Books

Post image for Quiet Drawings from a Life Lost in Mental Institutions

In one of the drawings discovered in a well-worn album, fished out of the trash in 1970 by a teenager in Springfield, Missouri, a wide-eyed woman points to a bouquet of flowers below the words “ECTLECTRC PENCIL.”

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Books

The Humble Art of Decorated Paper

by Allison Meier on January 29, 2016

Post image for The Humble Art of Decorated Paper

In April of 1789, a few months before the storming of the Bastille, the paper factory of Jean-Baptiste Réveillon in Paris was taken over by labor protestors, who commandeered the machines to print paper in red, white, and blue.

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Post image for How Graphic Designers Around the World Interpret Shakespeare

When the Globe Theatre along London’s River Thames opened in 1599, a flag depicting Hercules hoisting a globe announced the opening of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

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Post image for Witch Marks, Curses, and Magic in the Neglected History of Medieval Graffiti

The ornamentation of medieval churches is often associated with the elite: stained glass windows, ornately carved pews, and memorial monuments to lords and knights. However, carved right into the structure of the building, in the dark corners and beneath the whitewash on the walls, are less visible traces of the lower and middle class: graffiti.

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Post image for The Ghosts, Mermaids, and Beautiful Rats of Japan’s Tiny Netsuke Carvings

Miniature meditating skeletons, snarling cats, eerie ghosts, and gods of fortune carved in ivory, wood, and horn adorned the sashes of Japanese men throughout the Edo period.

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Post image for A Visual Essay Recalls the Latin Alphabet’s Pictorial Past

The Latin alphabet’s letter A can be traced back to an Egyptian hieroglyph of an ox head; the letter M is believed to have its origins in a hieroglyph representing water.

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Post image for The Mysterious Folk Art of America’s Secret Societies

Almost every US town has one: that mysterious Masonic lodge with its borrowed Egyptian or Greek details, arcane symbols, and windows and doors that rarely open.

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Post image for Heavy Metal Headbangers Frozen in Time

With hair flying and faces contorted in expressions between joy and agony, the heavy metal fans captured by Danish photographer Jacob Ehrbahn are a frenzy of movement in saturated color.

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Post image for A Sonic Alarm for Our Natural World Going Silent

Bernie Krause has listened to nature since 1968, and in his decades recording environmental noise has become attuned to its changes.

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Post image for The Geometric Aesthetics of Piet Mondrian’s Studios

Dutch artist Piet Mondrian lived a nomadic life, caught between the two World Wars, and he transformed each new studio and home into a reflection of his current practice.

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