plep Archive

30th May
Paris - The 1890s. 'In the last decade of the nineteenth century, Impressionism had been overshadowed by various manifestations of Post-Impressionismfrom the work of Gauguin and Czanne to that of Pointillists Seurat and Signac. The fashion for things Japanese was widespread; the sinuous curvilinearity of Art Nouveau was a powerful new force, as was Symbolism. '
'Printmaking in the 1890s reflected these diverse artistic impulses, adding to them several recent technical innovations in color lithography. Prints were created as objects of private contemplation for the homes of a new generation of bourgeois collectors, but they also appeared in new venues throughout the public arena. Lively posters filled the sidewalks; theater programs and sheet music were decorated and adorned; even menus, personal invitations, and birth announcements became sites for printed art. In addition, newspapers, journals, and broadsides provided an array of illustrations provoked by social and political events of the day ...'
Selected works.

Miro's Black and Red Series. 'In 1938 the Spanish artist Joan Miro (1893-1983) created a landmark series of eight etchings in black and red. This Web site and the exhibition it accompanies celebrate The Museum of Modern Art's acquisition of an entire set of these etchings ...'
View the series.

The Frugal Repast, Picasso, 1904.

Kunisada and Kabuki. 'This website accompanies an exhibition of Kunisadas woodblock prints of Kabuki actors and allows the viewer to explore a virtual display of all three parts of the exhibition. '
Dainagon Yorimoto, Kiichi Hogen.
Actors and plays.

Signatures of Ukiyo-e Artists.

The African-American Mosaic. 'This exhibit marks the publication of The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. A noteworthy and singular publication, the Mosaic is the first Library-wide resource guide to the institution's African- American collections. Covering the nearly 500 years of the black experience in the Western hemisphere, the Mosaic surveys the full range size, and variety of the Library's collections, including books, periodicals, prints, photographs, music, film, and recorded sound. Moreover, the African-American Mosaic represents the start of a new kind of access to the Library's African-American collections, and, the Library trusts, the beginning of reinvigorated research and programming drawing on these, now systematically identified, collections ...'
Colonisation. 'The roots of the colonization movement date back to various plans first proposed in the eighteenth century. From the start, colonization of free blacks in Africa was an issue on which both whites and blacks were divided. Some blacks supported emigration because they thought that black Americans would never receive justice in the United States. Others believed African-Americans should remain in the United States to fight against slavery and for full legal rights as American citizens. Some whites saw colonization as a way of ridding the nation of blacks, while others believed black Americans would be happier in Africa, where they could live free of racial discrimination. Still others believed black American colonists could play a central role in Christianizing and civilizing Africa ... '
Abolition. 'The American Anti-Slavery Society was established in 1833, but abolitionist sentiment antedated the republic. For example, the charter of Georgia prohibited slavery, and many of its settlers fought a losing battle against allowing it in the colony, Before independence, Quakers, most black Christians, and other religious groups argued that slavery was incompatible with Christ's teaching. Moreover, a number of revolutionaries saw the glaring contradiction between demanding freedom for themselves while holding slaves. Although the economic center of slavery was in the South, northerners also held slaves, as did African Americans and Native Americans. Moreover, some southerners opposed slavery. Blacks were in the vanguard of the anti-slavery movement. Abolitionist literature began to appear about 1820. Until the Civil War, the anti-slavery press produced a steadily growing stream of newspapers, periodicals, sermons, children's publications, speeches, abolitionist society reports, broadsides, and memoirs of former slaves.'
Migration. 'When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed less than 8 percent of the African-American population lived in the Northeast or Midwest. Even by 1900, approximately 90 percent of all African- Americans still resided in the South. However, migration from the South has long been a significant feature of black history. An early exodus from the South occurred between 1879 and 1881, when about 60,000 African-Americans moved into Kansas and others settled in the Oklahoma Indian Territories in search of social and economic freedom ... '

North by South: The African American Great Migration. 'The North by South webpage explores the multiple dimensions of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to Northern cities. Epic in scale, monumental in its long-term social and cultural impact, the Great Migration stands as the largest internal movement of people in the history of the United States.'
'Between the years 1900 and 1960, over 4,809,000 African-Americans fled the Souths oppressive conditions. The vast majority of these migrants settled in Northern cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and New York. The war years witnessed the greatest influx of Southern blacks, for the loss of labor due to military enlistment induced greater economic opportunities in Northern-based industries. '
'The North by South webpage seeks to illuminate the numerous effects of Northern migration on African-American culture through exploring three distinct patterns of migration. Conducted over the course of three academic years (1997-2000), Kenyon College students studied--under the supervision of National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professors of History Peter Rutkoff and William Scottthe migration of blacks from: South Carolina to New York City, the Mississippi Delta to Chicago, and Birmingham, Alabama, to Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Through focusing on specific patterns of migration, one can closely identify the transmission and transformation of African-American culture and social customs witnessed in these urban communities.'

New York Diary. 'A first-hand account of what began as a day-trip to Manhattan.'

In Flanders Fields. 'The most famous Canadian poem was inspired by one of the fiercest battles of the First World War. '

The McCrae House. 'This national historic site is the birthplace of John McCrae (1872-1918). '
'McCrae, a respected physician and noted professor of medicine at McGill University, is best remembered as the author of In Flanders Fields. This famous poem of World War I, was written while he was a member of the Canadian Army Medical Corps ... '

Cafe Wall Illusion.

Squirming Palm Illusion.

Fading Dot Illusion.

Images of Devotion from the Himalayas and South Asia.
Paintings & manuscripts.

Panasia Gallery. Asian art.
Siva, India, 12th century.
Buddha, Thailand, 14th century.

Gifts from the Lawrence Gussman Collection of African art.
'Unlike many collectors, Lawrence Gussman's passion for African art developed not through an interest in modern art or any Western movement, but through his personal involvement with the people of Africa ...'
'Gussman's empathy and affinity for Africa was so great, he quietly funded the repatriation of the Afo-A-Kom to the Cameroons in 1973. The Afo-A-Kom, a large beaded throne figure that had entered the Western art market under questionable circumstances, is essential to the ceremonial life of the Kom Kingdom ... '

Baule: African Art/Western Eyes. 'The outstanding artistic achievements of Baule artists from Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa have long been recognized by Western scholars and connoisseurs. '
'The exhibition contains several environments that simulate the original context of the objects in Baule villages. On the following pages, each environment is presented in video format together with dialogue between curator Susan Mullin Vogel and Koffi Nguessan. '

History of the Guelph Concert Band, Ontario.
The band's website.

Early Canadiana Online. 'A project to provide access to Canada's published heritage.'

Canadian Jokes.
'Every nation in attendance at an international symposium on elephants had to deliver a report on the animals. '
'France's report: "The Love Life of an Elephant." '
'America saw the economic values in: "Raising Elephants for Fun and Profit." '
'Great Britain had their own unique view: "The Elephant and the British Empire." '
'The Canadian report was, of course, typically Canadian... "The Elephant: A Federal or Provincial Responsibility?" '

Peanuts: A Comic Book History. Via Sugar & Spicy.

Musee du Masques. Via iconomy.

David Levine Gallery. 'The New York Review of Books is pleased to present this gallery of work by the artist David Levine, whose brilliant caricatures have graced the Review's pages since 1963.' Thanks to Miguel.

Salam's Story. 'The most gripping account of the Iraq conflict came from a web diarist known as the Baghdad Blogger. But no one knew his identity - or even if he existed. Rory McCarthy finally tracked him down, and found a quietly spoken, 29-year-old architect ... '
Where Is Raed?

Nagoya TV Ukiyo-e Museum. Via MeFi.

20 Days in Spring 2003. Via MeFi.

Indigenous Weather Knowledge, from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.
' Indigenous Australians have long held their own seasonal calendars based on the local sequence of natural events. To the right is a map of Australia with hyperlinks to the corresponding seasonal calendars for given regions. To access the seasonal calendars, click on the appropriate red dot. '

Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Blues Festivals at

Pluscarden Abbey. 'One of Northern Scotland's most unusual attractions and one which is unique in Britain, is Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin. It is the only medieval monastery in Britain still inhabited by monks and being used for its original purpose. Founded in 1230 by Alexander II, its site in a sheltered, south-facing glen against a background of forested hillside, adds to its beauty. '
'The road to Pluscarden winds south-west across the wooded countryside around Elgin, Scotland. Six miles are all that separate the busy High Street of the county town from this peaceful valley, but those six miles take us back over six centuries of time. The atmosphere of quiet reflection and of work dedicated to the glory of God is the same today as it was in the thirteenth century when an organised community of monks first came to this part of Morayshire ... '

Underground Indianapolis.

The Sweet Hereafter. An article on St. Louis cemeteries, with photographs. Via the Commonspace, 'grassroots art, culture and civics in St. Louis'.
'am not a religious person, but I cherish the time spent in cemeteries, the sculpture gardens of death. Saints, martyrs, angels and crucifixes promise an afterlife, help us to grieve, honor the dead and urge the living to live better lives. Then there are the mausoleums, monuments to lives well-lived, whose accompanying statuary occasionally strays playfully beyond Judeo-Christian iconography. One remarkable example in Bellefontaine Cemetery, the Tate family monument, features a pair of twin sphinxes whose sculptor could not possibly have known in 1906 that he had hewn the spitting image of a future president whose animal urges would lead him to the door of political death. '

Lilly the Cat. Follow along as an ordinary cat explores St. Louis.

Washington Avenue Moonscape. 'During a recent weeklong stint on jury duty, I took advantage of the lunch break to head down to Washington Avenue to shop for a hat at Levine's, eat some stir fry at the Hungry Buddha and snap some photos of the construction. My first thought was, "Wow, a lot is happening!" The street, sidewalks and almost all the buildings on several blocks seem to be under construction at the same time. After the initial surge of excitement, my next thought was, "It's about time!" ... '

Camelot in St. Louis. 'Sometimes, history is stored in the mind and the heart. Sometimes, it's also stored in a big cardboard box. '
'Jack Parker, the longtime proprietor of O'Connell's Pub, is a repository of information about the good old days in Gaslight Square. And, by the 1970s, the not-so-good days. It was in Gaslight that the Irish pub made a reputation. Reacting to the decline that weeded out his contemporaries on the row, in August 1972, Parker pulled up stakes from the Square, moving to the corner of Shaw and Kingshighway. He was one of the last major tenants to leave, and to many at the time, his decision was a finishing statement for the strip near Olive and Boyle ... '

The Kama Sutra of Vatsayayana, translated by Richard Burton.

Tibetan Nyingma Centres. 'In fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, the abbot, guru, and king together completed the monastery of bSam-yas. Here Shantarakshita, aided by twelve monks from Kashmir, ordained the first Tibetan monks. The King opened his treasury to support the work of translation. Sending Tibetans to train as translators in India, he invited more than one hundred Indian panditas to Tibet ... '
'After the eleventh century, when new Tantras were brought to Tibet from India, those who preserved the original texts and lineages became known as Nyingma, or ancient ones, and those who followed the new Tantras became known as Sarma, the new tradition. '

A Sky Burial - The Sacred Solemn Funeral Rite of Tibet.
Via the Tibetan Studies Virtual Library.

The New York State Museum Mycological Collections. 'created by Charles Peck from 1868 to 1913 during which time he amassed 33,600 mycological specimens. In the years following, the next State Botanist, Homer House, and other mycologists added to this number. Currently it contains more than 90,000 specimens, however, the importance of the collection is not in the number of specimens it contains, but in its type specimens of American fungi collected during the early years of American mycology. It is especially rich in Agarics and other larger fungi ... '

San Diego Zoo.

The Poems of Sappho, translated 1925.

The Song of Solomon.

End of the line for Mail Rail. Via MeFi.

29th May
William Hogarth and 18th Century Print Culture. A wonderful exhibition about the 18th century British satirist.

National Portrait Gallery: 18th and 19th Century Caricatures and Portraits.

Galileo's Sunspot Drawings. 'In 1612 during the summer months, Galileo made a series of sunspot observations which were published in Istoria e Dimostrazioni Intorno Alle Macchie Solari e Loro Accidenti Rome (History and Demonstrations Concerning Sunspots and their Properties, published 1613). Because these observations were made at appoximately the same time of day, the motion of the spots across the Sun can easily be seen. To illustrate this, thirty-six of Galileo's sunspot drawings have been placed in sequence as "flip-book" type animation which can be played at two different speeds ... '

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens.

Journey into the Dreamland. 'Aboriginal people believe that all of the physical manifestations of the natural order are informed by the sacred, the numinous, embodied in the concept of the Dreamtime.'

Legends of the Gagudju.

Svetlana Bahchevanova: Tombstone Portraits.

The Water Margin. A Chinese literary classic in cartoon form.
'Water Margin is well-known as one of the four greatest Chinese novels in history.It tells stories of a group of heroes,who stand for different classes of people daring to struggle against the evil.There are 105 men and 3 women in all,who are oppressed by the currupt and unjust official and then rise up.These stories take place at the end of the North Song period,describing various vivid pictures of farmers' uprising full of love and hate,ties of friendship, kind and enmity,etc.The heroes do lots of good deeds to help the poor by blundering the evil.But later,they surround themselves to the official,obeying to fight with other kingdoms.Finally,most of them die or hurt badly ... ' Living with the Enemy.

Arabic Mathematics: Forgotten Brilliance? 'Recent research paints a new picture of the debt that we owe to Arabic/Islamic mathematics. Certainly many of the ideas which were previously thought to have been brilliant new conceptions due to European mathematicians of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are now known to have been developed by Arabic/Islamic mathematicians around four centuries earlier. In many respects the mathematics studied today is far closer in style to that of the Arabic/Islamic contribution than to that of the Greeks ... '
Via the Apothecary's Drawer.

The Commercial Mr. Blake: William Blake as Book Illustrator and Copy Engraver. 'William Blake (1757-1827) is now generally recognized as equally a great poet and a great visual artist. During his lifetime however the works for which he is now most acclaimed -- the self-printed illuminated books of poetry such as the Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and longer prophetic works like Milton and Jerusalem -- were known only to a small circle of admirers. To the public of his time his name, if known at all, would be most likely associated with his work as a book illustrator and copy engraver. Blake had been apprenticed as an engraver and it was chiefly in this capacity that he supported himself ... '
Illustrations of the Book of Job.

A Matrix of Meaning: Portraits of the Hebrew Letters in Pictures and Words.

You, Too, Can Play the Spoons.

Symmetry and Pattern: The Art of Oriental Carpets.

Maha Kumbh Mela: Personal Account of Two Days Spent Among India's Holy Men.

Vedanta Society of New York.

The World Trade Organisation. Or is it?

Edgar Allen Poe.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.