Friday, June 04, 2010

Hunting for Cutlery at the Ballet? Try the Black Sun Press!


- Trying to revive the Renaissance: "One of the things that attracted me to the story of how, in 1504, the Republic of Florence set its two most gifted sons into direct competition, challenging them to paint murals in the same hall at the heart of the city, was the chance to annoy as many art historians and historians as possible..." read more about Jonathan Jones' new book-


June 4, 1704: Benjamin Huntsman, English inventor and manufacturer of cast steel tableware, was born. "Huntsman started business as a clock, lock and tool maker in Doncaster. Huntsman experimented in steel manufacture, first at Doncaster. Then in 1740 he moved to Handsworth, near Sheffield. Eventually, after many experiments, Huntsman was able to make satisfactory cast steel. The local cutlery manufacturers refused to buy it as it was harder than the German steel they were accustomed to using. For a long time Huntsman exported his whole output to France. The growing competition of imported French cutlery made from Huntsman's cast-steel alarmed the Sheffield cutlers, who, after trying to get the export of the steel prohibited by the British government, were compelled in self-defence to use it. Huntsman had not patented his process, and his secret was discovered by a Sheffield iron-founder called Walker. "

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June 4, 1881: Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova, Russian avant-garde artist, painter, costume designer, writer, illustrator, and set designer, was born. "Natalia Goncharova was deeply inspired by the primitive aspects of Russian folk art and attempted to emulate it in her own work while incorporating elements of fauvism and cubist art. Goncharova was a member of the Der Blaue Reiter avant-garde group from its founding in 1911. In 1915, she began to design ballet costumes and sets in Geneva. She moved to Paris in 1921 where she designed a number of stage sets of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. On June 18, 2007 Goncharova's 1909 painting Picking Apples was auctioned at Christie's for $9.8 million, setting a record for any female artist. The record was updated a year later, when Goncharova's 1912 still-life The Flowers (formerly part of Guillaume Apollinaire's collection) sold for $10.8 million."

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June 4, 1898: Harry Crosby, American bon vivant, poet, publisher, and for some, epitome of the Lost Generation in American literature, was born. "Heir to a banking fortune and profoundly affected by his experience in World War I, Crosby vowed to live life on his own terms and abandoned all pretense of living the expected life of a privileged Bostonian. He and his wife Polly fled to Europe where they enjoyed a decadent lifestyle, drinking, smoking opium, and having affairs. Crosby's life in Paris was at the crossroads of early 20th century Paris literary and cultural life. He numbered among his friends some of the most famous individuals of the early 20th century, including Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1927 Polly took the name Caresse, and she and Harry founded the Black Sun Press. It was the first to publish works by a number of struggling authors who later became famous, including James Joyce, Kay Boyle, Ernest Hemingway, Hart Crane, D. H. Lawrence, Rene Crevel, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. Crosby died scandalously at age 31 as part of a murder–suicide pact with his lover.

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A very funny re-shooting of a Christina Aguilera song about geeks in the library...

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"Georgian Jewellery, 1714-1830"
By Ginny Redington Dawes, & Olivia Collings.
Published by the Antique Collectors’ Club in 2007.

A colorful explosion of a book, packed with color photos of wonderful Georgian jewelry of all types and descriptions. The publisher says that this is not an “academic” book, but there is still plenty of information here, even though it is presented in a less scholarly format than readers may be used to. Interesting anecdotes and information fill the text between the dazzling photographs. If you like Georgian-era jewelry, this book is a “must have”.


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