Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web

Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web, 1871. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.;

Some stories we’ve been reading this month:

  • Georges Seurat placed dots on a canvas to depict park-goers lounging along the Seine in 1884. The technique was known as pointillism, and it seemed new at the time. We now come to find out it was really 38,000 years old.
  • African American activist and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois directed the creation of more than 60 hand-drawn charts, graphs, and maps that visualized data on the state of black life in America in 1900. They look amazing.

  • Led by two professional dancers, the Met’s 45-minute “Museum Workout” involves jumping jacks in front of Perseus with the Head of Medusa, a power walk through the Hall of Medieval Arms and Armor, and squats in front of John Singer Sargent’s Madame X.
  • Starting at 17 and working in isolation, Wacław Szpakowski made maze-like drawings from single, continuous lines for nearly seven decades. They’re beautiful.
  • This author claims that selfies are modern art. Erm…
  • A writer-led tour of 10 great fictional artists in literature. We could think of at least five more to add to the list, how about you?
  • Related: A writer finds echoes of her great-grandmother in Gustav Klimt’s favorite subject.
  • Visiting Milwaukee? Longtime resident? Either way, you’ll appreciate this comprehensive guide to finding cats at Milwaukee Art Museum.
  • Not a cat person? What kind of monster are you? Never mind, we’ve got you covered: Check out the hashtag #museum101 to find museums’ creepiest objects.
  • Deep in the Amazon are massive, geometric carvings as big as a city block, with trenches up to 12 yards wide and 13 feet deep. They appear to have been built up to 2,000 years ago. Why? It’s a mystery.
  • An unusual sculpture in the Netherlands becomes a meme in Russia.
  • Meanwhile, archaeologists discover a colossal, 3,000-year-old statue in a vacant lot in Cairo.
  • And our legal department demands that we include a link about the Mona Lisa or Van Gogh every time we round-up links, so here you go: Scientists confirms that the Mona Lisa is happy.