish. These frontiersmen discovered the techniques and invented the gear that gave birth to the sport of skin and scuba diving - now one of the world's most popular sports ... '

Dust Storm over Northern Mars.

Mars Engulfed.

The Topography of Mars.

Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. Chinese folklore.

Monkey King: The Journey to the West. ' "Monkey King",or known to the Chinese as "Journey to West",written by Wu Ch'eng-en(1500?-1582),a scholar-official, is one of the renowned classical Chinese novels about an allegorical rendition of the journey, mingled with Chinese fables, fairy tables, legends,superstitions, popuar beliefs, monster stories as well as whatever the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions. It was based on a true story of a famous Chinese monk, Xuan Zang (602-664). After years of trials and tribulations, he travelled on foot to what is today India, the birthplace of Buddhism, to seek for the Sutra, the Buddhist holy book. When he returned to China ,or the Great Tang as was called that time, he started to translate the sutras into Chinese, thus making a great contribution to the development of Buddhism in China. Monkey King is an indeed rebellious extraordinary being, born out of a rock, fertilized by the grace of Heaven, Being extremely smart and capable, he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist, being able to transform himself into seventy-two different images such as a tree, a bird, a beast of prey or a bug as small as a mosquito so as to sneak into an enemy's belly to fight him inside or out ... '

22nd December
Dante's Divine Comedy. A hypertext version.
'Welcome to the Research Edition of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. This site features three full editions of the Divine Comedy online: the original Italian text, and English translations by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Rev. H.F. Cary. Annotations from the Cary and Longfellow editions are also available. The texts can be viewed in a variety of enface, or 'facing page' formats.'
'You can use graphics from Gustave Doré, Salvador Dali, or Sandro Botticelli to enhance your reading of the Divine Comedy. There are also maps of the afterlife, and sample manuscript pages from printed versions of Dante. '

The Museum of Fred. 'The Museum of Fred is a time capsule, a place where the past is preserved for the future. Museums are among the few institutions that we have that can provide us with continuity in this ever-changing world. I hope to someday house my collection in an actual building, but museums are expensive to build and maintain. Fortunately, the Internet allows me to share these important works of art with you. Before the Internet only the wealthy could afford museums but now anyone can have a museum. I hope the Internet will allow for more diversity in the images and stories we'll be able to preserve for future generations. '

Stagestruck! Performing Arts Caricatures at the Libray of Congress. 'During the early twentieth century, performing arts caricature came of age as an art form in the United States as celebrities of song, stage, and screen were transformed into popular icons of American culture. Caricatures played a prominent role in the dramatic rise in circulation enjoyed by numerous popular magazines and daily newspapers after 1900, when a new generation of cartoonists and illustrators transformed famous faces into vivid likenesses that set the standard for future creators ... '

Cuchulain of Muirthemne, 1902. With a preface by W.B. Yeats.

Parisian Bakeries. 'The painted boulangerie decors, which date from the end of the 19th and early 20th century, are still numerous in Paris. First of all, it's their quality, quality of materials used, as with the decors themselves that have allowed for their preservation. The efforts of the shop owners too, since many of the decors have been maintained over the years, and of the government which has placed some of them on a list of protected historical monuments, have provided for their longevity.'

Berlin in the Twenties. Photography.

Advertising on Buenos Aires' Trees. 'Since the sixties, these small posters are part and parcel of the city's iconography and popular culture. Even though the messages were not all designed by the same person, there is a coherent aesthetic current; and they all have a telephone number ... '

Signs of Love: Brazilian Motels. 'The world "motel" in Brazil designates a hotel that rents rooms from one hour to twenty-four hours to couples who are in search of intimacy and discretion. They are normally located on the periphery of cities, along the highways (hence the term motel), but there are also some located in town ... '

Chicago in the Seventies. Photography.

Vollis Simpson: Windmill Environment, North Carolina.

Purple Rhino Imports: Township Art. Recycled art from southern Africa.
'One man's garbage is another man's treasure. Nowhere could this be more true than in South Africa. These wonderful art pieces are made from various wire, recycled cans and plastic bags. Community projects employ and support thousands of families, which have no other discernable means of employment. Purple Rhino Imports, Inc. helps insure fair wages and working conditions for these artisans. '

Purple Rhino Imports: Ndebele Dolls. 'The Ndebele are one of the smallest tribes in South Africa but they are easily the most colorful and distinctive. Artistic beadwork is one of the oldest and most elemental of the decorative arts, which among the Ndebele tell stories of life from infancy to death. Beadwork worn during different life stages indicates the individual's status within the Ndebele community.'

Goyo: Woman After Bath.

Goyo: Ducks.

Goyo: Hot Springs Inn.

Goyo: Woman Washing Her Face.

Drawings Related to Captain Cook's Second Voyage (1772-75).

Australia Terra Cognita. 19th century drawings of the island continent.

Album of 31 Original Watercolours of Australian Fauna, c. 1790.

American Museum of Beat Art.

Ansel Adams.

Berenice Abbott: Changing New York. "Living photography builds up, does not tear down. It proclaims the dignity of man. Living photography is positive in its approach; it sings a song of life."

Twins Seven Seven and Other Nigerian Artists.

Asiru Olatunde and Family: Aluminium Reliefs.

Painting from Ghana.

Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork.

Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods.

Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods.

Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century.

Farm Security Administration. 'For more than half a century, the photographs of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) have been regarded as the ultimate expression and achievement of the documentary movement in still photography. The FSA was a New Deal agency within the Department of Agriculture. An earlier part of the FSA was the Resettlement Administration (RA). The RA tried to help dispossessed farmers and unemployed factory workers by building planned communities for them and settling them there. The FSA's objective was to help poor farmers buy and run their own farms. Roy Stryker was put in charge of a group of photographers whose job it was to make pictures of the people the RA intended to help ...
'... The FSA's photographs of desperate and dispossessed people have become American icons. '

Diane Arbus. Photography.

Richard Avedon. " Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is...the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own."

Chesters Walled Garden. 'Chesters Walled Garden is a 2-acre 18th Century garden, surrounded on three sides by sheltering woods of beech and yew, and open to the south with views over the lovely Tyne valley. Situated next to Chesters Roman Fort, it is on the line of Hadrian's Wall - the site of a Roman road actually crosses the garden. For over 200 years the fruit and vegetable garden for Chesters house, it has now been laid out as a unique herb and herbaceous garden. It boasts one of the largest collections of herbs in the country growing ebulliently behind neatly clipped box hedges ... '

The Senhouse Roman Museum. 'This museum contains the largest grouping of Roman military altar stones and inscriptions from any site in Britain and unique examples of Celtic religious sculpture.'
'The collection, which was begun by the Senhouse family in the 1570s, is the oldest in the country, and is of international importance.'

The National Trust. British heritage.

National Trails. Guide to public footpaths in Britain.