Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today in Architectural History, Ralph Waldo Emerson Sets Sail on the HMS Pinafore!


- Tomes, sweet tomes: how Rem Koolhaas re-engineered the architecture book: "The Dutch architect's practice OMA is so prolific with research that it's rumoured to produce a book a day. So what's behind this preoccupation with publishing? ... find out at the Guardian

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May 25, 1803: Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher, was born. "Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid-1800s. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. As a result of this ground-breaking work he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". Considered one of the great orators of the time, Emerson's enthusiasm and respect for his audience enraptured crowds. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and at times he was subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."

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May 25, 1878: Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London. "Pinafore's extraordinary popularity in Britain, America and elsewhere was followed by the similar success of a series of Gilbert and Sullivan works, including The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado. Their works, later known as the Savoy operas, dominated the musical stage on both sides of the Atlantic for more than a decade and continue to be performed today. The structure and style of these operas, particularly Pinafore, were much copied and contributed significantly to the development of modern musical theatre."

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“Two Centuries of English Silver Candlesticks, 1700-1900”
A catalog issued in New York by J. Mavec & Company, ltd. in 1986.

A silver dealer's catalog, which illustrates the development of the silver candlestick style from 1700 to 1900.Very nicely done, with the feel and look of a small museum exhibition catalog.


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