Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Legos, Matzohs, Mines, Moons, Morris, & More!


- In the brick of it: When an NYC artist recalled his childhood Legos, something snapped into place : "Nathan Sawaya got a Lego set from his grandparents when he was 5. While most kids outgrow the toy building bricks, this 36-year-old artist is still playing with them. The Manhattanite has made a living selling massive Lego sculptures to everyone from famous musicians to moguls, and he's about to open New York's first full solo exhibit made entirely of the plastic pieces. "Brick by Brick: The Lego Brick Sculpture of Nathan Sawaya" opens tomorrow at the Agora Gallery in Chelsea, focusing on the human form." The Story in the New York Daily News

- Urine Containers, 'Space Boots' and Artifacts Aren't Just Junk, Argue Archaeologists : "California has named the remains of the Apollo 11 mission a state historical resource -- to the delight of the young profession of space archaeologists. They fear that the trash and equipment left behind by the United States' journeys to the moon could someday wind up for sale on eBay if they aren't protected. There is an unwritten law in America's national parks: Carry out what you bring in. When they visited the moon, though, the Americans weren't nearly as considerate or in touch with nature. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong left behind more than 100 items when they left the moon on July 21, 1969, at 5:54 p.m., Earth Time. The items included four urine containers, several airsickness bags, a Hasselblad camera, lunar overshoes and a complete moon-landing step. The mission was historically significant. But are the urine containers?"
The Full Story at Der Spiegel Online

- The art and architecture of matzoh balls : the Story in the Washington Post


March 24, 1494: Georg Agricola, German scholar and scientist, known as "the father of mineralogy", was born. his book "De Re Metallica" published in 1556, stood for centuries as the definitive and unsurpassed treatise on mining and mining-related metallurgy.

March 24, 1693: John Harrison, the self-taught British clockmaker who invented a working marine chronometer, a long-sought device which solved the problem of establishing the East-West position or longitude of a ship at sea, and revolutionised long distance sea travel and trade, was born.

March 24, 1834: William Morris, English textile designer, artist, writer, poet, socialist and pre-eminent figure in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement, was born.

March 24, 1886: Edward Weston, regarded as one of the most important photographers in the 20th century, was born.


“William Morris. Redesigning the World”

“As an artist, poet, political writer, activist, and public figure, William Morris was astonishingly prolific. His collected writings total 24 large volumes, a body of poetry (for which he was best known in his own day), prose romances, and political essays that alone would constitute a formidable life's work. Today, of course, his reputation relies more on his innovative and plentiful textile designs, his decorative arts business, and his work as a somewhat unlikely and controversial socialist. This beautifully illustrated visual biography—with 100 color and black and white photos and reproductions of his art (up to 17 x 12 inches)—chronicles Morris's life and work from his boyhood in Epping Forest through his association with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the founding of his design firm Morris & Co., his experimentation with illuminated manuscripts, his creation of Kelmscott Press, and the political endeavors of his later years.”

"Designing Utopia. The Art of William Morris and His Circle"

“An exquisite catalogue with many illustrations as well as period photographs documents this important exhibition. William Morris (1834-1896) wished to change the political and social values of Victorian society through design. Inspired by Gothic and Medieval art, his work countered the mass-produced patterns of the period. The exhibition included wall papers, textiles, carpets, furniture, tiles, tapestries, stained glass, and illustrated books. Dr. Stephen F. Eisenman, Professor of Art History at Occidental College, Los Angeles, has written an informative essay dealing with Morris’s art and politics.


"Historic Arts & Crafts Homes of Great Britain"

“Exquisitely photographed and produced, this volume tours ten magnificent British homes designed in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Red House, the only house that William Morris ever built (and that also inspired his design firm), is here, as is Hill House— family home to prominent Glasgow publisher Walter W. Blackie, designed by Scotland's Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Also included are Charleston, home to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant; Kelmscott Manor, William Morris's idyllic country escape; and Edward Lutyens' eccentric medieval Castle Drogo”.


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