art history

Post image for Let Them Eat Art: Queens Through the Ages

In her infamous speech at the British Museum last year, writer Hilary Mantel described Kate Middleton, future queen of England, as a “shop-window mannequin” whose sole purpose was to look pretty and give birth.

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Post image for A Pigment Library That Launched American Art Conservation

When the Harvard Art Museums reopen this Sunday after a six-year expansion project, historic pigments foundational to the field of art conservation in the United States will be on public view.

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Post image for Decoding Rome’s Old Master Graffiti

Most accounts of the history of graffiti have the art form really taking off in the 1970s, but art historian Charlotte Guichard dates its emergence to slightly earlier — the 16th century.

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Post image for A Child’s Drawings Preserved over the Centuries by “Magical Mud”

In one region of Russia, the consistency of the earth is just right that manuscripts dating back centuries emerge almost perfectly preserved. Over the past year, more than 1,000 of these birch bark artifacts from the 11th to 14th centuries have been exhumed from the soil of Novgorod, adding to a growing archive of written history.

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Material Friction: Americana and American Art

What did John Frederick Kensett, a 19th-century artist who was part of the Hudson River School, have in common with Thomas Matteson, a blanket chest-maker from Vermont?

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Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia

New dating of rock art in Indonesia shows that at the same time stampedes of bulls and horses were appearing in the Ardèche caves in France, similar art was being made in the Pacific region.

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Frédéric Bazille’s

A paper released earlier this month by a group of Rutgers University researchers applies computer vision and machine learning to the question of artistic influence.

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Post image for From Gemstones to Arsenic: How the Development of Pigment Colored Art

Monet and Renoir drenched their canvases in colors that until that point had been prohibitively expensive for most artists, yet during their lifetimes became available synthetically in mass production.

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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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