Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art. 'Throughout history,
Mesopotamia has been referred to as the 'Cradle of Civilisation' and its
art, treasured in museums worldwide is praised as one of the greatest
achievements of mankind. Today, Iraqi art forms an important facet of the
kaleidoscope of global contemporary art to which the artists contribute
with a diverse yet distinct vocabulary formed by their unique artistic,
cultural and religious roots.' 'Due to recent world events, as a
result of which many Iraqis have had to seek alternative existences
outside their homeland, an innovative body of artworks by Iraqi artists
has emerged and taken shape. Many of these address contemporary themes
informed by the complexities of the artists' lives, be it outside Iraq,
in the distressed position of being an 'other', or indeed within Iraq,
where day to day survival has become for many an enormous struggle and
an unprecedented burden. A culmination of a colossal five-year effort,
this historical undertaking intends to bring together Iraq's scattered
'talents in the wind' and communicate the positive and creative energies
of Iraqi artists dispersed throughout the world today. '
in the 1800s. 'The tour you are about to take of the Smithsonian
is set in the late Nineteenth Century. At that time there were only two
buildings, the Castle and the present Arts and Industries building, known
at the time as the National Museum. We will be using the 1886 Visitor's
Guide to walk through the exhibitions, using descriptions as they
appeared in this Guide. '
172nd Salem Campground Camp Meeting. 'The camp meeting is a venerable
tradition of Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and is a distinctly
American contribution to Protestantism. The earliest camp meeting recorded
took place in Kentucky in 1800. The Camp Meeting at Salem Campground in
Newton County, some 40 miles east of Atlanta, started in 1828, and, except
for the period of the Civil War, has taken place every year since its
1492: An Ongoing Voyage.
'1492. Columbus. The date and the name provoke many questions related
to the linking of very different parts of the world, the Western
Hemisphere and the Mediterranean. What was life like in those areas
before 1492? What spurred European expansion? How did European, African
and American peoples react to each other? What were some of the immediate
results of these contacts?'
'1492: An Ongoing Voyage addresses such questions by examining the
rich mixture of societies coexisting in five areas of this hemisphere
before European arrival. It then surveys the polyglot Mediterranean
world at a dynamic turning point in its development. '
Icelandic Sagas. 'The
Icelandic Sagas were written between the 12th and 13th centuries.
They document either the lives of specific people (as in Egil's
Saga) or whole communities (as in Laxdaela Saga, or Eyrbyggja Saga).
Most, but not all, of the Sagas were written anonymously. The
Heimskringla, a book chronicling the lives of Norwegian kings, is
known to be written by Snorri Sturluson (q.v., § Snorri, further down.),
one of Iceland's most prolific writers, best known today as the author
of the younger Edda. Most sagas are quasi-historical texts; the subjects
they treat were orally passed down many centuries before finally being
written down, and therefor can not necessarily be considered perfectly
authentic historical documents; for example, some of the Sagas, such as
Eyrbyggja Saga, contain many instances of supernatural events which are
obviously fantastic. The nature of these texts can sometimes be humorous;
Icelanders reveled in the strength of their women and warriors. All
battles and hardships they endured with little regard to their own
mortality, usually for the sake of honor, can be rendered in a positively
sanguine and decidedly dark humor, not unlike tales of ancient Sparta. But
more generally the Sagas arouse heroic interest, from the menacing viking
warrior-poet Egil of Egil's Saga, the warring and ultimately tragic young
foster-brothers Kjartan and Bolli of Laxdaela Saga, to the levelheaded,
prophetic lawyer Njal of Njal's Saga, the cast of characters that populate
these ancient texts are as interesting and respectable as any of ancient
and medieval history's most famous literary figures ... '
'Komori Soseki (sometimes known as Shoseki) was a designer of kacho-e
prints during the 1920's and early 1930's. His prints, now difficult to
find, were published by Kawaguchi and Sakai. Unfortunately, very little
is known about Soseki. Though his prints depict rather typical kacho-e
subject matter, they are noteworthy for their sensitive rendering and
lush printing. Of particular beauty is the blended printing of the water
in Mallard Ducks, and the colorful gradient edges of the lily pads in
Moorhens. ' '
Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
Macondo. Interesting online features. 'Whether writing short
stories, epic novels, or nonfiction, Gabo is above all a brilliant
storyteller, and his writing is a tribute to both the power of the
imagination and the mysteries of the human heart. In Gabo's world, where
flowers rain from the sky and dictators sell the very ocean, reality is
subject to emotional truths as well as physical boundaries. It is a
world of great beauty and great cruelty; a world where love brings both
redemption and enslavement; and a world where the lines between
objective reality and dreams are hopelessly blurred. It is a world very
much like our own ... '
Borges: Garden of Forking Paths. 'Welcome to the Garden of Forking
Paths, one of the most intriguing areas of the Libyrinth of Allexamina.
Here you will find access to the garden planted by J.L. Borges, the
Argentine writer, poet and philosopher. Although I tend the garden as
well as I can, beware: among these sprawling labyrinths you will find
illusions most seductive and truths most elusive. Let me show you
Look, here - a beautiful poppy, yes? But some say that it has the power
to unravel time. And here: yes, this narcissus-flecked pool. The locals
contend that if you gaze into its depths too long, you are in danger of
merging with your reflection and losing all sense of Self; for your
image becomes that of all men. And there, a gallery of mirrors most
enigmatic; and hanging here, by this coin: the skin of a most unusual
Josephine Lawrence. 'A versatile and prolific author, Josephine
Lawrence began her career in journalism, soon branched out to ghostwrite
girls' and tots' series under her own name and pseudonymously, then went
on to earn national recognition for her adult fiction. When she died in
1978, she had written 33 adult novels and approximately 100 children's
books. Despite Lawrence's many publications, biographical information
about her remains sparse, scattered among a number of brief articles and
reviews of her books. This webpage attempts to remedy that lack of
information by providing a detailed bio-bibliography of a noteworthy --
and too often overlooked -- woman writer. '
Douglas Adams. Website
dedicated to the author of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'.
The Tlatelolco Massacre.
'As researchers, human rights investigators and journalists explore the
newly-released "dirty war" files in Mexico's national archives, details
about 1968 massacre continue to emerge through newly declassified U.S.
documents. In commemoration of Tlatelolco's thirty-fifth anniversary,
the National Security Archive is posting a complete set of the most
important documents released to date from the secret archives of the
CIA, Pentagon, State Department, FBI and the White House -- many of them
recently declasified in response to Freedom of Information Act requests
filed by the Archive.'
The Dawn of Mexico's Dirty War.
'Lucio Cabañas Barrientos - a native son of Guerrero, school teacher-
turned-revolutionary and chief of the small rebel force dubbed the Party
of the Poor - was nothing more than an ordinary bandit, according to the
government he so fiercely opposed during the 1970s.' 'A thug, a
criminal, a gang leader, said Defense Secretary Hermenegildo Cuenca
Díaz. Working "for very dark interests," hinted President Luis
Echeverría ominously, "trying to provoke regressive or conservative
tendencies.' 'American military, intelligence and political officers
viewed Cabañas in a somewhat different light.' ' "The most important
single leader" of the Mexican armed opposition, wrote the State
Department in 1972. "Mexico's best known guerrilla," agreed the CIA in a
top secret analysis in 1974. "He enjoys widespread support and sympathy
among the peasants." ... '
American in the 19th Century. Issues from 1845
onwards. 'The Scientific American of the 19th century
bears little resemblance its 20th century sibling. The
first volume was a four page 15 x 20 newspaper that
provided the reader poetry, religious news,
interesting tid-bits from around the country and
technical news and instruction ... '
The French Taste for Spanish Painting.
'This exhibition examines the impact of Spanish
painting on French artists, presenting some 150
paintings by masters of Spain's Golden Age—Velázquez,
Murillo, Ribera, El Greco, and Zurbarán—as well as
masterpieces by the 19th-century French artists they
influenced, among them Delacroix, Courbet, Millet,
Degas, and, most notably, Manet. An exhibition on this
subject has never before been attempted at this scale
and depth, and it is indeed revelatory. Napoleon's
Spanish campaigns (1808–14) marked a turning point in
the French perception of Spanish painting, which, up
to that time, had been virtually ignored and poorly
represented in the French royal collections. Yet, only
two decades later, in 1838, King Louis Philippe
inaugurated the Galerie Espagnole at the Louvre,
placing on view his extraordinary collection of
hundreds of Spanish paintings. Although this
collection was sold in 1853, these paintings left an
indelible impression in France and by the 1860s, the
French taste for Spanish painting was perceptible at
each Paris Salon. In New York, the exhibition also
includes works by American artists such as Sargent,
Eakins, Whistler, and Cassatt, who studied in France
but learned to paint like Spaniards.' Gallery.
' "The Russians have a feeling for the beauty of
nature, and they know instinctively how to enhance it.
Take, for example, the village of Arkhangelskoye,
twelve miles from Moscow...," thus wrote the eminent
Russian historian Nikolai Karamzin in his Notes on
Sights in and around Moscow (1817). And today, after
almost centuries, Arkhangelskoye is still one of the
most famous architectural complexes in the vicinity of
Moscow. ' Virtual
tour via interactive map.
Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.
'At 11:02 a.m. on Ausust 9, 1945, the explosion of an
atomic bomb devastated Nagasaki.'
'The ferocious heat and blast indiscriminately
slaughtered its inhabitants. Even the people who
managed to survive continue to this day to suffer from
'Five decades have passed since that day. Now the
atomic bomb survivors are advancing into old age and
their memories are fading into the mist of history.
The question of how to inform young people about the
horror of war, the threat of nuclear weapons and the
importance of the peace is therefore a matter of
passing concern ... ' Records
of the Nagasaki atomic bombing.
Anatomies on the Web
'is a digital project designed to give Internet users
access to high quality images from important
anatomical atlases in the Library's collection. The
project offers selected images from NLM's atlas
collection, not the entire books, with an emphasis on
images and not texts. Atlases and images are selected
primarily for their historical and artistic
significance, with priority placed upon the earliest
and/or the best edition of a work in NLM's
'The exhibition Emotions and Disease was initially
developed by the History of Medicine Division of the
National Library of Medicine, in conjunction with the
Third International Congress of the International
Society for Neuroimmunomodulation which met at the
National Institutes of Health in November 1996. The
exhibition was intended to provide historical
perspective and context for the scientific discussions
and presentations at the Congress and to explain to
the general public the meaning and relevance of
scientific developments linking neurophysiology to the
functioning of our immune systems. Using the
historical approach, we could make these sophisticated
scientific developments more accessible to a
non-specialist audience. The historical approach could
also be used to show the complex relationships between
scientific theories, popular ideas, and their cultural
context ... '
"The mountains are landscape - and they are a state of
mind. Perhaps nowhere more so than in Ladakh, the
high plateau sited between the northern Karakorum and
in the rain shadow of the Great Himalaya. La means
mountain pass, Ladakh is the land of the mountain
passes and was once part of the great trade routes
that criss-crossed the mountains of India, China and
The Couch: A
'The Couch: A Retrospective is a photo essay that
documents the life and times of a very comfortable,
odd-colored piece of office furniture that was
destined for storage. Fortunately, it found a
temporary home in my office-- temporary because I had
the office for only five months. '
'The Anti-Saloon League from 1893 to 1933 was a major
force in American politics. Influencing the United
States through the printed word and lobbying, they
turned a moral crusade into a Constitutional
amendment. The League left a legacy of printed
material at a site bequeathed to the Westerville
Public Library which houses the Anti-Saloon League
Museum. The Westerville Public Library in an effort to
preserve and share the League's story has established
this Web site with financial help from a grant
provided by the State Library of Ohio.'
'Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in
the atmosphere produces a host of visual
spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and
many more. Some can be seen
almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime
sights. Find out where to
see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy them
Theyyams of Malabar.
'The fantastical and the real, the exotic and the
ordinary, the extravagant and the simple, all seem to
merge seamlessly in British-born photographer Seth's
work, which focuses exclusively on Hindu rituals in
India's southern state of Kerala. While her subject
might be the ultimate exotic, her direct approach to
towards it, her emphasis on giving the whole picture
and not just the sensational and the dramatic, lends a
unique down-to-earth flavor to her photographs. '
Ties in Asian Textiles.
'In China and Japan in the early part of the 20th
century, infant mortality was quite high, with many
children not living to see their first birthdays. In
these cultures, prosperity was believed to come from a
long bloodline and from having many children. Because
the child mortality rate was so high, lavish
celebrations and rituals took place from birth to the
time the child reached adulthood to assure the child's
good fortune and longevity. '
'These elaborate rituals often involved textiles and
reflected the indigenous concept of life and death
that was intimately connected to vulnerable children.
'On December 8, 1975, at the United State Cafe, on
Haight Street, in San Francisco, I spoke with Wavy
Gravy about voter apathy. I pointed to some statistics
that showed people were not registering to vote and
aproximately 50% or less of the registered voters made
it to the polls. Wavy responded, "You mean Nobody is
winning the Presidential elections?" That question
became the spark that ignited the Birthday Party's
"Nobody for President Campaign". Wavy became "Nobody's
Fool", I became "Nobody's Campaign Manager", and the
rest is history. '
'Members educate the public about destructive,
unnecessary incarceration due to the U.S. drug war.'
Psychedelic Sixties. 'The summer of
1967, with its "Love-Ins," "Be-ins," and "Flower
Power," came to be known as "The Summer of Love," and
was one of the seminal moments of our generation. Over
thirty years later, we who came of age during the
turbulent decade of the sixties are dismayed to
realize that, to the young adults of today, those
years are now ancient history. '
'The "Psychedelic Sixties" broke the rules in every
conceivable way from music to fashion (or lack of it),
to manners and mores. Boundaries were challenged and
crossed in literature and art; the government was
confronted head-on for its policies in Vietnam; the
cause of civil rights was embraced by the young; and
mind-expanding drugs were doing just that. '
'Were the sixties the best of times or the worst of
times? Did America evolve as a nation and we as
individuals? Are we better for the experience? We who
were there have our own answers, but it is the
historians who will write the collective answers for
posterity. In any case, for better or worse, this
dynamic, controversial, exciting time was our youth,
our creation, and our legacy, and this exhibition is
an attempt to revisit it, share it, and interpret it. '
The Human Image. 'Whether scratched on rock,
moulded in clay, sculpted in stone, carved from wood,
cast in metal, painted, drawn or printed, the urge to
create figures in our own image has existed since man
first sought to define his place in the world. In most
cultures and at most times in history, people have
created representations of themselves, or
representations of other beings in human
form.' 'The exhibition Human Image considered human
representation taking the broadest approach possible.
It grouped images from different cultures and periods
in thematic sections to stimulate reflection and
response in the visitor.'
and Clothing Museum, Barcelona. 'The Textile and
Clothing Museum is an institution charged with
safeguarding the valuable heritage of material history
formed by textiles, tapestries, embroideries, lace,
liturgical ornaments, civil dress and accessories, and
apparatus for the production of these objects, dating
from the early centuries of our era to the present
day. In addition to the preservation and study of
these materials, the museum seeks to act as a vehicle
conveying the creativity that has marked textile and
clothing design over the course of history ... ' Collections
Mabinogion. 'This is Lady Guests' translation of
the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion is a cycle of Welsh
legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a
manuscript which is in the library of Oxford
University. Mabinogion means 'tales of youth';
although this appellation only applies to a few of the
stories, Lady Guest appropriated it as the title of
this book, and The Mabinogion is now used as the name
of the entire collection. The stories are based on
historical characters and incidents from the dark ages
in Wales and environs, embellished with supernatural
and folklore elements. Throughout there are echoes of
primordial Celtic mythology and folklore, including
the ancient gods and goddesses.'
Kabuki Theatre of Japan. 'Kabuki, the popular
theatre of Japan, has captured the hearts and minds of
audiences from its beginnings in 1603 to the present
day. Music, dance and drama are skilfully employed,
bringing to life characters from the Japanese past,
both real and imaginary. All the actors in Kabuki are
men, playing the roles of warriors and thieves as well
as respectable ladies and low-class prostitutes.
Seated on the floor, the audience participate by
shouting out the names of their favourite actors
during the long performances. The colourful spectacle
of stage and costume add dramatic effect to what is
often described as 'Grand Kabuki' or 'The Resplendent
Theatre of Japan' ... '
of Power and Identity in the National Museum of
African Art. 'This exhibition introduces the
visual arts of Africa south of the Sahara. While it is
not intended to be a comprehensive installation, it is
a presentation of some of the most familiar and
visually compelling imagery from various cultural
groups. Included are figures, masks, pottery, and
jewelry, works of art that were associated with
divination, altars, mask performances, rites of
passage, and items of regalia and personal adornment.
Aesthetic, thematic, technical and historic concerns
have been considered in selecting the works of art. '
Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the
Chesapeake Bay Region, ca. 1600-1925 'comprises
139 books selected from the Library of Congress's
General Collections and two books from its Rare Book
and Special Collections Division. The collection
includes first-person narratives, early histories,
historical biographies, promotional brochures, and
books of photographs that capture in words and
pictures a distinctive region as it developed between
the onset of European settlement and the first quarter
of the twentieth century. '
Story of Virginia. 'Until recently, experts
believed the first humans came to Virginia from Asia
about 11,000 years ago. The theory was that they came
overland across North America through a corridor
between two great glacial masses that dominated the
continent. Their culture was called Clovis after their
distinctive type of projectile points, found near
Clovis, N.M. However, archaeological discoveries at
Cactus Hill, Virginia, show that people were here much
earlier, at least 16,000 years ago. These first
Virginians must have come here a different way,
because at that time there was no corridor between the
glaciers covering most of North America. Probably, the
people leapfrogged down the western coastlines of
North America and moved gradually from west to east