Siena in the Late Gothic Period

View of the Piazza del Campo, Siena By Dr. Joanna Milk Mac Farland / 12.30.2015 Art Historian Siena: A city overlooked? Siena Cathedral For centuries, Siena’s role in the history of European art was underappreciated. This is partly because its moment of greatest influence occurred just before the Renaissance, a period commonly associated with the[…]

The Ada Louise Huxtable Archive

Portrait of Ada Louise Huxtable, 1970s. Photograph by L. Garth Huxtable. The Getty Research Institute, 2013.M.9 “Buildings have to stand up” said the critic, whose rich archive has been catalogued by the Getty Research Institute. By Laura Schroffel / 05.23.2014 Library Assistant in Special Collections Cataloging Getty Research Institute When reflecting on her lifetime of[…]

The History of Kathmandu Valley, as Told by Its Architecture

Kathmandu’s Darbar Square was one of the worst affected by the earthquake. Jool-yan/shutterstock.com Hundreds of monuments of the Kathmandu Valley’s World Heritage sites were completely destroyed on April 25. Here’s the story of a few of them. By Dr. Michael Hutt / 03.01.2015 Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies SOAS, University of London The Kathmandu Valley, which was already called “Nepal” centuries before the emergence of the modern[…]

Athena the Patron: The History of the Parthenon

The Parthenon seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west / Wikimedia Commons The most recognized remaining architecture of Classical Athens and the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Parthenon (Greek: Παρθενώνας) is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena built in the fifth century B.C.E. on the Acropolis[…]

A Brief History of Immersion, Centuries before VR

milliganpuss, Creative Commons We’ve never needed Oculus Rift to provide immersive experiences – they’ve been around for as long as we have. By Dr. Patrick T. Allen / 05.16.2018 Senior Lecturer in New Media Design University of Bradford Immersive experiences are fashionable at the moment, as virtual reality finally emerges into the mainstream with headsets now commercially available. But[…]

Reinventing Heritage Buildings Isn’t New At All – The Ancients Did It, Too

With the addition of minarets, Hagia Sophia was converted from a Christian basilica to an Islamic mosque. Candace Richards, Author provided Adaptive reuse and recycling of heritage architecture may be all the rage, but are not new. Making new buildings from old has a long history in the ancient world. By Candace Richards / 01.02.2017 Assistant Curator, Nicholson Museum University of Sydney In any debate on new construction[…]

The Unintended Consequences of UNESCO World Heritage Listing

UNESCO-listed heritage site Machu Picchu attracts around 1,000 tourists a day. Rodrigo Argenton/Wikipedia, Creative Commons Is UNESCO’s prestigious lists of tangible and intangible heritage damaging the very existence of the sites on them? By Dr. Chloé Maurel / 01.11.2017 French Historian Chercheuse associée à l’Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine (CNRS/Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université Paris 1) et à l’IRIS Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) The principle of world heritage promoted[…]

Ramesses and Nefertiti: The Abu Simbel Temple Complex

Great Temple of Ramesses II (left) and Small Temple of Nefertari (right) / Photo by Holger Weinandt, Wikimedia Commons Abu Simbel is an ancient temple complex, originally cut into a solid rock cliff, in southern Egypt and located at the second cataract of the Nile River. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 08.09.2018 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Abu Simbel is an ancient temple complex,[…]

The Art and Architecture of Early Dynastic Egypt, c.3100-2686 BCE

The funerary temple complex of Djoser / Photo by Lansbricae, Wikimedia Commons The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art, architecture and religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic Period. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.03.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Art in the Early Dynastic Period The Early Dynastic Period of Egypt immediately followed the[…]

Rome’s Flaminian Obelisk: An Epic Journey from Divine Egyptian Symbol to Tourist Attraction

Piazza del Popolo. Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-ND From the Temple of Heliopolis to the centre of Rome, the massive stone column has boosted the egos of several powerful men. By Dr. Nicky Nielsen / 05.03.2018 Lecturer in Egyptology University of Manchester It’s a great place to sit in the shade and enjoy a gelato. The base of the Flaminian Obelisk[…]

Why a Building and Its Rooms Should Have a Human Character

Renaissance master Andrea Palladio designed Villa La Rotonda with rooms of various characters, which at night served as viewing boxes for fireworks displays in the surrounding landscape. Bogna/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA Might we enjoy our homes more if their rooms were characterised by their sense of loftiness or intimacy or cheerfulness or melancholy rather than lifeless labels such as ‘media room’[…]

An Introduction to Chaco Canyon

Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Chacoan petroglyphs can be found at the base of the cliffs (photo: Adam Meek, CC BY 2.0) New Mexico is known as the “land of enchantment.” By Dr. Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank / 04.12.2018 Assistant Professor of Art History Pepperdine University New Mexico is known as the “land of enchantment.” Among its many wonders,[…]

Rome’s First Emperor Died 2,000 Years Ago – His Tomb is Now Used as a Toilet

Not so august now. Stefano Carniccio/Shutterstock Monument restoration requires lacking funds. By Alice Borchi / 08.19.2014 PhD Candidate, University of Warwick Research Fellow, University of Hull Augustus, who died 2000 years ago, was the first emperor of Rome. He brought peace after the turmoil in the republic after the assassination of Julius Caesar when he defeated[…]

Year-Long Production Underway to Bring the Sistine Chapel to Life

Technicians attend a rehearsal of the show Universal Judgment: Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel, directed by Marco Balich, on March 13 near the Vatican. The Vatican Museums, which house the Sistine Chapel, provided high-definition digital reproductions of the frescoes in the hall at a reduced rate because they acknowledged the educational value of[…]

The Buildings of the Future Will Keep Rearranging Themselves

Kurokawa’s Toshiba-IHI Pavilion, Osaka Expo 1970. Takato Manui / Wikimedia Commons By Darran Anderson / 12.07.2015 One of the great laboratories of the future and its side-effects is science fiction. ‘The wall flickered partially out of existence as he stepped through to the corridor,’ wrote Arthur C Clarke in his novel The City and the Stars (1956), ‘and[…]

Leaving Rome: Gothic Art and Architecture

View from north-east of Reims Cathedral (High Gothic) / Photo by G.Garitan, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.05.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Gothic Art 1.1 – Introduction 1.1.1 – Overview Gothic art developed after the Romanesque, in the 12th century.  The style continued to be used well into the 16th century in[…]

The Hindu Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, India

Shore Temple, Mamallapuram, India (photo: KenWalker, CC-BY-SA-3.0) By Dr. Anisha Saxena / 04.24.2018 Consultant for Northern California on the South Asian Diaspora Project Syracuse University Seashore as canvas The Bay of Bengal (map: NormanEinstein, CC BY-SA 3.0) Along the shores of one of the largest bays in the world, the Bay of Bengal, stands a temple complex that[…]

‘Roman-Like’: Early to High Medieval Romanesque Art and Architecture

Abbaye de Lessay (département de la Manche), France / Photo by Ji-Elle, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 05.02.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Romanesque Period 1.1 – Introduction Romanesque art was affected by shifting political powers following the Carolingian period and mobility during the Crusades. 1.1.1 – The Source of Inspiration[…]

A History of African Civilizations

Old Lime kiln in Simplon Namibia / Photo by Hp.Baumeler, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Early Africa 1.1 – The Bantu Migration 1.1.1 – Overview The Bantu expansion, or a postulated millennia-long series of migrations of speakers of the original proto-Bantu language group, originated from the adjoining regions of[…]

The Art and Architecture of Early Medieval Europe

Torhalle Lorsch / Photo by Immanuel Giel, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 04.29.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Early Middle Ages 1.1 – Introduction The Early Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire and ended in the early 11th century; its art encompasses vast and divergent forms of media.[…]

The Villa J. Paul Getty Built but Never Saw

J. Paul Getty (at left) views a model of the Getty Villa at Sutton Place, his home in England, in 1971. The Getty Research Institute, Institutional Archives. Ancient and modern history intertwine at the Getty Villa. By Dr. Kenneth Lapatin / 04.10.2018 Curator of Antiquities J. Paul Getty Museum Ironically, J. Paul Getty never saw[…]

Native American Art and Architecture before 1300 CE

Basketry bowl with checkerboard and arrow head motif / Mint Museum Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 04.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The New World 1.1 – Introduction Indigenous visual arts traditions in the Americas span thousands of years, representing cultures from Mesoamerica to the Arctic. The New World refers to the western hemisphere,[…]

The Meenakshi Hindu Temple at Madurai

Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Naidu, India (photo: Jorge Royan, CC BY-SA 3.0) By Edward Fosmire / 04.03.2018 Assistant Professor of Art Santa Ana College Imagine approaching a temple complex where you are greeted by a soaring gateway more than fifteen stories tall, covered in 1500 brightly painted sculptures of divine and demonic figures. It’s overwhelming and[…]

Excavating Etruscan Acquarossa

A revetment plaque depicting dancers. Terracotta, Portico Building A, Acquarossa. 6th century BCE. (National Etruscan Museum of Viterbo, Italy). / Dan Diffendale, Flickr, Creative Commons By Mark Cartwright / 02.03.2017 Introduction Acquarossa, located in the north of Italy’s Lazio region, is the site of an Etruscan settlement of unknown name. Although much smaller than other, more famous Etruscan towns, Acquarossa has proved invaluable[…]

Largest Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis Shows How Unique Macedonia Was

The (smaller) tombs at Vergina. Damian Entwistle, CC BY-NC By Dr. Laura Swift / 08.18.2014 Lecturer in Classical Studies The Open University The tomb is located near the ancient city of Amphipolis, and archaeologists have been excavating it for the last six years. While there are still plenty of questions unanswered (who it was made for for example),[…]

Mesa Verde: Ancestral Puebloan Homes in Cliffs

By Dr. Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank / 08.09.2015 Assistant Professor of Art History Pepperdine University Wanted: stunning view Cliff dwellings, Ancestral Puebloan, 450–1300 C.E., sandstone, Mesa Verde National Park, (photo: Steven Zucker, CC: BY-NC-SA 2.0) Imagine living in a home built into the side of a cliff. The Ancestral Puebloan peoples (formerly known as the Anasazi) did just that in some of[…]