plep Archive

30th June
Inuit and Englishmen: The Nunavut Voyages of Martin Frobisher.

The Holy Men of India. Articles and photo gallery.
'Since the visit of the Alexander, the holy men of India have held a mysterious position to the westerners. Indeed, within India itself, their role is often misunderstood, although revered. The Naga Sadhus who descend the Himalayas during the Kumbh Mela are not the same as those worshipped as deities! The former practice cult religions such as Shakta or Naga and are typically known as Sadhus or ascetics. They are detached from life, although not necessarily devoid of its pleasures (like narcotics, sex etc.) The Sadhus practice rituals involving fire, water, yoga, and meditation, and beg for a living, following the lifestyle of Lord Shiva ... '

India Through the Lens: Photography 1840-1911.

Boris Mikhailov.

Man Ray: Four Albums.

Richard Prince.

The Gorgons. In mythology and art.

Understanding South Asian Art. Ganesha on the front page.

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Excerpts.
Initiation and circumcision. 'We lived in our two huts thirteen in each while our wounds healed. When outside the huts, we were covered in blankets, for we were not allowed to be seen by women. It was a period of quietude, a kind of spiritual preparation for the trials of manhood that lay ahead. On the day of our reemergence, we went down to the river early in the morning to wash away the white ocher in the waters of the Mbashe. Once we were clean and dry, we were coated in red ocher. The tradition was that one should sleep with a woman, who later may become one's wife, and she rubs off the pigment with her body. In my case, however, the ocher was removed with a mixture of fat and lard ... '

Photographic Atlas of Plant Anatomy.

Perfect DNA. 'Perfect DNA art is your unique genetic fingerprint ready to hang on your wall. In this century don't get your portrait printed, get your Perfect DNA on your wall. '

The Rambler by Samuel Johnson, 1751.

The Motown Historical Museum. 'In the 1960's an independent record company in Detroit, Michigan began creating and marketing hit records better and in larger volume than any record company in the world. The name of this record company was Motown. The recording techniques that were developed by Motown in the mid 60's were part of the formula for the company's success. Even today, many of the recording techniques used find their roots in this "Motown Sound" of the 60's. The Motown Historical Museum includes the original Hitsville USA building that housed Motown's original recording studio on West Grand Blvd. in Detroit ... '

Motown. Official site.

Ritual Messengers. 'This exhibition unveiled treasures from the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. These masks, statues, figurines and carvings from the Tervuren Museum's vast collections - many of which had never been shown before - undoubtedly represent some of the highlights of Central African art ... '

Masterpieces of 20th Century Chinese Painting.


Teabag Folding Gallery. Via ikastikos.

Curious Objects. Via ikastikos.

The Excitement Machine: Star of Texas. Courtesy of the Excitement Machine.

Posada. Via iconomy.

The New York Botanical Garden Collection. Via neurastenia.

Burne-Jones, Fairy Painting and Maidens of Death. Via neurastenia.

Les Belles Cartes Postales. Via Solipsistic.

Doc Savage Pulp Magazine Cover Scans 1933-49. Via MeFi.

Images of Medieval Art and Architecture. Via MeFi.

Bondi Beach.

Surfasaurus. Sid the surfing dinosaur.

Art or Crap?

In the coils of the naga. 'In Thailand, legends abound of a gigantic, crested serpent called the naga. but could this mythological beast be a real, flesh-and-blood creature? '

Ghostwatch. 'Ten years ago, the BBC's transmission of ghostwatch on halloween night, 1992, terrified the nation, raising some important issues about television's relationship with its audience.'

In the footsteps of the Geordie Bigfoot.

Alien big cats in Britain.

Nine out of ten German euro notes have cocaine traces.

Lincolnshire village ponders gnome mystery.

28th June
The Art of Ndebele Beadwork.
'Razor blades, telephone poles, car registration numbers - what could these have in common? They are amongst the variety of ordinary objects which form part of the everyday experience of people, but for Ndebele artists, they provide inspiration for the development of bold designs for beadwork and wall painting ... '
' Outside a decorated house, a Ndebele matron sits respendent in the beadwork appropriate to her status. She wears a linga kobe on her head, an isigolwana around her neck, an itshogolo apron and a beaded blanket, and carries a beaded dancing stick. '

The Craft of Basketry in Southern Africa.
'The ancient and often beautiful craft of basketry is part of the wider technique of basketwork and is found practically all over the world. The basis of the technique is the interlacing or sewing together of two sets of elements. Very often both of them are flexible, but sometimes, as in wickerwork. only one is. There are several variations in the way this can be done ...'

Baule Cloth from the Ivory Coast.
'For centuries finely woven cloth has been important in trade extending from village producers to the great market centres of West Africa, from the Niger bend to the coast. The finest silk cloths, such as Ashante kente, were the prerogative of chiefs and kings; less rare cotton cloths formed the everyday apparel of ordinary men and women. Among the most interesting regional cloths are those made by the Baule people of central Ivory Coast ... '

The Ethnographic Lens: Images from the Realm of a Rain Queen.
'Between 1936 and 1938 social anthropologists Eileen and Jack Krige undertook intensive fieldwork in the north-eastern regions of South Africa among the Lobedu people whose chief Modjadji was widely acclaimed as a rainmaker.'
'In 1943 their book 'The Realm of a Rain Queen' was published and has remained in print ever since. Some of the photographs taken by the Kriges were used as illustrations in the book but many remained unpublished and little known ...'

An Introduction to Bunraku.
'Bunraku puppet theater, which is the most refined form of puppetry in the world, is a combination of three skill:Puppet manipulation, joruri recitation and shamisen music, each of which requires many years of training to master. ' 'The dolls that appear in a bunraku puppet show are about half life-size. Their eyes move, their eyebrows rise in surprise, their mouths open and shut and their hands and arms gesture gracefully and realistically. ' 'Each of the principal dolls is operated by three manipulators who work in perfect unison. The manipulators carry the dolls on to the stage and are visible throughout the play ... '
Scenes from some of the best-known stories.

Islamic Heritage of India. 'Here is a picture collection on Islamic arts and monuments of India.'
A Moghul miniature.
Use of eagles as messengers.
A courtier in Akbar's durbar.

Abodes of Shiva.
'Saivism is one of the dominant faiths in the Indian system of beliefs. Saivite temples constitute a sizable majority of temples in states such as Tamilnadu. Abodes of Shiva is a comprehensive guide to Shiva temples in India. Originally, Abodes of Shiva on Templenet covered only those temples glorified by the tamil hymns of the Nayanmars of the 1st millennium CE. This section has been now expanded to include other Shiva temples all over India ... '

Abodes of Vishnu. 'Around 1300 years ago, during what is known as the Bhakti movement, the Alwar saint poets of Tamilnadu, sang verses in praise of Vishnu, glorifying the deity enshrined in temples all over India. These verses as well as these temples are still a part of the cultural fabric of the region. 108 of these shrines and mythological abodes are collectively known as the Divya Desam shrines in the Vaishnava tradition ... '

The Hall of Contraception.
'Long before condoms came in rainbow colors and exotic skins, legendary lover Casanova was sewing together strips of fine linen. Centuries before nonoxynol 9, young women in Constantinople shook the gritty sand from sea sponges and dipped them in lemon juice before insertion. Contraception has a long and inventive history. Now there is a museum dedicated to one of humankind's most persistent quests ... '

Hieronymous Bosch.
'Boschs pictures have always fascinated viewers, but in earlier centuries it was widely assumed that his diabolic scenes were intended merely to amuse or titillate, most people regarded him as the inventor of monsters and chimeras. '
'Philip II, though, collected his works more for education than for entertainment. A Dutch art historian in the early 17th century described Boschs paintings chiefly as wondrous and strange fantasies often less pleasant than gruesome to look at. In the 20th century, however, scholars decided that Boschs art has a more profound significance, and there have been many attempts to explain its origins and meaning. Some writers saw him as a sort of 15th century surrealist and linked his name with that of Salvator Dali. For others, Boschs art reflects mysterious practices of the Middle Ages. No matter what explanation and comprehension of his art might be, Bosch remains the most extravagant painter of his time ... '
Gallery - more.

Reading Wilde, Querying Spaces. An exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the trials of Oscar Wilde.
'One hundred years ago, in the London of the elderly Queen Victoria, an event occurred which put on center stage questions of sex and morality. Starring in this drama was Oscar Wilde, novelist, poet, playwright, aesthete, reputed homosexual, enigma. The trials of Oscar Wilde offered the court of public opinion its first opportunity to debate the ethics of homosexuality; unfortunately for Wilde, his trials offered the nation's legal system the same opportunity. Convicted of practicing "indecent acts," the notorious writer spent the next two years kept to hard labor in prison, dying barely two and a half years after his release ... '

The Trials of Oscar Wilde. 'Old Bailey, the main courthouse in London, had never presented a show quite like the three trials that captivated England and much of the literary world in the spring of 1895. Celebrity, sex, witty dialogue, political intrique, surprising twists, and important issues of art and morality--is it any surprise that the trials of Oscar Wilde continue to fascinate one hundred years after the death of one of Ireland's greatest authors and playrights?.... '

Sam Reiss: An Eyewitness to Labour History 1948-1975.
'Often referred to as "labor's photographer," Sam Reiss used his camera to capture historic events that shaped American labor. His image of George Meany and Walter Reuther at the merger convention of the AFL-CIO in 1955 is a potent representation of a new era in labor history. While he recorded other national labor-related events, such as the march in support of the sanitation workers strike in Memphis in 1968 (held the day before Martin Luther King's funeral), and the Poor People's March on Washington in the same year, it was mostly in New York City that Reiss recorded the day-to-day building of a labor movement. From 1947 to 1975, he photographed labor union membership meetings, marches, strikes, demonstrations, picnics, banquets and other events ...'

NYU and the Village: An Urban University in Bohemia.
'Welcome to the crossroads of modernity and culture; a place where artists and scholars have been meeting for well over a century: New York University and Greenwich Village. Here you will meet some of the great minds that helped give our country its unique cultural identity. You will also be able to view the evolution of a place that has witnessed change and offers a unique perspective of the forces that have shaped NYU and the world at large ... '

A History of Horror.
'Where are the roots of the horror genre? How far back can we trace the figures of the vampire, the werewolf and Frankenstein's monster? What of the Gothic novel, and how did the horror of distant castles transform into that of school camps and shopping malls? Who were the visionaries, and what horrible things happened to them? Have people always been scared of the same things? This timeline shows the stepping stones along the path from the Inquisition to the Blair Witch, from Dante's Inferno to Hellraiser. Eight centuries of great works, and the events and people behind them ... '

Varney the Vampire. A penny blood, now on the web.

Gumnuts by May Gibbs. Via neurastenia.

Snugglepot & Cuddlepie Stamp.

Seonna Hong. Via neurastenia.

Tamara de Lempicka. Via Solipsistic, Dublog.

Wonderlandxpress. Via iconomy.
Altered books. Just great.
Handcrafted cards.

Mayumi Oda. Via neurastenia.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others. Via Monkey Media Report.

The New Tanuki. A weblog for learning English... interesting site, especially some of the concepts being introduced there.

Mercury on the Horizon.

Saturn: Lord of the Rings.

Miranda, Chevron and Alonso. Miranda is the innermost moon of Uranus.

27th June
Saranda's Story. 'My name is Saranda and I am 13 years old. I moved to Liverpool from Kosovo three years ago ... '

Cutting to the Essence, Shaping for the Fire. Yoruba and Akan art.

Jackson Pollock: Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist). Virtual tour.

Edward Ruscha: Lisp. Virtual tour.

Edward Steichen: Le Tournesol. 'Steichen is painting flowers near Paris and says if he keeps on some day he may do something worth looking at.... ' - Carl Sandburg.

John Singleton Copley: Watson & the Shark.

The Kano School in the Muromachi Period. 'The Kano School of Painting continued from the middle of the 15th Century till the mid-19th Century, at the end of the Edo Period.'
'The School was not only the largest of its kind, but also reigned as the leader among Japanese painting circles for its entire, four-hundred-year-long existence.'
'Among the most prominent of the Kano School painters were the first-generation master Masanobu, official painter to the Muromachi Shogunate, and his successor Motonobu, loved for his variety of subjects, ranging from aristocrats to townspeople ... '
Flowers and Birds in the Four Seasons.
Eight Views of Xiao Xiang.

Paintings of the Momoyama Period. 'This Special Exhibition, held in commemoration of the Centennial of the Kyoto National Museum, focuses on the paintings of the Momoyama Period. A unique feature of this exhibition is that most of the exhibits are large screen paintings painted on sliding door-panels or standing screens. Though the Momoyama Period produced many small sized paintings, including hanging scrolls, albums, and fan-paper paintings, it is the large paintings decorating temples, shrines, and the residences of warriors which represent the opulant vitality of this period.'
Hermits and a Fairy.
Flowers and Plants.

Floral Radiographs: The Secret Garden. 'Flowers speak for us in many ways. On happy occasions we send flowers to express our joy and on sad occasions to express our sorrow. Almost everyone is fond of flowers, but they may never see the secret beauty that lies hidden within the blossoms. When we close our eyes, we cannot see the beautiful flowers around us. Even with our eyes wide open, we see only that portion of the flower that is nearest us, the same portion that would be recorded by a camera. '
'My name is Albert Richards and I am a University of Michigan Professor Emeritus. I have been creating floral radiographs for over 40 years. '

Tibetan Landscape Art.

Tibetan Mandala Paintings.

Snapshots of Daily Life in Mali and Burkina Faso.

Augustine's Blog. A cartoony blog; this just made me smile.

Paris Music Hall Costumes.
Josephine Baker - 2 - 3
Via Fiendish Is the Word.

Flower Fairies of the Summer. Via Sugar & Spicy.

Harry Wellcome and the Sudan. Via newthings.

Steampunk. Via newthings.

Stone Me: The Pebble Collectors. Via newthings.

Letters. Via newthings.

Toy Taxis. Via newthings.

Susan Clark. Louisiana born, Cajun artist.

Wearable Watercolour Art.

John Lee Sanders. "Zydeco Art Insta-toot of Blues Impressionism"

George Rodrigue. Blue dog artist of Louisiana.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Washington DC. Virtual tour.

Carved Wooden Mask for the Bedu Cult, Ghana. 'This Bedu mask has a tall, flat plank-like form with a 'head' at the lower end and struts extended upwards to form 'horns' and an open, circular form. Bedu masks are worn in male and female pairs at night during the Zaurau festival and bestow curative and fertilizing powers on women and children. The positive elements of health and fertility made the Bedu masking tradition more tolerable to colonial administrators. It is the only one of the four cults not linked to Islam, though Muslim peoples in the region are undoubtedly affected by the tradition. '

Many Galaxies.

A Young Blue Star Stream.

26th June
African Coiffure Gallery. Great collection; text in French.

Tibetan Initiation Cards.

Leonardo at the Milan Science Museum.
Device for testing beating wings.
Flying machine.
The ideal city.

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. In celebration of the Metropolitan's recent acquisition of Manet's The "Kearsarge" at Boulogne (1864), the Museum is presenting a dossier exhibition devoted to Manet's interest in the Civil War battle and the effect of the "Kearsarge" paintings on his circle. On view are five seascapes painted by Manet at Boulogne during the mid-1860s, as well as prints, photographs, and paintings by artists such as Courbet, Monet, and Whistler; a model of the Kearsarge; and a ship's log.'

African Pottery. Slideshow.

Roy Lichtenstein on the Roof. 'Six brightly painted or patinated bronze and aluminum sculptures by the American artist Roy Lichtenstein (19231997) are installed in the most dramatic outdoor space for sculpture in New York City: The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, which offers a spectacular view of Central Park and the New York City skyline. Created in the 1990s, the six works include a group of "brushstroke" figures and a 17-foot-wide house. Beverage and sandwich service is available from 10 a.m. until closing, including Friday and Saturday evenings. '

Documentary Project for Refugee Youth: Photoessays. Many thanks to Languagehat.

Old Finnish Toys. Via Sugar & Spicy.

Vatican Museums. Thanks to headlessness.

Chlorophyll Art. Via iconomy via mysterium and Ramage.

Imaging Everest. Via Portage.

Picture Book of Foods. Thanks to iconomy.

Spider Web Gallery. Thanks to Dinesh.

Dragonfly Art Gallery. Via headlessness.

Tekenlog. Daily drawings. Via iconomy.

Black Elk's World. Via MeFi.

Books on Mollusks and Their Shells.
The Remarkable Nature of Edward Lear.
Nature's Great Masterpiece: The Elephant.
Foul and Loathsome Creatures.
The Fish in Science, Art and the Imagination.
All thanks to Giornale Nuovo.

Japan Atlas: Historic Sites. 'Japan has a rich history that stretches back thousands of years, and the country's ancestors have left their imprint everywhere. Japan has a variety of historical sites where visitors can get a glimpse of the culture, daily life, and thinking of people in bygone days. In recent years, a succession of prehistoric ruins have been excavated and surveyed, giving us an understanding of how life was in times for which we lack written records ... '

Crossroads of the Heart. Music, handmade objects, maritime traditions and quilting in Mississippi.

Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, Mississippi. 'ewish life in the South began more than three centuries ago, when thousands of immigrant Jews made the formidable journey to America to escape growing religious oppression and to seek economic opportunity...'

Manship House Museum. 'Charles Henry Manship, Civil War mayor of Jackson, was born in Maryland, where he apprenticed to a chairmaker and trained as an ornamental painter. Attracted to Jackson in the 1830s by its building boom, he advertised his services as a painter and found work on the construction of the State House, now known as the Old Capitol. Soon he opened a shop of his own, where he sold paints and fine wallpaper ... '

Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History.

Mississippi Museum of Art.

Ricci: Bacchus and Ariadne.

Boucher: Pan and Syrinx.

Solimena: Dido Receiving Aeneas.

Natori Shunsen: Woman Combing Hair.

Kozo, the Double-Headed Dog. Carving from Congo.

Gold Background Tibetan Paintings.

The Sun's Surface.

Grey Sun Seething.