art history

Post image for A Delicate Savior: When Venetian Glass Was Believed to Be a Poison Detector

In The Power of Poison, currently at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, the history of poison as a natural defense, a murderous weapon, and even a cure is explored in detail.

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Post image for People Lose Their Minds Over Obama’s Art History Apology

US President Obama’s apology to University of Texas at Austin art history professor Ann Collins Johns has created a frenzy of media coverage but also some inexplicably strange responses.

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Post image for Obama Loves Art History but Thinks It’s (Economically) Useless

Speaking on the floor of a General Electric plant just outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, today, President Obama made some remarks on the state of education and employment in the US, bringing up art history degrees in the process.

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Post image for The Man Who Tried to Photograph Thoughts

In the 1960s, a Denver-based psychiatrist and a man who believed he could take photographs with his thoughts staged a series of experiments with Polaroid instant film. Dr. Jule Eisenbud and his test subject, Ted Serios, a former bellhop, were trying to prove that a psychic projection could manifest on film.

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Post image for Resurrecting an Illusion: Last Surviving Daguerre Diorama Restored

Louis Daguerre may have his name most linked to the groundbreaking photographic process he created — the daguerreotype — but the French inventor hardly stopped there with his experiments with imaging.

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Post image for 20 of the First Photographs of Things, from People to Hoaxes to the Moon

We’ve compiled a list of photographic firsts from the beginnings of photography all to way to the newest landmarks in capturing visually things which were previously imperceptible to our human eyes.

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Post image for How Van Gogh’s Ear Incident Went ‘Viral’ in 1888

Vincent van Gogh had big dreams for his stay in the town of Arles, for the partnership he would build with fellow artist Paul Gauguin in that Yellow House in Provence. Alas, as has become art history lore, it would go rather poorly, with the image of the fragile painter of sunflowers with his head wrapped after he sliced off part of his ear as vivid as it gets for a self-portrait of despair.

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Post image for From Soviets to Scandal: Five Anticipated Art Historical Book Releases

Time to ditch those light beach reads and fill your brain with some art history. Here are five art history books we’re anticipating for the fall, from the dawn of photography, to shady Soviet art fire-sales, to the art world’s most scandalous murder in comic book form.

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Post image for Another Day, Another Dubious Mona Lisa Discovery

Professional art history charlatan Silvano Vinceti has narrowed down his quest for the Mona Lisa’s definitely real body to one of three skeletons exhumed from Florence’s Santissima Annunziata basilica, all of which are currently being tested at the University of Bologna, the Guardian reports. The journalistic seriousness accorded to Vinceti’s antics suggests that the public hunger for arcane relics connected to famous artists is far from dying out. After all, dubious claims about the Mona Lisa, in all their sensational absence of verisimilitude, are something of the art world’s Shark Week.

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Post image for Whatever Happened to the Met’s Jade Room?

The jade collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was once showcased in an opulent room in the style of Louis XV, with fifteen delicate glass cases presided over by a chandelier. But it’s vanished as if it were never there.

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