Monday, June 07, 2010

Beau Brummell, Charles Rennie Macintosh & Paul Gauguin Will NOT Remain Silent!


- Long-Lost Silent Films Return to America: "A late silent feature directed by John Ford, a short comedy directed by Mabel Normand, a period drama starring Clara Bow and a group of early one-reel westerns are among a trove of long-lost American films recently found in the New Zealand Film Archive. Some 75 of these movies, chosen for their historical and cultural importance, are in the process of being returned to the United States under the auspices of the National Film Preservation Foundation, the nonprofit, charitable affiliate of the Library of Congress’s National Film Preservation Board." Read the whole story

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- Scars from lion bite suggest headless Romans found in York were gladiators: "Evidence from tests on 80 skeletons of young men found in Yorkshire gardens points to world's best-preserved gladiator graveyard, archaeologists say..." Read the rest of the story

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June 7, 1778: Beau Brummell, English fashion leader, was born. "Beau Brummell, born as George Bryan Brummell, was the arbiter of men's fashion in Regency England, and was included in Prince George's circle. Here, he made an impression with his elegant understated manner of dress and clever remarks. His fastidious attention to cleaning his teeth, shaving, and bathing daily became popular. He established the mode of men wearing understated, but fitted, tailored clothes including dark suits and full-length trousers, adorned with an elaborately-knotted cravat. Beau Brummell is credited with introducing and establishing as fashion the modern man's suit, worn with a tie. He claimed to take five hours to dress, and recommended that boots be polished with champagne. His style of dress was known as dandyism."

In 1811, however, the Prince became Regent, and began abandoning all his old Whig friends, including Brummel. Their break has become infamous- "Brummell, Lord Alvanley, Henry Mildmay and Henry Pierrepoint were considered the prime movers of Watier's, dubbed "the Dandy Club" by Byron. They were also the four hosts of the masquerade ball in July 1813 at which the Prince Regent greeted Alvanley and Pierrepoint, but then "cut" Brummell and Mildmay by snubbing them, staring them in the face but not speaking to them. This provoked Brummell's famous remark, "Alvanley, who's your fat friend?".

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June 7, 1848: Paul Gauguin, French painter, was born. "Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading Post-Impressionist artist, painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist and writer. His bold experimentation with colouring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms. Gauguin's bold, colorful and design oriented paintings significantly influenced Modern art. Gauguin's influence on artists and movements in the early 20th century include Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, André Derain, Fauvism, Cubism and Orphism, among others. Later he influenced Arthur Frank Mathews and the American Arts and Crafts Movement."

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June 7, 1868: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect, designer, and watercolourist, was born. "Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, designer, watercolourist and sculpter. He was a designer in the Arts and Crafts movement and also the main exponent of Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom. He had a considerable influence on European design."

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June 7, 1897: George Szell, Hungarian conductor, was born. "George Szell was a Hungarian-born American conductor and composer. He is remembered today for his long and successful tenure as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, and for the recordings of the standard classical repertoire he made in Cleveland and with other orchestras. Szell came to Cleveland in 1946 to take over a respected, but undersized, orchestra which was struggling to recover from the disruptions of World War II. By the time of his death he was credited, to quote the critic Donal Henahan, with having built it into "what many critics regarded as the world's keenest symphonic instrument." Through his recordings, Szell has remained a presence in the classical music world long after his death, and in some circles his name remains synonymous with that of the Cleveland Orchestra."

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"The Arts and Crafts Companion"
By Pamela Todd.
Published by the Bulfinch Press in 2004.

“As a revival of traditional craftsmanship in the wake of the sweeping shift of manufacturing toward mass production, the Arts & Crafts Movement evolved on both sides of the Atlantic, embraced by designers and architects like Edwin Lutyens, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Morris, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Louis Tiffany, and Gustave Stickley. This book, illustrated with 250 color and 50 black and white images, is a superb reference, tracing the origins of the movement; the personalities behind it and their distinctive designs; and the many aspects of the Arts & Crafts style in architecture and interiors, pottery, glass, applied arts and decoration, and the garden.”


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Speaking of Beau Brummell...

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