New Deal Murals at Coit Tower: Meaningful Work for Depression-Era Artists

The idea of such a tower was derided at first as an eyesore, but more “beautification” was still to come. San Francisco lore has it that one afternoon in the late 1850s, Lillie Hitchcock Coit, at age fifteen, threw down her schoolbooks and pitched in to help shorthanded firefighters with a blaze on Telegraph Hill,[…]

World War II and American Visual Culture

Examining how the popular media documented the people and activities of the homefront and the battlefront. Originally published by Newberry Digital Collections for the Classroom, 08.29.2017, Newberry Library, republished with permission for educational, non-commercial purposes. Introduction The second global war of the twentieth century, World War II (1939-1945) began when Adolph Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland[…]

Drinking in Victorian and Edwardian Britain

People drank for many different reasons and these reasons ranged across social class, gender, and region. Introduction This offers different and sometimes contrasting perspectives on the reasons why alcohol was consumed and on the drinking cultures that emerged from the Victorian period. Alcohol played a key role in the everyday lives of men and women[…]

What a Portrait of a British Family Reveals about 18th-Century England and Tea

Exploring tea time in the portrait of John, Fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and his Family. Because I am currently spending most of my time at home, as are many of you, I’ve been thinking more and more often to the domestic setting. While most of us aren’t being served tea in 18th-century country houses, in[…]

Alexander the Great: The Royal and Funerary Thrones of Macedonia

In archaic and classical Greece thrones were reserved for the gods and by extension, their priests and priestesses. There is no evidence in either Greece or Macedon in the archaic and classical periods that the throne functioned as a symbol of royalty. Thrones were for the gods and their priests. Only the king of Persia[…]

Alexander the Great, the King in Shining Armour

Examining the Macedonian king in combat. In his account of the preparations for the battle at Granicus, Arrian notes that the Persians could easily identify Alexander on the other bank of the river by his armour: “he was unmistakable ‒ Arrian (An. 1.14.4) says ‒ from the splendour of his equipment and the enthusiasm of[…]