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4th June

The World Birthday Web.

The Art of Botanical Illustration. 'The Art of Botanical Illustration highlights selections from the University of Delaware's Special Collections which show the development of botanical illustration from early printed books to the present day. The primary goal of botanical illustration is not art, but scientific accuracy. It must portray a plant with the precision and level of detail for it to be recognized and distinguished from another species.'
'The need for exactness differentiates botanical illustration from more general flower painting. Many great artists, from the seventeenth-century Dutch masters to the French Impressionists, such as Monet and Renoir, to modernists like Georgia O'Keeffe, portrayed flowers; but since their goal was aesthetic, accuracy was not always necessary or intended. In the hands of a talented botanical artist, however, the illustration goes beyond its scientific requirements and becomes a thing of beauty in its own right. The greatest of botanical illustrators such as Joseph Redouté are as renowned as other great master painters. '

The Art of the Book: Rare Printed Books from the University of Liverpool Library.

Art to Enchant: Illustrators and Shakespeare. 'We invite you to view a wide range of illustrated editions of Shakespeare from 1744 through 1986. Illustrators were challenged by the texts of this great dramatist, whose works were already visually represented on stage. See how they responded to this challenge, and whether or not they were successful, in this fascinating selection of books.'

Morning Sun: A Film and Website About the Cultural Revolution.

Art on the University of New Mexico Campus Virtual Tour.

The Jaded. Web comic. 'Action. Adventure. Danger. For Hire.'

Get Fuzzy. 'Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley, is a wry portrait of single life, with pets. At the center of this warm and fuzzy romp is Rob Wilco, a single, mild-mannered ad executive and guardian of Bucky and Satchel, anthropomorphic scamps that still live by their animal instincts. Bucky is a temperamental cat (is there any other kind?) who clearly wears the pants in this eccentric household. Satchel is a gentle pooch with a sensitive soul who tries to remain neutral, but frequently ends up on the receiving end of Bucky's mischief. Together, this unlikely trio endures all the trials and tribulations of a typical family... more or less. '

Herman. Offbeat humour comic.

The Essential Vermeer.

Trezart. Visual pleasure.

Ripon Cathedral.

The Embodied Image: Chinese Calligraphy. Online gallery here.

African Art: Aesthetics and Meaning.

Re-Covering the Cityscape. Manhole cover art in New York.

Medalta Bean Pot. 'Made in the town of Medicine Hat, Alberta - hence its name Med-Alta - this little covered pot speaks volumes. '

Lost in Transit. 'Lost in Transit is a group weblog by expatriates and emigrants around the world, writing about their experiences.'

3rd June

Documented Life. Photographs for each year of one man's life.

Around Manchester.
'Although it is often hidden today, Manchester and its surroundings had a rich architectural inheritance long before the wholesale Victorian modernization of the city. This exhibit reveals some of these secrets by bringing together both evidence of the landmarks which have disappeared and those which have survived. Old pictures from our collections are contrasted with the view in 1998. '

Tiananmen: The Gate of Heavenly Peace. Remembering the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Zootoon. A great links/web/culture blog. Catalan language.

The Glory of Carniola. Fab blog from Slovenia.
'In 1689, a Slovenian nobleman and polymath named Janez Vajkard Valvasor published The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, an exhaustive study of life in 17th-century Carniola. (Carniola being the latin name for Krajnska, an area in central Slovenia.)'
'The Glory was a monster: 15 volumes, 3,532 pages, 528 copperplate engravings and 24 appendices. You can see the cover page in the upper left corner.'
'Three hundred years after its publication, Valvasor was rewarded for his efforts by the newly independent country of Slovenia, which put him on its 20-tolar banknote. That's roughly ten Euro cents, which isn't particularly flattering, but a step above Primoz Trubar, who was the first person to write a book in Slovenian and only got the ten-tolar note to show for it.'

Historical Photographs of Arkansas. Great photographs, from the archives of the oddly-named SOD project.

Aroostock County in 1900: Railroads. Maine memories.
'These photographs, from a group of glass plates negatives collected by railroad enthusiast Emmons Lancaster, document construction of the Bangor and Aroostook rail lines into northern Aroostook County. '
'Specifically, the collection centers on the Fish River branch that was built in 1902 and that ran from Ashland through Portage and on up to Fort Kent. '

The Rules. Web comic. Pretty damn cool.

1997 New Orleans Budget Exhibit. New Orleans through the decades.
'Mayor Marc H. Morial presented his 1997 budget to the City Council at Gallier Hall on October 16, 1996. The City Archives, Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library mounted a special exhibit onsite for the occasion. This is an online, condensed version of that exhibit.'
'Our purpose in creating the original exhibit at Gallier Hall was to highlight some of the physical changes that have occurred in the city of New Orleans since 1950 and to illustrate how capital projects sponsored by the municipal government have spurred those changes. The exhibit examines each of the four decades from the 1950s through the 1980s, focusing on a major project from each era. It also touches on several additional projects that have had profound impact on the Crescent City over the past forty years.'

1947 Notre Dame Football National Champions. A slice of American football history.

The 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Online exhibit.

1968 Revisited... 'When we first came up with the idea for a 1968 historical retrospective at NYU back in 1993, the culture was in the midst of the '60s nostalgia wave that crested in about '92. It was actually legitimate back then to say "groovy," wear love beads sold at the Gap, and appear grungy - it was like being a less fashion-conscious, but more self-conscious, hippie. That lasted five minutes, and on its heels came the '70s nostalgia that gave '90s upward-mobility culture the Valium it needed. '
'Back in 1968, NYU was a completely different place. Not that I would know personally, having been born in '64, but because of all the in-house research I did while working at the NYU Archives. In the top-10 moments of '60s campus radicalism, NYU doesn't usually pop up - it seems eclipsed by events at Columbia and Berkeley. But NYU during the 1960s was an important site of student radicalism. Apart from the routine trashing of ROTC offices, bookstore sit-ins and demonstrations, NYU produced some revolutionary protest groups - SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), the Peace and Freedom Party, and the Independent Radicals. Notable protest moments include the so-called Chi-Reston affair of 1968, in which the South Vietnamese observer to the UN was pelted with eggs and draped in a swastika by members of NYU SDS while giving a speech in Loeb Student Center. The next year the Hog Farm Commune, a kind of rustic-hippie mobile collective, came to NYU. At the ensuing Happening, lots of people threw themselves into a thousand pounds of pudding unloaded into Loeb Student Center, while nude men and women showered the audience with gallons of water during a light show. It was almost as if Loeb Center, to compensate for the fact that it was the plainest building ever erected in downtown Manhattan, became ground zero for the Revolution ... '

1981 Hunger Strikes: America Reacts. 'In the Maze Prison (formerly Long Kesh) at Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, twenty-three Irish nationalists participated in a hunger strike to press for political legitimacy within the British penal system. Ten of these men would die of starvation before the strike ended in October. '
'Media reports made these extremely public and controversial deaths, the latest battle in a propaganda war involving the British government and Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland that had been escalating since 1969. In this struggle, the sympathy of the American public was an important prize. '
'The 1981 Hunger Strikes: America Reacts traces the evolution of public opinion in the United States from before the strikes - when few outside the Irish American community knew what the issues were in Northern Ireland - to their conclusion when public awareness was at its height. It also examines the degree to which the American media and the Irish American public gave the hunger strikers the legitimacy they needed to press their cause in Washington and London. The purpose of the exhibit is twofold. First, to present a body of new primary resources and, second, to inspire reflection on the very nature of public opinion making. '

Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Chinese Paintings. 'This selection from the Ellsworth Collection at the Metropolitan Museum focuses on Chinese painting created during the period of clashing social visions and dramatic political change that marked China's entry into the modern world. In the arts, it was a time when the tensions between tradition and innovation, native and foreign styles reached an unprecedented level of intensity.'

Holocaust Survivors. 'Why have this web site? Because history is not just about events, it is about human lives. Here we present history with a human face. Read the stories of the survivors. Hear them speak. Look at their family photographs. Consult our encyclopedia. Read a historical introduction to the Holocaust. Leave your thoughts or ask your questions on our discussion page. '

Glubibulga'. A great visual weblog.

2nd June

19th Century Swedish Copybook. 'This is the first page of my great-grandfather's copybook. There could have been a separate wrapper or cover that did not survive.'
'Dated December 9, 1858, the book was signed by C.Damm, a writing tutor in Wirestad, Sweden. There are 12 pages of handwritten model forms of the Copperplate Script alphabet (sometimes called English Running Hand or Engraver's Script). Side margins appear to have been trimmed off at some time, and new binding holes were punched. The arrangement of pages below seems logical, but punched holes suggest that the leaves were bound in a different sequence. When I received the copybook as a child, the pages were no longer tied together, but wrapped individually in recycled yellow cellophane (smoked ham labels were printed on the cellophane) ... '

The Frankfurt School. 'Index to the biographies and writings of members of the "Frankfurt School", or Institute for Social Research, set up by a group of Marxist intellectuals in Germany in 1923, affiliated to the University of Frankfurt and independently of the Communist Party, which has been influential in the development of Marxist theory ever since.'
'The founding of the Institut marked the beginning of a current of "Marxism" divorced from the organised working class and Communist Parties, which over the decades merged with bourgeois ideology in academia.'

Churches of the Gower Peninsula. 'Christianity reached the Gower Peninsular in the early 5th century. At this time, Christians gathered for religious instruction and worship in open spaces. The early Christian instructors of the area are believed to have been missionary monks from Gaul and when these great leaders of the faith died, they were buried in the locations in which they had taught. These sites would then become sacred grounds where further Christian burials would be held. These early Christian graves were commemorated with stones inscribed by local stonesmiths and it is these stones which offer the historian the earliest physical evidence of Christian worship in the region. In later years, these sacred places were enclosed and small stone oratories, measuring some three square metres, were constructed within the perimeter. '
'The first churches to be constructed in Gower, very often upon these early sacred locations, were wooden in construction, the more familiar stone buildings not arriving in Gower until the later invasion of Anglo-Normans. Of these numerous Celtic period buildings, which spread right across the Wales, only one now remains across the whole of the Principality. This can be found amongst the ruined chapel on the small tidal islet of Burry Holmes. '
Links to individual churches on the right.

Charles Booth Online Archive. 'The Charles Booth Online Archive is a searchable resource giving access to archive material from the Booth collections of the British Library of Political and Economic Science (the Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science) and the University of London Library.'
'The archives of the British Library of Political and Economic Science contain the original records from Booth's survey into life and labour in London, dating from 1886-1903. The archives of the University of London Library contain Booth family papers from 1799 to 1967.'
Poverty maps of London.

Fragonard. 'Embodying the freedom and curiosity of the French Enlightenment, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) developed an exuberant and fluid manner as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Prolific and inventive, he abandoned early on the conventional career path dictated by the hierarchical structure of the Royal Academy, working largely for private patrons. His work constitutes a further elaboration of the Rococo idiom established by Antoine Watteau and François Boucher, a manner perfectly suited to his subjects, which favored the playful, the erotic, and the joys of domesticity.'

The French Academy in Rome. 'The founding of the French Academy in Rome in 1666 as a branch of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris signaled the seminal importance of the classical tradition in the Academy's program of art education. Its significance was underscored by the establishment of the Prix de Rome in 1674, an award given to the most promising painters, sculptors, and (after 1720) architects, for a period of three to five years of study in Rome. In its early history, the Academy was housed at several locations, until its installation in 1725 at the Palazzo Mancini on the Corso, where it remained until 1802 (presently located at the Villa Medici). The curriculum emphasized direct contact with antique art, as captured in a painting by Giovanni Panini of 1757 entitled Ancient Rome (52.63.1), in which students sketch the Dying Gladiator amidst the greatest monuments of classical antiquity, including the Farnese Hercules and the Laocoön. Panini taught perspective at the Academy, where the curriculum also included anatomy and life drawing. Additionally, students-or pensioners, as they were called-were required to execute copies of paintings and sculptures as part of their training and in response to commissions from the French king, the Academy's patron. '

Body, Breath and Brush. 'Group Yohaku is a Canadian sumi-e artist group formed in 1977 by teacher Tomoko Kodama. From varied cultural backgrounds, members have from five to over twenty years study with Kodama. Many are students from the Ottawa School of Art.'
'The group takes its name from the concept behind sumi-e. In Japanese, yo means excess space, haku means white. sumi-e is black ink brush painting, an oriental calligraphy technique. Breathing, body movement and brush handling are combined to produce harmonious lines and a sense of spontaneity. The balance between white and painted space creates deceptively simple works of art.'
Gallery 1, 2, 3.

Never Been Photographed. 'My heart feels heavy as I present these portraits of the poorest of the poor of India. My father documented these portraits, not for the Internet, not for the money or artistic effort, but with a sense of history in his mind. "In a few years, it will be hard for us to believe that we lived amongst people like these" he once wrote to me. The subjects in this series are mostly uneducated, poor, and never been in front of a camera. Many were taken in deep forests of India where the technology was yet to make an impact. Innumerable times, after a person passed away, the relatives tracked down my father and had to request the only photograph of their loved ones. This website may be the only place that a record will exist of their existence. (No. India does not have an identification system).'
'Is place in history, a privilege of the rich? '

The Beat Page. 'The history of literature has been "landmarked" by countless movements of varying styles and direction. The Beat Page is dedicated to the movement that began in the early 1950's with a small and tightly connected group of young writers who demonstrated a care-free, often wreckless and unquestionably fresh approach to literature as well as a demonstrative social stance toward what was sometimes referred to as "The Establishment". The term "Beat" was reportedly coined by Jack Kerouac in the late 1940's, but became more common at about the time that writers like himself, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti were beginning to get noticed. It was quickly becoming a slang term in America after World War II, meaning "exhausted" or "beat down" and provided this generation with a definitive label for their personal and social positions and perspectives ... '
Photo gallery.
Charles Bukowski.

Spendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island. 'Few Pacific islands hold as prominent a place in the Western imagination as Easter Island, a Polynesian island that is now part of Chile. One of the most remote inhabited places on earth, this enigmatic island is home to the Rapa Nui, a Polynesian people who developed a unique series of artistic traditions. While the island is renowned for the colossal stone figures that adorn its sacred temples, much of its art remains unfamiliar to wider audiences. The first American exhibition devoted to the art of Easter Island, "Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island" presents nearly 50 works examining the island's diverse artistic heritage. Featuring objects from the Metropolitan's collection as well as loans from museums and private collectors in the United States and Canada-many on public display for the first time-"Splendid Isolation" explores Easter Island's distinctive art forms as expressions of supernatural and secular power. Dating from the 12th to the late 19th century, the works in the exhibition range from one of the island's renowned stone figures to refined wooden sculpture, rare barkcloth effigies, and examples of rongorongo, the island's unique and undeciphered script.'

Historic Documents of the African National Congress.

Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood. Canadian histories.
'Looking at artistic voices represented across Canada, it becomes clear that our identity - who and what we are as individuals, communities, regions, and a country - can never be told in just one story. The cultures, histories, and relationships among Canadian communities have always been changing. The art that has come out of this ever-changing reality are all pieces of a broader dialogue, offering glimpses of the possibilities for many different identities. In Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood, a diversity of art by Canadian artists is the medium for the exploration of Canadian history and heritage, identity, culture, geography, and politics.' ... more.

1st June

Guild of Ghostwriters. A hand-drawn blog.

Double-Tongued Word Wrester. A growing dictionary of old and new words.

Extravagant Minutiae. A great, culturally oriented blog.

The Living Canvas. Nude photography by Pete Guither. May well not be safe for work.

The UK Today. 'Being the musings of a citizen of the Peoples Republic of South Yorkshire.'

Buddhist Tales for Young and Old.

Count Your Sheep. Online comic, good stuff.

Alternate Delusions. Fine online comic.

1846: Portrait of the Nation. 'On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was passed by Congress and immediately signed into law by President James K. Polk. In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of that event, this exhibition looks back at the America of 1846. '
'The year began with the threat of war with England over the Oregon boundary; by year's end, war with Mexico raged, and the ominous debate over the spread of slavery in the vast territory expected to be acquired began. Meanwhile, thousands were on the move west. Voices of reform were loud in the land; the spirirt of enterprise was everywhere to be seen; art and literature flourished; music was beloved; on stage Shakespeare was relished, as were the minstrel shows; interest in science was high, and fascination with pseudoscience pervasive. There was no holding back America in 1846; "go-ahead" was the watchword of the nation. '

An Online Exhibit of Images from Oregon Newspapers of 100 Years Ago.

1940 Oregon Coast Tour. 'The year is 1940, and you are driving with your family to Astoria to begin a trip down the Oregon Coast. Along the way, you listen to the car radio, laughing at the antics of Fibber McGee and Molly, tapping your fingers to the latest Big Band hit, and shaking your head at war news from Europe. You worry that America may need to get involved eventually.'
'As you stop at a roadside restaurant, you pull a newly published book from your bag. Called "Oregon: End of the Trail," it is a detailed and engaging guide to the state's culture, history, and geography. Of immediate interest to your family is the section that traces the very trip you will soon be making: down the Oregon Coast Highway (U.S. 101) from Astoria to the California border.'
'You've read in the newspapers how the guide was prepared by the Oregon office of the Federal Writer's Project. Established under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal," the project has for several years provided work for writers and other "white-collar" workers suffering the impacts of the Great Depression. Like the Oregon office, state Writer's Project offices around the country have produced (or are hurrying to finish) similar guides ... '

1918: Australians in France. The Australian World War I experience.

When the Manchus Ruled China: Painting Under the Qing Dynasty. Gallery here.

Emil Schulthess, Photographer. Swiss photographer of the diversity of human life.

The Ancient Olympics. 'The Centennial Olympic Games were held in Atlanta, Georgia from July 19-August 4, 1996. In their honor, we've created this exhibit on the ancient Olympics, using information from the Perseus Project, a digital library on ancient Greece. The Perseus Project is centered in the Classics Department at Tufts University.'
'In this exhibit, you can compare ancient and modern Olympic sports, tour the site of Olympia as it looks today, learn about the context of the Games and the Olympic spirit, or read about the Olympic athletes who were famous in ancient times. '

Gulliver's Travels. Text, annotations, timeline; a hypertext exploration of Swift's classic.