Bryn Mawr College’s free and open Albert Winslow Barker Collection brings back to light the work of an unfairly neglected American lithographer of the 1930s and uncovers his little-known photographs. And there is much to admire.
No matter where you were in the U.S. this Fourth of July, you probably had the opportunity to enjoy the Independence Day fireworks. Now it’s our friends’ turn in France to enjoy their revolution celebration with fireworks. Bastille Day, or Le quatorze juillet, commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris on July 14, 1789. The capture of the prison marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the end of Louis XVI’s absolute monarchy. Three years later the First Republic was born.
By all accounts, Americans are becoming enthusiastic about soccer in unprecedented numbers. Rumor even has it that a handful of Artstor employees may have sneaked into a conference room yesterday to watch the US team confront Germany (though, when asked about the story, everyone seemed too busy with work to comment).
Of course, the game has long been popular around the world, as you can see from this slideshow of images ranging from the 17th to the 20th century, and from countries including Italy, France, Japan, Ghana, and yes, the United States.
Visiting the Museum of Natural History was high on my list of priorities on my first trip to New York City. This was in big part due to its mention in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye—even if, to be honest, I didn’t quite remember the role it played in the book.
When the weather starts getting unbearable New Yorkers—Artstor staff included—flock to the boardwalks of Brooklyn’s Coney Island or Rockaway Beach in Queens.
This ritual is nothing new and was, in fact, one of the pet subjects of Reginald Marsh (1898 –1954), an American artist famous for his paintings of New York City in the ’20s and ’30s. His city scenes are remarkable for their palpable sense of movement—bodies walk or loiter on street corners, crowds swell as New York’s lights pulsate and glow in the background.
That Marsh’s canvases seem to vibrate is due not only to his staccato brush strokes and bright, reflective colors, but also to his choice of subject matter. Rather than portray New York City’s elite, Marsh turned to everyday people and entertainments. Favorite subjects included burlesque and Vaudeville performers, pedestrians and, yes, public beaches.
“It’s in the reach of my arms, / The span of my hips, / The stride of my step, / The curl of my lips. / I’m a woman/ Phenomenally. / Phenomenal woman, / That’s me.”
– Maya Angelou
Women have long been used as inspiration for art. They have served as muses to both eastern and western culture, and our bodies have been used to represent the power and beauty of nature.
Yet the images of the female body that we see on a daily basis are often passive and hyper-sexualized. Women’s bodies are the go-to sales tactic in popular media and advertising. Yes, you might say, sex sells, but nothings sells as much as our sex sells. Women’s bodies sell beer, cars, perfume, burgers, chewing gum, and even animals rights (yes, you read that correctly – look up PETA’s campaigns) — and of course, the object that all of the women in these advertisements are ultimately selling is themselves.
This post was edited to reflect the change from Shared Shelf to JSTOR Forum.
We invited Lee T. Pearcy of Bryn Mawr College’s Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies, to discuss the Classicizing Philadelphia project.
One way to think about America’s relationship with ancient Greece and Rome is to imagine a dialogue. Listen carefully as you wander around Philadelphia. You may be able to hear the conversation. Girard College emulates the Parthenon. The Art Museum, with its Corinthian porticoes and classical pediments, talks to Rome, and the Doric Waterworks below it talks to Greece. At the Arch Street Theater in 1858, Ernst Legouvé’s Medea talked to Euripides, and in the 2006 Mummers’ Parade, the Aqua String Band consulted Rome before it went “Roman Up Broad.” For three hundred years, Philadelphia has generated part of its own special look and feel, its culture, through a conversation with ancient Greece and Rome.
July 1, 2014 will mark ten years since the Artstor Digital Library became available for educational use. Today, nearly half a million registered users at more than 1,500 educational institutions around the world use the Library for their research and teaching. We are always fascinated by the work being done using Artstor – from Lois Kuyper-Rushing, the music librarian at Louisiana State who curated dozens of image groups related to musicology, to Lera Boroditsky, professor of psychology at Stanford, who tracked the gender representations of ideas (such as Liberty) across cultures and times.
As the Artstor Digital Library continues to expand its multidisciplinary content (including cartoons from The New Yorker and anthropological objects from The American Museum of Natural History), we continue to develop on other fronts. Last year, we worked with six museums to support the launch of the open Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Soon after, institutions such as the University of Delaware, Bryn Mawr College, and Cornell University contributed special collections of images and video to the DPLA via our Shared Shelf service.
This post has been updated to include new information about Artstor’s public collections, formerly made available on Shared Shelf Commons.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century the prevailing medical belief that “the more dangerous the disease, the more painful the remedy” meant that bloodletting, purging, and blistering were often prescribed. Not surprisingly, this led to the development of a market in patent medicines promising painless cure-alls. Manufacturers used advertising cards to promote a world of pleasant medical fixes with friendly graphics and reassuring claims and testimonials. The ingredients in these patent medicines might have been as harmful as the illness, but they were more tempting than the agonizing solutions offered by doctors.
As we get close to Easter, you’re sure to run into at least a few mentions of the renowned Fabergé eggs. And rightly so, as these decorative objects are ingenious and rich with history. But did you know there is much more to Fabergé than just eggs?