Books

Post image for A Graphic Novel Chronicles Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Years

Woody Guthrie was responding to the hardships of the Great Depression, but he may as well have been singing about now.

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Post image for Retracing a Lifetime of Urban Activism Through Jane Jacob’s Last Interview

“The kind of planning for a city that would really work would be a sort of informed, intelligent improvisation, which is what most of our planning in life is in any case,” said Jane Jacobs in a 1962 interview with Mademoiselle, conducted just after the 1961 publication of her influential The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

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Books

The Uncanny Nature of Fake Flowers

by Allison Meier on August 1, 2016

Post image for The Uncanny Nature of Fake Flowers

The 73 photographic plates in Robert Voit’s The Alphabet of New Plants each frame a different floral detail, from bursting blooms to twisting branches.

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Post image for Our Architectural Future Isn’t What It Used to Be

Post–World War II, architects were confident that a better life could be built, that design could improve society through efficiency and community.

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Post image for The Nostalgic Glow of New York City’s Remaining Historic Neon Signs

Neon and New York City had their ups and downs over the 20th century, from the glowing signage being an innovative advertisement in the 1920s and ’30s to already telegraphing seediness with its flickering in the 1940s and ’50s.

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Post image for All that Glitters Isn’t Gold — Sometimes It’s Silver from Tiffany’s

The Morgan Library and Museum continues to spotlight some of its glittering books beneath the revamped lighting in its historic 1906 McKim Building.

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Post image for Photographs of the Birds and Bones in US National Park Collections

When a wayward tufted titmouse slammed against photographer Leah Sobsey’s window, the bird’s tiny corpse suddenly recalled all the natural specimens that had captivated her as a child at Chicago’s Field Museum.

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Post image for A Photographer’s Two-Year Journey to Document Sacred Cows

There’s a beauty in the bovine’s domesticated body that inspired Daniel Naudé to spend two years taking portraits of cows.

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Post image for Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Butterfly Illustrations

At the end of Vladimir Nabokov’s poem “Pale Fire,” he describes how “White butterflies turn lavender as they / Pass through its shade where gently seems to sway / The phantom of my little daughter’s swing.”

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Post image for A Visual Homage to Brutalist Behemoths

Even while major Brutalist structures face preservation issues — like Marcel Breuer’s Central Library in Atlanta, whose fate is being decided now — the aesthetic of these concrete-based buildings continues to gain in popularity.

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