Why ring out 2014, when you can celebrate the end of 1976 with Donny & Marie (along with Tina Turner, Rip Taylor, and Billy Preston). Or try 1961 with Dinah Shore and Nat King Cole. But if television is too modern for you, you can always just sit back and listen to a old-time NYE Radio Show.
Dazed by the recent Blondie retrospective at the (former) Chelsea Hotel? Celebrate Blondie at 40 with some music videos : = Dreaming Union City Blues Hanging on the Telephone Rip Her to Shreds Heart Of Glass (modern retake) Denis X Offender Atomic Rapture The Tide Is High One Way Or Another
Are you trying to write a period-correct Captain America story or just have questions about NYC in the 1930s-40s in general? The tumblr Steve Rogers Is Historically Accurate is here to help.
In seven minutes, you can see the evolution of London, as seen in its road network, from the Roman port city of Londonium through the Anglo-Saxon, Tudor, Stuart, Early Georgian and Late Georgian, Early Victorian and Late Victorian, Early 20th Century and Postwar London, set to the scale of the 600 square miles of modern London, though the original city core is a very dense square mile. [more inside]
Deviates, Inc is a tumblr devoted to exploring the visual culture of LGBT history ranging from Gilded Age drag queens, classic Hollywood lesbians, to militant gay activism.
After a year of production, John Green's Crash Course US History has come to an end, traveling from the conflicts between the native Americans and the Spanish to the Affordable Care Act.
Adam Thirlwell has written five essays in as many years for The New Republic. They all concern themselves with literature, especially French, though the first one was about Charles Dickens and how he was the most avant-garde writer of the 19th Century. The second was about Roland Barthes' plans to write a novel which came to nothing when he died. In Visionary Materialism, Thirlwell explores Rimbaud's Illuminations from several angles. Genocide and the Fine Arts is about Claude Lanzmann, the director of Shoah, and his complicated relationship with his famous work. The latest one, Baudelaire's Humiliation as a Way of Life, is about Baudelaire's place at the crux of the 19th Century revolution in letters.
I’ve found that while Japan has always been a significant force in the world of design, not many people are familiar with the names or faces behind the distinct aesthetic. In this edition I would like to briefly introduce some of the notable* industrial designers of the 20th Century that have made meaningful contributions to what we know today as Contemporary Japanese Design. by the ever wonderful Spoon & Tamago [more inside]
Baseball Magazine, founded by Jake Morse in 1908, was the first monthly baseball magazine in the United States. The LA84 Foundation has posted free online copies of the first thirteen years of Baseball Magazine. [more inside]
British Marxist historian and lover of jazz, Eric Hobsbawm is dead: Guardian obit. His key works: Industry and Empire (1968); and the "Age of" series, which he began with The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848, first published in 1962. Followed in 1975 by The Age of Capital: 1848-1875. And in 1987, The Age of Empire: 1875-1914. A fourth volume, The Age of Extremes: 1914-91, was published in 1994. He also found time to be castaway on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs (5 March 1995). Other than the music, his choice of book was a collection of Neruda's poems and his "luxury item" was a pair of binoculars. stream or download
On July 22, 2012, Herb Vogel passed away. Herb worked his entire life for the US Postal Service, while his wife Dorothy worked for the Brooklyn Public Library. In spite of their humble backgrounds, the couple were renowned in art circles for amassing over the course of decades a deeply personal collection of over 2500 pieces of 20th C. contemporary American art, a collection so vast that it could not be housed in the National Gallery of Art. A traveling exhibition entitled Fifty Works in Fifty States was set up to share the Vogel's treasures with the American public in museums across the country, as well as online. The wonderful story of the deep love that the Vogels shared for each other and their passion for art, beauty and human creativity was told in the eponymous documentary Herb and Dorothy.
On Flickr, vieilles_annonces posts scans from her "rather large magazine collection of Ebony, Jet and similar magazines from the 1910s on." [more inside]
Was your favorite childhood book written by a radical lefty? Scholars reveal the socialist history of 20th century American children's literature. Discover the myriad connections between midcentury American socialism and Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Syd Hoff (Danny and the Dinosaur), and the authors of many of the Little Golden Books and I Can Read Books.
For more than forty years, Betty Debnam has been writing, illustrating, and publishing a newspaper for kids: The Mini Page. It's now fully archived online. [more inside]
Don't Make Excuses - Make Good! Between World Wars I and II, the U.S. economy was booming - workers had choices and employers competed for their time. How to motivate and gain loyalty from a labor force that knew it could walk out the door and find more work soon? Charles Mather, head of a family printing business in Chicago, offered employers a solution: the first motivational posters for the private workplace market. Printed between 1923 and 1929, Mather's "Work Incentive Posters" used strong imagery and short, clear messaging to encourage workplace values like teamwork, punctuality, safety, and loyalty. Today, some of his 350 designs can be seen in traveling exhibitions and poster galleries, and Antiques Road Show - or you can soak up some motivation from his modern-day successors at Successories - or generate your own. [more inside]
Henry Luce's original prospectus for LIFE magazine, written with the help of poet Archibald MacLeish:
To see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events; to watch the faces of the poor and the gestures of the proud; to see strange things—machines, armies, multitudes, shadows in the jungle and on the moon; to see man's work—his paintings, towers and discoveries; to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to; the women that men love and many children; to see and take pleasure in seeing; to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed;
Thus to see, and to be shown, is now the will and new expectancy of half mankind.
To see, and to show, is the mission now undertaken by a new kind of publication, THE SHOW-BOOK OF THE WORLD, hereinafter described.
An ever-growing treasure trove of magazine cover and advertising art from the Golden Age of American illustration. Check out wonderful covers from Theatre Magazine, Adventure Magazine, the Argosy, Photoplay, and Black Mask. Here's a scary cover from Laughter magazine, a strange and beautiful Life cover from 1887, and a copy of The Liberator that I dearly wish I could flip through. See also collections of great old ads for soap, cigarettes and books, among others. The intro page is here.
The Early Television Foundation and Museum Website covers the nascent days of the nation's pastime, with interesting items like mechanical TVs and programming schedules from 1939.
The Birmingham Central Library, one of the largest and most important public libraries in Europe, has often been vilified as one of the ugliest buildings in Britain. A prime example of Brutalism, English Heritage has (controversially) recommended that the structure should be listed. Others want it to go the way of Portsmouth's hated Tricorn Centre. [more inside]
20th Century Avant-Garde is a great resource guide to experimental art from 1900 onwards. Special sections for dada, the situationists and fluxus. You can also browse by categories such as artists, film and video art, movements in art, publishers and many more. If you're interested in experimental art of the 20th Century you can get lost in this site for hours.
Ladies, please remove your hats. Irate parents wrote indignant letters to the principal. Make do and mend. Teddy boys (the first real manifestation of youth culture?): horsewhip all of 'em. You can take a maxi up but you can't let a mini down. Although midis did have some compensations. [more inside]
American Rhetoric :: an online archive
In 1957, Swiss typographer Max Miedinger invented "the official typeface of the 20th century" -- Helvetica [previously discussed here, via Arts and Letters Daily].
The Exploring 20th century London project draws on some 8000 items from the Museum of London, Transport Museum, Jewish Museum and the Museum of Croydon. Material includes photos, drawings, posters, artefacts, sound files etc. Browse/search by theme, timeline and location. [sitemap]
George Orwell né Eric Arthur Blair is probably best known to readers for his eerily prescient novels 1984 and Animal Farm. This comprehensive Orwell site betrays an erudite, complex, fascinating personality who wrote about a variety of subjects, from an exposition on British class relations affecting the art and practice of murder, to the complex moral compromises of Gandhi's practice of non-violent resistance, to the doublespeak-laden corruption of the English language as a telling reflection of a corrupt, brutal, post-WWII culture — and much, much more. This site also includes Russian translations of much of Orwell's work.
McKinley Assassination Ink: "The goal [...]: to gather the largest possible selection of full-text primary source documents relating to the assassination of William McKinley and the immediate aftermath of that event, including the succession of Theodore Roosevelt to the presidency and the incarceration, trial, and execution of [anarchist] assassin Leon Czolgosz."
"The Korean Saving Private Ryan," or Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004). Reviews. Plot synopsis (spoilers). Box Office: Over 20% of South Korea saw this film.
Concealed hearing devices of the 19th and 20th centuries. Great images in this delightful exhibit of wacky yet charming devices like auricle headphones, dentaphones, concealed beard receptors, barrettes, jewelry, hats, and acoustic chairs.
Getting Bored is Not Allowed at the Plaza Hotel, at least not according to its famous fictional resident, the exhausting, spoiled and infectiously ebullient Eloise. Sadly, though, today's news is anything but boring: the Plaza's new owners announced plans to close the iconic hotel for 18 months, and renovate it to create private condos -- throwing hundreds of employees out of work. It's been said that nothing unimportant ever happens at the Plaza: from its 1907 opening to Truman Capote's 1966 Black and White Ball, the Plaza has hosted literati, glitterati, rock stars, and royalty. It has graced the screen in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Great Gatsby, making Hollywood history when it became the first fully on-location film shoot for North by Northwest. Ernest Hemingway told F. Scott Fitzgerald to give his liver to Princeton and his heart to the Plaza; Dorothy Parker got her pink slip from Vanity Fair there. Residents, at various times, included Frank Lloyd Wright, Cary Grant, and Judy Garland. Every President since Taft has stepped through its giant engraved revolving doors. Chef Boyardee of canned-spaghetti fame got his start in its kitchens. No New York tourist's rounds are complete without a bloody mary and some bluepoints at the Oyster Bar, a martini in the Oak Room bar, or tea in the Palm Court, and its French-chateau facade is a Central Park centerpiece. An employees' group and a supporting 'Friends of the Plaza' group have begun working to save the gracious place, with the goal of preserving not only the building and their jobs, but the very idea of the quintessential New York luxury hotel. Almost enough to make folks want the Donald back.
A Visit to Old Los Angeles "A pictorial survey of downtown Los Angeles, and certain other areas, focusing on the years 1900 to 1915, though occasionally making use of images from other times. This series will follow, primarily by means of actual postcards of the era, the travels of a farming family from the great plains as they visit Los Angeles and its environs in the early years of the Twentieth Century." In 29 episodes, and with lots of postcards.
Worse movies of the 20th century? I think not. There's lots of stinkers here, but including Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and ignoring such dreck as The Omega Man certainly has to be illegal somewhere. Let the "I thought this underrated movie was actually good" confessions commence. [via the null device]
Browsing the results of Time's "Worst Ideas of the 20th Century" poll (Daryl Hall's solo career, Ugandan Space Program) made me wonder whether we've got a candidate for the next one already: (more...)
The NEA and the RIAA (demon spawn) collaborate on a list of the top songs of 20th century, topped by Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The list was picked by hundreds of "music lovers across the country" from "all walks of life," including the "music industry," according to the press release. The voters picked from 1,100 songs provided by the RIAA and the NEA, though write-in spaces were available on the ballots. The announcement of the list is part of a wider effort to bring the songs to school-age children and adolescents, in a project that involves Scholastic publishing and AOL (the Great Satan). Step right up and take a few whacks at them...
The Top Economic Events of the Twentieth Century is an interesting list. It's good to know that people truly realize the economic importance of things like the Apple II and the Web browser.