The argument over whether photography should be considered an art form seems laughable to us today. Yet, beginning in the 1880s and lasting into the 20th century, members of amateur photographic clubs and societies the world over deemed the topic of artistic photography worthy of a decades-long shouting match. PhotoSeed, representing an evolving online record of this early fine-art photography movement, is a rich collection of photographs representing numerous vintage processes. From delicate platinum to exquisite hand-pulled photogravures, images produced singularly or published in portfolios and journals, as well as vintage source material, investigate the roots of the online galleries with the PhotoSeed Highlights.
The Beauty of Engraving is the name of a site that Neenah Paper has devoted to the ancient practice of engraved printing, with a focus on its CRANE Papers line. Check out the video to see modern engraving in action. While the site's history of engraving and also of CRANE are interesting, the highlight is a gallery of user-submitted engraved work.
Old Book Illustrations are vintage pictures that were originally wood engravings or woodcuts, etchings or metal engravings. Old Book Art is pictures, drawings, maps and other images from antiquarian, public-domain books and other old documents. [more inside]
An archival photo from The New York Times shows news pictures being sorted in the newspaper’s photo “morgue,” which houses millions of images. Here they are — several each week — for you to see. Welcome to The Lively Morgue. [more inside]
If you’ve spent much time in museums—or even leafing through art books—you’ve probably come across something that leaves you scratching your head. You’re not alone. The very funny, if occasionally puerile blog WTF Art History was created, according to the anonymous art historian who writes it, for “everyone who loves art history but has a sense of humor to know that even great masters create things that leave us asking, WTF?” [via] [prev]
Arkitypo — Using the 26 letters of the alphabet as the starting point, the curators selected a specific typeface that began with each respective letter to develop a 3d alphabet of alphabets. After thoroughly researching the history of each letter, they set out to represent each individual character graphically with elements of its history serving as the foundation. Arkitypo: letter rotations on Vimeo.
Driving through Time features roughly 2700 photographs and 76 interactive maps of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The website allows students, researchers, and digital tourists to uncover hidden stories, hear forgotten voices, and understand the often wrenching choices that the construction and preservation of a scenic parkway in a populated region have necessarily entailed. [more inside]
National Register Photostream — Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
The history of Toronto in photos is 90 some odd posts linked to provide a thematically organized visual overview. The vast majority of the photographs featured derive from the Toronto Archives. Should you be interested in a less visually oriented take on Toronto history, there is also the Nostalgia Tripping series, which was designed to be a bit more about storytelling than just the photos.
Beautiful Type is a patchwork of photos and illustrations having a relationship with typography. AisleOne is focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. iABC is a collection of beautiful letters. Inspiration Bit has a nice archive of articles about web typography. Nicetype is about fonts, logos, posters and software. Twenty-Six Types celebrates the beautiful letters. Typenuts is type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpapers. Typoretum is about typography, letterpress and printing history. Enjoy.
Most of the prints in the exhibit "Beauty, Virtue and Vice: Images of Women in Nineteenth-Century American Prints" were designed simply to please the eye, but they are also useful to historians who would like to understand how nineteenth-century Americans thought about the world in which they lived. Although prints are often works of imagination (even when they are grounded in fact), they still have much to tell us about the time and place in which they were created. [more inside]
The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is America’s first water-based national historic trail. It consists of the combined routes of Smith’s historic voyages on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in 1607-1609. Designated by Congress in December 2006, the trail stretches approximately 3,000 miles up and down the Bay and along tributaries in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. [more inside]
I Always Wondered. A light-hearted outlet for curiosity.
Waterlife — No matter where we live, the Great Lakes affect us all. And as species of fish disappear and rates of birth defects and cancer rise, it seems one thing is clear: the Great Lakes are changing and something's not quite right with the water. An interactive documentary film from the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore signature works by composers Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, and Dmitri Shostakovich in depth, and at their own pace. The interactive audio and video explores the composers’ scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical back stories. [more inside]
Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works. "There is evidence that a big part of AA’s effectiveness may have nothing to do with the actual (12) steps. It may derive from something more fundamental: the power of the group. The importance of this is reflected by the fact that the more deeply AA members commit to the group, rather than just the program, the better they fare." [more inside]
The use of movable type in China is now a rare business. Invented in China by Bi Sheng during the Song Dynasty, movable type was created as a system to print lengthy Buddhist scripture. This traditional method has mostly been replaced by offset and digital printing, but lately, there has been discussion about collecting these existing artifacts and setting up printing museums or digitizing the complete fonts.
Clio Visualizing History seeks to illustrate the unique role of visual images in American history. That history is rich with images taken by women, and of women. Frances Benjamin Johnston photographed a diverse sample of Americana from politicians to mine workers, socialites to factory women, and public institutions. She was a peer of many, including Gertrude Käsebier and the Allen sisters. [more inside]
The U.S. National Archives' Flickr Photostream. Includes collections of historical photographs and documents | Civil War photos by Mathew Brady | and the Documerica Project by the EPA in the 1970s. There is also a nice set of Ansel Adams landscape photographs.
Sometimes, the full meaning of a moment isn't realized until years later. Dick Brookins certainly had no idea what would come of that December day, back in 1944. Brookins and other members of the U.S. Army's 28th Infantry Division Signal Corps were in Wiltz, a small town in Luxembourg, just days before what would turn into the Battle of the Bulge. This U.S. soldier stood in for an absent Saint Nicholas... it was to change his life and help him find some meaning for the war in Europe. As it turns out, someone was filming that day when an Army jeep carried the American St. Nick through the streets giving treats to the local children. It brought him back 65 years later.
Take your nose on a stroll down memory lane with vintage perfumery. The Vintage Perfume Vault features fragrance reviews and articles on perfume history. Perfume Shrine offers articles on perfumery including essays on the science of fragrance and aroma materials, interviews with perfumers and industry professionals, trend-watching. Inspiration in Perfumery profiles Henri Robert, Andre Fraysse, Ernest Beaux and Edmond Roudnitska. More about olfactory delights from 1000 Fragrances. [more inside]
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean, were among the earliest filmmakers. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière, ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him. It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera — most notably film perforations as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector, and the cinématographe. Their first public screening of films at which admission was charged was held on December 28, 1895 in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds. [more inside]
Technology innovation will be a large part of late 20th century American history. Now the gearheads can explore the roots of all that geekdom. The Geek's Guide to Seattle is a virtual tour of some of the region’s most interesting and notable technology locations. A Geek's Tour of Silicon Valley hits hotspots there. Don't forget The Tech Museum and the Computer History Museum. Back east, there's Research Triangle Park (pdf) in North Carolina, and The Computing Revolution at the Museum of Science in Boston.
The Art of the Prank offers insights, information, news and discussions about pranks, hoaxes, culture jamming and reality hacking around the world. Includes topics such as The History of Pranks, The Prank As Art, and the Sociology and Psychology of Pranks. Get pranking. [more inside]
Have you ever wondered what New York was like before it was a city? Find out at The Mannahatta Project, by navigating through the map to discover Manhattan Island and its native wildlife in 1609. [more inside]
Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
Japanese Balloon Bombs — "In 1944, during World War II, Japan launched a top secret project, nearly two years in the making, to send thousands of "balloon bombs" (called Fu-Go Weapons) to the United States. The goal of the attack was to create panic, forest fires, and show the United States that it could be attacked from afar. Each of the more than 9,000 balloon bombs launched towards the United States, over the course of several months, carried a 15 kilogram bomb that would detach from the balloon and explode on impact with the ground." On a Wind and a Prayer. [more inside]
SmARThistory is an edited online art history resource to augment or replace traditional art history texts. For a given artwork, smARThistory brings together podcasts, video clips, images, links to other resources, and commentary, providing a rich context for the work. Indexed by timeline, artistic style, artist and theme.
In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation. From The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture [prev], more than 16,500 pages of text, 8,300 illustrations, and 60+ maps. [more inside]
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?" ― Winston Churchill, 1935. The World War II Database connects people, events, photographs, and other elements of history in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
The Quilt Index is a growing research and reference tool designed to share access to information and images about quilts provided by an array of contributors. You may search by category including time period, style and technique, location, or fabric.
As patrons begin to fill a room decorated with toy monkeys, beer posters and a silver disco ball, Mr. Seaberry emerges in a startling suit of red with white pinstripes and a snazzy white hat, and smoking a cheroot. “Po’ Monkey is all anybody ever called me since I was little,” he said. “I don’t know why, except I was poor for sure.” Transformed in the 1950s from a sharecropper shack that was built probably in the 1920s, Poor Monkey's Lounge is one of the last rural juke joints along The Trail of the Hellhound on the Mississippi Delta. [more inside]
Explore the History of the Ancient Greek World from the Neolithic to the Classical Period. Covering important topics, such as Art and Architecture, Mythology, Wars, Culture and Society, Poetry, Olympics, History Periods, Philosophy, Playwrights, Kings and Rulers of Ancient Greece.
According to legend, Einstein was eating chocolate when he came upon the theory of relativity. These sites are all about chocolate and candy in general. Chocolate Obsession. Hyperbole? Maybe. Just a little. Ok, a lot. Chocolate does have a lot to offer, though. It is a one of a kind food characterized by a truly unique and intense flavor. The idea of Jim's Chocolate Mission came after a discussion with friends about the greatest chocolate bar. Was is the Wispa? Galaxy? Clark? The Chocolate Review is most likely to review English chocolate because that's where they're from, but they also do imports. [more inside]
Top Events USA lists their top 20 events across the USA, the top 10 events and festivals for each of the United States, and lists of the best annual events and festivals by category or theme. [more inside]
The Academy of Achievement brings students face-to-face with the extraordinary leaders, thinkers and pioneers who have shaped our world. Through profiles, biographies, and interviews Achievers in The Arts, Business, Public Service, Science, and Sports teach us how the Academy's core values of passion, vision, preparation, courage, perseverance, and integrity can, and will, lead to success. [more inside]
Moving Image Source is devoted to the history of film, television, and digital media. It features original articles by leading critics, authors, and scholars; a calendar that highlights major retrospectives, festivals, and gallery exhibitions at venues around the world; and a regularly updated guide to online research resources. [more inside]
Pronounced "chin" ("stringed instrument") or "goo chin" ("old stringed instrument"), the qin / guqin throughout its long history has been the musical instrument most prized by China's literati. They categorized it as one of their "four arts", collected it as an art object, praised its beautiful music, and built around it a complex ideology (compare its image in popular culture). No other instrument was described and illustrated in such detail, so often depicted in paintings, or so regularly mentioned in poetry. And its tablature documents the world's oldest detailed written instrumental music tradition, allowing both historically informed performance (requiring silk strings) of the many early melodies, and practical exploration of the relationship between Chinese music theory and music practice. The guqin silk string zither work of John Thompson. [more inside]
Animated Divots ― comprehensive resource on the history of animation including important events such as new techniques, studio history, and pioneers in the field. Also includes a bibliography of books and journals and filmographies of significant animators, directors, and studios.
This is a collection of the National Archives stored in the Digital Vaults. You can browse through hundreds of photographs, documents, and film clips and discover the connection between some of the National Archives' most treasured records. With the Pathways tool you can see the unique and surprising connections between events and people and test your knowledge of history. As you travel through the site and collect documents, images and films, you can then merge the objects to create your own poster or movie from your collection.
The ancient web is an online resource for students, teachers, and anyone interested in the cultures of the ancient world. With the Olympics fast approaching, here is an opportunity to learn more about the past 4500 years of Chinese civilization. Or how the Celtiberians would get drunk and eat raw meat before going to war. 24 ancient civilizations in all.
These are the documents that started it all. The Charters of Freedom. As the USA celebrates another Independence Day, the National Archives presents the historical development of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their impact upon the nation and the world.
HistoryWorld is a general-knowledge website, designed for anyone above the age of about twelve with an interest in history. I found the site searching for dance history, but it includes 400 broad topics with more added all the time. It approaches history as a narrative, making full use of chronology. This is for the student as well as the researcher. [more inside]
The History of Computing Project is a collaborative effort to record and publish the history of the computer and its roots. The site includes a chronological timeline, biographies of computing pioneers, a look at computing hardware through the years, as well as software and games. [more inside]