plep Archive

25th July
Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium BC from the Mediterranean to the Indus. 'This exhibition explores through art the emergence of the world's first city-states and empires in Syria and Mesopotamia during the third millennium B.C. and relates these developments to artistic and cultural connections stretching from the eastern Aegean to the Indus valley and Central Asia. The works of art, many brought together for the first time, illustrate the splendor of the most famous sites of the ancient world including the Royal Graves of Ur, the palace and temples of Mari, the citadel of Troy, and the great cities of the Indus Valley civilization. The exhibition includes approximately 400 works of extraordinary sculpture, jewelry, seals, relief carving, metalwork, and cuneiform tablets. '

The Photography of Charles Sheeler. 'The first major exhibition of photographs by the American artist Charles Sheeler (1883-1965), this show includes work from each of the artist's major photographic series, from the rough-hewn surfaces of his Doylestown house to the Manhattan skyline, from the swelling forms of a nude body to the industrial landscape of an automotive works. Also included are a number of Sheeler's little-known late photographs, which were employed in place of traditional sketches as "notes in shorthand" for his paintings of the 1940s and 1950s.'

Charles Sheeler's Contemporaries.

Celebrating Saint Petersburg. 'Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the founding of Saint Petersburg, the exhibition features the Metropolitan Museum's principal holdings of Russian and European art, spanning the period from ca. 1700 through the early 20th century, that were either made in the imperial Russian capital or found in former Saint Petersburg collections. '

The Tibetan Tanka Exhibit. 'The Museum of Anthropology posesses 48 Tibetan Tankas acquired by the Koelz Expedition. These are from a number of monasteries in Ladakh and represent various time periods and Buddhist sects ... '

Monet in the Twentieth Century.

History of New York's Central Park.

The Stevens Collection of Chinese Silk Gowns.

The Robinson Collection of Asian Ceramics.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet: Mandala Sand Painting. 'For five days Tibetan Lamas of the Drepung Loseling Monastery painstakingly creating a Mandala Sand Painting at Berea.'

Hopi Kachinas. 'The Museum has a small collection of Hopi Kachinas. Most of these are from the estate of Harold and Louise Corbusier. The Corbusier specimens were collected prior to 1950 and are a fine example of the carving style common in the first half of this century. Some of the other dolls are of more recent origin. Where possible an identification of each doll is provided.'

Sago Spathe Painting. 'Sago spathe paintings are made by the Sawiyano people of East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea. They are used in both the nunu, young boy's initiation, and also the yafi-nu, men's ritual, houses. These ritual houses are not permanent structures, they are constructed anew when it is felt that another set of initiations is needed. The paintings figure in the Sawiyano creation myth. Their importance in ritual derives from their secret significance. The creator Awoufaise first brought paintings into being, then created the Sawiyano (male) ancestors from the paintings. This knowledge is imparted to men at the yafi-nu ritual house, prior to the first initiation connected with that ritual house. These are the most-sacred of the three types of Sawiyano ritual houses.'

The Cook Pounder 'The Cook Pounder is a Northwest Coast Indian club collected in Nootka Sound during the third voyage of Captain James Cook in 1778.'

Manet and the American Civil War. 'In June 1864, an important episode in the American Civil War took place in international waters off the coast of Cherbourg, France: the duel between the United States warship U.S.S. Kearsarge and the Confederate commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama. The battle captivated the imagination of the French artist Edouard Manet, who painted the victorious Kearsarge at Boulogne-sur-Mer. '

Wonder Bound: Rare Books on Early Museums.

The Underwater Web: Cabling the Seas. 'Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, was a typical telegraph relay station, small and isolated. Yet the cables that left this cabinet stretched across the sea to stations thousands of miles away, and through them to the major cities of the world ... '

Voyages: Journeys of the Imagination. 'Throughout time, voyagers and explorers have drawn readers to unknown lands through stories in song and legend, early manuscripts, and printed books. Then as now, these intriguing accounts of discovery and faraway places broadened the world view of those left at home.'
'Voyages of discovery can be of many kinds: a physical journey to an unknown place, a mental exploration of new or familiar territory, or a wholly new episode of creative thought. All three are explored in Voyages, an exhibition spanning five centuries of rare books, manuscripts, art, and artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.'

Celestial Themes in Art and Architecture. Via Quiddity.

Molecular Expressions: Images from the Microscope. Via Eclogues.

City of Kingston Historical Images. Via boynton.

Balthus: The Golden Days.

Balthus: Nude with Arms Raised.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre Gallery.

24th July
Art as Cosmology: Cheyenne Women's Rawhide Painting.

Exploring the Mandala. 'In Tibetan Buddhism, a mandala is an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing some aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of some guiding principle. Tradition dictates the shapes, sizes and colors of these objects. There are many different mandalas, each with different lessons to teach. Most mandalas contain a host of deities as well as inanimate objects ... '

Mandala. A dissection and discussion of the different components of the mandala; excellent.
'Mandala is Sanskrit for circle, polygon, community, connection. The Mandala is a symbol of man or woman in the world, a support for the meditating person. The mandala is often illustrated as a palace with four gates, facing the four corners of the Earth. The Mandala shown here is connected with the Buddha Vajrasattva, who symbolises the original crystalline purity. In the centre is a lotus blossom with eight petals, resting on a bed of jewels. In the next place are the walls of the palace with gates towards the four corners of the earth. The gates are guarded by four angry doorkeepers. Before the meditating person arrives at the gates, she must, however, pass the four outer circles: the purifying fire of wisdom, the vajra circle, the circle with the eight tombs, the lotus circle ... '

Early Tibetan Mandalas.

Celebrity Caricature. 'In the late 1990's the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG Library) made a special effort to collect materials on caricature and cartoon in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 1998 exhibition "Celebrity Caricature in America", curated by Wendy Wick Reaves. Among our holdings are more than 80 issues of Vanity Fair, as well as the Raymond W. Smith Collection of Caricature and Cartoon Books of over 500 items. Displayed here is just a small sample from our collection, featuring Al Hirschfeld, Miguel Covarrubias, some of their contemporaries, and works from Vanity Fair ... '

The Making of a Homemaker. 'Sustaining a home and healthy family was a full time job for middle class women in late nineteenth century America. Daniel Wise articulated the popular sentiment when he proclaimed, "Home is woman's world, as well as her empire". Cooking, cleaning, and child rearing were seen as women's work. To some, "Comfort for her family is provided even at the expense of many an exhausted nerve, and an aching heart". How did they handle the daunting work without the aid of microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners and carpools? Wealthier women might rely on servants while other matrons bore the brunt of work themselves. However, to almost all, a comprehensive domestic guidebook could be indispensable ... '

Science and the Artist's Book. 'Science and the Artist's Book is an exhibition which explores links between scientific and artistic creativity through the book format. In 1993, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries and the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) invited a group of nationally recognized book artists to create new works of art based on classic volumes from the Heralds of Science collection of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology, a part of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' Special Collections. The resulting artist's books, each inspired by the subject, theories or illustrations of the landmark works of science with which they are paired, offer a number of witty, imaginative, and even poignant insights into the creative side of scientific research ... '

"Make the Dirt Fly!": Building the Panama Canal.

Frontier Photographer: Edward S. Curtis.

An Odyssey in Print: Adventures in the Smithsonian Libraries. Wonderful.

From Smithson to Smithsonian: The Birth of an Institution.

Maori Art at the British Museum. 'June 26, 1998, was a special day in the 250-year history of the British Museum. After many years in storage, the Museum's Maori collections were at last on view-not as mere ethnographic specimens or curiosities but as Maori taonga (treasures) and works of art. Titled simply Maori, this significant event took place not at the Museum of Mankind, which closed at the end of 1997, but in the British Museum itself. Maori performers in traditional costume and with moko tattoo designs painted on their faces danced and sang in the very shadow of the Elgin Marbles. This day in which the art of the Maori was presented was a significant advance in the Museum's integration of tribal art into its galleries ... '

Frans Lanting. Wildlife photographer.

Art Wolfe. Landscape and wildlife photographer.

He Wahi Whakairo. Maori carvings. Online samples and gallery.

The Gutenberg Bible at the Ransom Centre. 'The Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed with movable type, is one of the greatest treasures in the Ransom Center's collections. It was printed at Johann Gutenberg's shop in Mainz, Germany and completed in 1454 or 1455. The Center's Bible was acquired in 1978 and is one of only five complete examples in the United States.' Via MeFi.

The American Gallery of Psychiatric Art. Via MeFi.

Bad Girl Movie Posters. Via MeFi.

The Photomontages of Hannah Hoch. Via Art for Housewives.

Baseball Cards. Via Internet Weekly.

Bertha Lum. Via Internet Weekly.

Propaganda Art. Via Internet Weekly.

A Menu of Possibilities. Via iconomy.

Picturing Childhood: The Evolution of the Illustrated Children's Book. Via iconomy.

Shauna Peterson. Via iconomy.

Christian Northeast. Via iconomy.

Lisa Petrucci. Via neurastenia.

'The Raven' Illustrated by Dore. Via Dublog.

First World War Art. Via Dublog.

Uranium Glass. Via Dublog.

Sacred Sites. Via mysterium.

The Welsh Fairy Book. Via headlessness.

Church Layouts. Via headlessness.

The Sheraton, Gary. ' "The Best Place For A Taste Of The 80's - TODAY!" shouts the brochure for the defunct Sheraton Gary. Existing in a time warp since it closed two decades ago, it is still the best place in town for a taste of the 80's today ... ' Via gmtPlus9.

Westray, Orkney. Local website for one of the most remote of the British Isles.
'Westray is one of Orkney's most prosperous isles, known for its farming and fishing fleet. It has its own community school which serves pupils from age 5 to age 15, The beaches are clean, the air pure and the roads virtually traffic free ... '

Wild Wonders. 'Learning animal's behavior to capture intimate images of another world.'

Bhutan: The Last Place on the Roof of the World.

Robot. 'Eyebeam will host ROBOT, a four-day festival featuring a robotic talent show, exhibition, workshops, presentations, party and massage parlor. ROBOT will take place from July 12 – 15, 12-6pm daily at Eyebeam's Chelsea facility located at 540 West 21st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. The four-day event will examine current applications of robotic technologies on creative practices, activism, consumerism and physical intimacy ... '

Michael Moore.

John Pilger.

23rd July
Animal Locomotion. The photography of Eadward Muybridge.

Mathew Brady's Portraits.

Visible on Our Skins, Close to Our Hearts. Maori tattooing.

Mad in America. A history of mental illness and its treatments in the United States.

Tibet in Black and White. 'In recent photography, Tibet has usually appeared in color. In the brilliant sunlight of the high plateau, blues are bluer and reds redder; Tibet is a colorists dream. But the quality of light in Tibet also reveals itself in a perpetually changing play of brightness and shadow, whose gradations of intensity are less well captured in color than in the medium of black in white. In my photographic efforts during my visits to Tibet over the years, therefore, I have sought to attend primarily to the chiaroscuro revelations of landscapes, persons, and artifacts. The images presented here reflect aspects of journeys in 1990 and 2002. In 2002, this work was undertaken in conjunction with the Tibetan Himalayan Digital Library Project based at the University of Virginia.'
Via Himalayan Art.

Coffee Shop Classics.
Roadside americana, via Roadside Peek.

Man Ray Photo.
Smiling woman.
Woman with snake.
Dead man in coffin.

Sixties Photography.
Mick Jagger by David Bailey.

Ephemera Now.

Deja Vu: AIDS in Historical Perspective. (CBC, 1996)
' "A mysterious epidemic, hitherto unknown, which had struck terror into all hearts by the rapidity of its spread, the ravages it made, and the apparent helplessness of the physicians to cure it." A quote about AIDS? No. It's about the appearance of syphilis in the early sixteenth century. Writer Colman Jones finds the two diseases share issues, from science and public health to civil liberties and sexuality ... '

Selected Letters by Florence Nightingale.

Dying to Have a Baby - The History of Childbirth. 'Two great curses haunted natural childbirth from ancient times, the shrunken pelvis and obstructed labour. With urbanization and hospitalization, puerperal fever became common. Because so often mothers died in childbirth and children in infancy, attitudes towards birth and babies were different from ours. Parents expected that children would die in infancy, and death in childbirth was an expected tragedy ... '

Riches of Richmal. Just William. Via Frizzy Logic.

Crace Collection of Maps of Britain. Via the Map Room.

The Folklore of Britain. Via neurastenia.

Venetian Masks. Via neurastenia.

Dissecting a Dogfish Shark. Via MeFi.

Communist Store Windows. Via iconomy.

Anatomy Books. Via Dublog.

Virgil Finlay. Weird Tales illustrator. Via Dublog.

Electron Microscope Image Gallery. Via Monkey Media Report.

Amboise Pare: Journeys in Diverse Places. 'Pare relates his experiences as an army physician during the sixteenth century.'

Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Indian and Buddhist cave art.

Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun. A virtual temple for the study of Zen.

Art of the Samurai. Via
Netsuke masks.
Sagemono pipe cases.

Quiet Mountain Tibetan Buddhist Resource Guide. Extensive Tibetan Buddhist gateway.

Ngai Tahu. 'Welcome to the Ngai Tahu Web Sites. We are an indigenous Maori people of New Zealand. We invite you to learn about our culture, our history, and our people in New Zealand today.'

Kura. 'A fantasy story based on the Maori equivalent to elves, etc. ' Via

Maori Myths and Legends.
How the kiwi lost his wings.

Teachers Against Prohibition.

Battlefield Conversions. 'Reason talks with three ex-warriors who now fight against the War on Drugs.'

22nd July
Visible Earth.

Russian Art.
Natalia Anikina.
Birth of kibutz.
Execution of a priest.

William Bloom: Images of Africa.

Spirit of the Samburu People. Photos from Kenya.

They Still Draw Pictures. Drawings made by Spanish children during the Spanish Civil War.

Pierre Daura: His Life and Work. 'Pedro Francisco Daura y Garcia was born February 21, 1896, on the island of Minorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, and moved shortly thereafter with his family to Barcelona, Catalonia. He was known in Catalonia as Pere and later, outside of Spain, as Pierre. His father was a violinist with the Barcelona Liceo Orchestra and his godfather was the famed cellist Pablo Casals ... '
Pierra Daura: Self Portrait as Loyalist Soldier. Spanish Civil War.

Images of the Spanish Civil War from the Illustrated London News.

The Wunderland Weekly News.

Inuit Drawings.

Virtual Thangka Gallery.

Thangka Paintings from Tibet and Nepal.

Japanese Lifestyle Photos.

Bush Protest Art.

Birth of Feminism Poster. 'Women producers have been trying for years, without luck, to convince movie and tv studios to make a film about the feminist movement of the 1960's and 70's. We think they're lucky Hollywood HASN'T gone for it.'

Send Estrogen Pills to the White House. Poster.

The Real Homeland Terror Alert System.

Anatomically Correct Oscar Billboard.

Kujo Brothels. Photos. 'The quiet, old-fashioned neighbourhood of Kujo, in southern Osaka is famous for it's brothels. Both the customers and the working girls look pretty down on their luck and all the shops have help wanted signs on them.'

Sculptural Robotics. Thanks to madamjujujive.

Mont St. Michel. Via MeFi.

Blue Marble. 'This spectacular "blue marble" image is the most detailed true-color image of the entire Earth to date. Using a collection of satellite-based observations, scientists and visualizers stitched together months of observations of the land surface, oceans, sea ice, and clouds into a seamless, true-color mosaic of every square kilometer (.386 square mile) of our planet. These images are freely available to educators, scientists, museums, and the public. Preview images and links to full resolution versions—up to 21,600 pixels across—are located below.'

The Cat's Paw Nebula.

21st July
Pepys' London. 'Pepys was born in London on 23 February 1633. He was a senior naval administrator and had a wide range of interests. He died on 26 May 1703.'
'His famous diary, kept between 1660 and 1669, gives unique insights into contemporary London.'
'This exhibition illustrates different aspects of his life. It combines objects of the period with extracts from the diary. To explore the 12 exhibition themes, select from the menu to the right.'

Navin Kumar. Himalayan art.

Virtual Ani. 'A thousand years ago the city of Ani was the capital of an Armenian kingdom that covered much of present day Armenia and north-eastern Turkey. At that time Ani had a population of at least 100,000 and its wealth and renown was such that it was known as the "city of a thousand and one churches". Built on a spectacular site - a plateau almost encircled by deep ravines - Ani's many churches, palaces and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced buildings in Europe at that time. '
'Ani is now a ghost city, uninhabited for some four centuries and marooned since 1921 in a Turkish military zone right on the border with modern Armenia. Today's visitors to Ani must explore the ruins under the supervision of armed soldiers and most of the extensive site is now off-limits. Enter this website for a building by building description of Ani, plus some of the medieval Armenian churches, monasteries and castles that are in the vicinity of the city and that are now within Turkish controlled territory. Click inside the entrance arch of the city gate to enter.'

The Country of Georgia. Photos and story. 'After living overseas for the past 10 years, the tropics had become imbedded into my psyche. The intensity of light, for example, the contrasting shadows of midday, all these things were the things that I thought I could not do without. Marie my wife, who works as a development worker, and I were discussing new places where we could move, we were due for a change ... '

Introduction to Armenian Rugs. 'Armenians are the earliest known weavers of oriental rugs. Ulrich Schurmann, a reknowned expert on oriental rugs, believes that the Pazyryk rug, the world's oldest known rug (5th cent. B.C.), can be attributed to the late Urartians, or early Armenians, based on the rug's structure, design, and motifs.'
'Marco Polo and Herodotus are among the many observers and historians who recognized the beauty of Armenian rugs. They noted the rugs' vivid red color which was derived from a dye made from an insect called "ordan" (Arabic "kirmiz"), found in the Mount Ararat valley. The Armenian city of Artashat was famous for its "ordan" dye and was referred to as "the city of the color red" by the Arab historian Yaqut ... '

The Anonymous Portrait Gallery. 'Anonymous art is wonderfully simple. What's there is what the artist put into it, no more or less. Intentions and creative contexts, ethnicity, mental diagnosis, educational background, the artist's art-historical role -- all are ciphers. In place of biography there is mystery, and the creative process speaks for itself to viewers who are as anonymous to the artist as the artist is to them. '

A World of His Own. 'Joe "40,000" Murphy was just a regular guy from Bridgeport, but he lived his life as one long special event, and he built a private monument to it -- a classic folk-art environment -- in his three-flat on 34th Street, near the heart of the working-class enclave's old Lithuanian section. '
'His enormous assemblage of images -- snapshots, publicity stills, cartoons and other printed matter -- documents a fabulous world of banquets and braided uniforms, mink-clad actresses and showgirls in evening wear, ball players and professional wrestlers, with Sammy Davis, Louis Armstrong, James Durante , Jumbo the Elephant, Joe E. Brown , Ann Blyth, Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Bob Hope , Roy Rogers, Jayne Mansfield, James Arness and a very young Marilyn Monroe all passing through it. '

The Lakefront Anonymous Art Gallery. 'Chicago is home to what might be the greatest collection of outdoor stone carving in urban America. Few know it exists. And now the government is wiping much of it out. '

Native Pacific Northwest Sculptures & Masks.

Native Pacific Northwest Box of Treasures.

Hovhannes Aivazovsky. Armenian artist. Galleries.
'Hovhannes (Ivan) Aivazovsky is the most interesting phenomenon of 19th century art. He gained international fame at the age of 25, was elected a member to five European Academies and was awarded the medal of the French Legion of Honor. Delacroix referred to him in reverence and Turner called him a genius. '
'Aivazovsky's name is intricately bound with the sea. "Perhaps no one in Europe has painted the extraordinary beauty of the sea with so much feeling and expressiveness as Aivazovsky has", writes V. Adasov ... '

Martiros Saryan. Armenian artist. Article and galleries.
'Saryan was one of the plead of major cultural figures of Armenia at the turn of the century. His work, in common with the library contributions of O. Tumanian and A. Isaakian, those of T. Toramanian and A. Tamanian in architecture, and of Komitas in national music, set the standard of national art, and laid the foundations for its flowering in the Soviet period. '
'Hi was born in 1880 and dead in 1972. In the course of his long life, Saryan experienced much sorrow and much joy. He witnessed the two World Wars and the tragedy of genocide in Armenia in 1915. He suffered the destruction of many of his paintings, and the death of his beloved son ... '

Backyard Babies. A portrait of newly hatched robins.

The Cataloochee Valley. Photos and story from the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.

Japan's Strange & Unique. Photos.

Japanese Shrines. Photos.

Japanese Teens & Students. Photos.

Art of the Yoruba, Nigeria. 'am a Yoruba by birth (born in Akure, western region) and Igbo by heritage. As a native Onitsha Igbo, I trace my ancestry to Eze Chima, a prince who rebelled against the Benin royal dynasty and emigrated from the kingdom. Other Igbos that trace their lineage to Eze Chima include Onicha-Ukwu, Onicha-Olona, Onicha-Ugbo, Obior, Issele-Ukwu, Issele-Mkpima, Issele-Azagba, Ezi, Abeh and Obamkpa ... '
(Scroll down for an awesome collection of images).

Stanley Szwarc. 'Stanley Szwarc's brilliance comes across in every object he makes, their facets reflecting the complexity of his artistic vision as much as they do the light. In the dozen or so years since he starting piecing together scraps collected at the machine shop where he works, Szwarc has made thousands of boxes, vases, crosses, key fobs, earrings and other objects, no two alike. A musician and bookkeeper before he emigrated from Poland, Szwarc is diffident about his talent, but there is no mistaking the creativity behind his flights of ornamentation. '

Historical Boys' Clothing. Thanks to Queen B.

Soviet Poster Collection. Links to more posters here.

Imagine. A weblog about photography and other things. Thanks to Philip of African Aperture for the pointer.

Social Sea Lions. Photos. 'When I went on the Adventure Education trip, I had several goals. One goal was to learn about the wildlife of the San Juan Island's. My favorite wildlife quickly became the sea lions. We saw them almost every day. We saw sea lions on our way to Spencer Spit. Some swam gracefully in the water,like sleek furry bullets, others sunned themselves lazily on warm rocks. Sea lions are the laziest things I have ever seen. When the boats got too close, they roared and bellowed at us! ... '