Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beware of Greek Maps Bearing Nude Portraits of Angelica Kauffman-


- Here be monsters : "When the world was still being discovered, maps were not only images of power, but retained elements of the fabulous and the mythical. And – long before landscape paintings – they were displayed as works of art..." Read the full story

- Hearing on Limits for Vendors Gets Creative Response : "When the city’s artists are fuming, they create. And when the focus of their rage is Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his efforts to crack down on selling art in parks, a new genre is born.
There, on Friday, was the mayor in all varieties: Bloomberg the Barbarian, a muscle-bound mayor with sword and helmet; Bloomberg the Stalinist, a frowning mayor lost in a fiery red sea; Bloomberg the Billionaire, with dollar signs for eyes..." Read the full story


April 24, 1184 BC – Thirty Greek soldiers enter the walled city of Troy, hidden inside a gigantic figural statue known to posterity as "the Trojan Horse." Despite Casandra's warning that, "Nothing good can come of bad art", the people of Troy place the statue in their city square, with calamitous consequences.

April 24, 1718 – Nathaniel Hone, Irish-born painter & miniaturist, was born. "Nathaniel Hone was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768. While his paintings were popular, his reputation was particularly enhanced by his skill at producing miniatures and enamels. He courted controversy in 1775 when his satirical picture "The Conjurer" was seen to attack the fashion for Italian Renaissance art and to ridicule Sir Joshua Reynolds (it also included a nude caricature of fellow Academician Angelica Kauffmann, later painted out by Hone), and was rejected by the Royal Academy. To show his reputation was undamaged, Hone organised a one-man retrospective in London – the first such solo exhibition of an artist’s work."

April 24, 1800 – The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress".

April 24, 1904 – Willem de Kooning was born. A Dutch American abstract expressionist artist who was born in Rotterdam. During the 1940s and thereafter, he became increasingly identified with the Abstract Expressionist movement and was recognized as one of its leaders in the mid-1950s.

April 24, 1913 – The Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York City is opened. "The Woolworth Building, at 57 stories, is one of the oldest—and one of the most famous—skyscrapers in New York City. More than 95 years after its construction, it is still one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City. The building is a National Historic Landmark, having been listed in 1966."

"I've been a worker:
Under my hand the pyramids arose.
I made mortar for the Woolworth Building.
-Langston Hughes, 'Negro'


"The Island of Lost Maps. A True Story of a Cartographic Crime"

By Miles Harvey.
Published by Random House in 2000.

“This is the story of a curious crime spree: the theft of irreplaceable centuries-old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada. The perpetrator was a nondescript antiques dealer from Florida with a razor blade in his pocket and the unlikely name of Gilbert Bland Jr. His cross-country slash-and-dash operation went virtually undetected until he was caught in 1995 with 150 maps in his possession and another 100 sold to black market collectors”.


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