Stuffed Ox, Dummy Tree, Artificial Rock: Deception in the Work of Richard and Cherry Kearton

“Shouldering the imitation ox”, from a 1909 edition of Richard Kearton’s Wild Nature’s Ways / archive.org John Bevis explores the various feats of cunning and subterfuge undertaken by the Kearton brothers — among the very first professional wildlife photographers — in their pioneering attempts to get ever closer to their subjects. By John Bevis /[…]

Divine Images as Beings in Western Europe, 1500-1960: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

By Dr. William A. Christian Former Visiting Professor of Religious History, University of California, Santa Barbara Historian of Religion, MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program Toribia del Valintroduced one of the ways of connecting with the divine: the visit of a supernatural with counsel and instructions for a specific purpose, in her case to end a drought[…]

Rite of Spring: Frank Gehry and the Walt Disney Concert Hall of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, 2004. / Photo by John Sullivan, Wikimedia Commons The inside story of how Gehry secured the commission for Disney Hall, and then completed the “slow, awesome task” of perfecting the design. By Dr. Thomas S. Hines / 05.25.2017 Architectural Historian Professor Emeritus University of California, Los Angeles[…]

The Art of Mexican Independence

Anonymous, Allegory of Independence (detail), 1834 (Museo Histórico Curato de Dolores, Guanajato, INAH) By Dr. Maya Jiménez / 02.17.2017 Lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art and Assistant Professor of Art History Kingsborough Community College, CUNY The first two, and most notable, countries in the Americas to gain independence were the United States (1776), led[…]

The Academy of San Carlos

Site of the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City since 1791 (photo: Steven Zucker) By Dr. Maya Jiménez / 02.17.2017 Lecturer at the Museum of Modern Art and Assistant Professor of Art History Kingsborough Community College, CUNY From its beginnings in the sixteenth century, the Viceroyalty of New Spain had been home to many[…]

The Tomb of Fastia Velsi from Chiusi

By Dr. Richard De Puma Professor Emeritus of Art History University of Iowa Etruscan Studies 11:9 (2008), 134-149 The modern Tuscan town of Chiusi is the site of one of the major inland cities of the ancient Etruscans. For centuries the settlement, its cemeteries and the extensive satellite communities have been explored, plundered and excavated.[…]

An Ancient Roman Vomitorium: NOT a Place to Vomit

A Roman Feast, by Roberto Bompiani, late 19th century / Getty Center, Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Caillan Davenport (left) and Dr. Shushma Malik (right) / 01.19.2017 Caillan: Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History and ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland Malik: Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, The University of Queensland After[…]

The ‘Vienna Genesis’

The fall of man and God’s covenant with Noah, from the Vienna Genesis, folio 3 recto, early 6th century, tempera, gold and silver on purple vellum, 31.75 x 23.5 cm (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 05.05.2017 Associate Professor of Art History Indiana University Wealthy Christian families living in the Byzantine world may[…]

The Art of Conquest in England and Normandy

Horses disembarking from Norman longships, Bayeux Tapestry, c. 1070, embroidered wool on linen, 20 inches high (Bayeux Museum) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 05.05.2017 Associate Professor of Art History Indiana University The Invasion On September 28, 1066, the tiny community of Pevensey (on the south-east coast of England), huddled inside the ruins of a late[…]

The Women of Mycenaean Pylos and Knossos

Fresco from Mycenae (1250-1180 BCE). Photo by Mark Cartwright, Archeaological Museum Mycenae By Judith Weingarten / 11.27.2016 Archaeologist Eritha, A Mycenaean Uppity Woman Around the year 1300 B.C.E., a priestess named Eritha argued a law suit against the governing council of the district of Pa-ki-ja-na (= Sphagianes, “the place of ritual slaughter”).  Eritha was high-priestess[…]

Pumapunku: A Capable and Innovative Culture, not ‘Ancient Aliens’

Photo by Brattarb, Wikimedia Commons Though some claim the stone structure at Pumapunku were alien, archaeologists find no real mysteries there. By Brian Dunning / 08.20.2010 Today we’re going to climb high into the Andes and take a look at an ancient structure that has been cloaked with as much pop-culture mystery as just about[…]

Ancient Egyptian Pigment Provides Modern Forensics with a New Coat of Paint

Latent fingermarks dusted with micronised Egyptian blue on a $20 note, viewed in the Near Infrared. Simon Lewis, Author provided   By Ivy Shih and Dr. Simon Lewis / 05.29.2016 Shih: Editor, The Conversation Lewis: Professor of Forensics and Analytical Chemistry, Curtin University It was during a trip to Indianapolis that Professor Simon Lewis, a[…]

Etruscan Visual Representations of the Birth of Athena and Minerva: A Comparative Study

The Birth of Minverva, by René-Antoine Houasse, 17th century / Palace of Versailles By Dr. Shanna Kennedy-Quigley Lecturer in Art History University of California, Los Angeles Etruscan Studies 8:5 (2001), 64-78[1] The myth of Zeus’s miraculous propagation of Athena is the subject not only of such Greek poetic masters asHesiod,Homer, Aeschylus, and Euripides, but a[…]

Changing Modes in the Representation of Cult Images on Ancient Greek Vases

By Dr. Brita Alroth Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History Upplala University, Sweden Introduction The title of this article, changing modes in the representation of cult images, promises more, I think, than I can deliver. At the present time, I have more questions than answers – questions that have arisen from the representations of cult[…]

The Basilica of Maxentius

Reconstruction of the Basilica of Maxentius / Jorgen Hartogs, Vimeo By Katleiah Ramos / 09.30.2013   Introduction Romans lived like they were gods because they built like they were gods – colossal, majestic and structurally remarkable. Many things come to mind when thinking of ancient and imperial Romans. Romans were farmers, conquerors, city planners, and[…]

Woodcuts and Witches

Witches presenting wax dolls to the devil, featured in The History of Witches and Wizards (1720) / (Wellcome Library) Jon Crabb on the witch-craze of Early Modern Europe, and how the concurrent rise of the mass-produced woodcut helped forge the archetype of the broom-riding crone — complete with cauldron and cats — so familiar today.[…]

The Ancient Origins of the Flower Crown

Apollo Crowning Himself (detail), 1781–82, Antonio Canova. Marble, 33 3/8 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 95.SA.71. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program From symbol of victory to Snapchat filter, wreaths of leaves and flowers have had symbolic meaning in Western culture for over 2,000 years By Emily Carruthers / 05.04.2017[…]

Fixing the Ephemeral: An Ongoing Conversation with Artist Donald Blumberg

Untitled from the series Television Political Mosaics 1968–1969, 1968–69, Donald Blumberg. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Donald R. and Grace Blumberg. © Donald Blumberg The Los Angeles-based artist speaks about photography, time, and the desire to remember. By Laura Hubber / 04.28.2017 Content Producer, Interpretive Media Department J. Paul Getty Museum For more than five[…]

‘Discarded History’ Exhibition Lifts the Lid on 1,000 Years of Medieval History

From the collection / Cambridge University Library Treasures from the world’s largest and most important collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts – chronicling 1,000 years of history in Old Cairo – have gone on display in Cambridge today for a six-month-long exhibition at Cambridge University Library. 04.27.2017 Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo opens to[…]

Engineering Rome: Trajan’s Forum

By Aaron Couch / 10.26.2015 University of Washington In a city full of engineering marvels and tourists attractions such as ‍‍‍‍‍‍the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and St. Peter’s Basilica, it is hard to imagine that for centuries the most visited and important places in Rome were the public forums. A Roman tradition from their inception, the[…]