Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mural of Books

Kansas City Central Library parking garage

The Kansas City Central Library's parking garage has a distinctive facade, using images of 22 9-meter-high book spines to create a 'community bookshelf'. Local residents got to choose which titles would be represented in the bookshelf.

next episode: cdv

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chatham Street, New York

Chatham Street, New York, ca. 1853-55 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gilman Collection).

This chaotic street scene shows Chatham Street (now Park Row) from below its intersection with Pearl Street, northeast to Chatham Square. Street scenes are unusual subjects for Daguerreotypes. Chatham Street was known for its cheap shopping and entertainment, in contrast to the more elite Broadway.

next episode: kansas city

Monday, May 18, 2015

White House Extensions

Proposed Extensions to the White House by Robert Owen, 1891-1901

Robert Owen proposed to extend the White House by creating two replicas of the original structure, rotate them 90 degrees and place them on either side.

This was one of several designs in the late 19th century for expanding or relocating the Executive Mansion to provide more space for the growing government.

Source: Library of Congress.

next episode: Paris

Thursday, May 14, 2015

St. Petersburg

The Nevsky Prospect, the main street of St. Petersburg

The Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace

(photos by RfA, 2009)

next episode: White House

Sunday, May 10, 2015

German invasion of the Low Countries

German troops pass through a heavily damaged Rhenen, May 1940 (source). 

On the morning of May 10th, 1940 the Dutch awoke to the sound of aircraft engines roaring in the sky. Germany had commenced operation Fall Gelb and attacked the NetherlandsBelgiumFrance and Luxembourg, in the case of the Low Countries without a declaration of war given before hostilities.

next episode: Petersburg

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Liberation Day

On Monday May 7th, 1945 the Canadian Allied forces entered Amersfoort. The photo shows the Kamperbinnenpoort in the background (source: Nationwide Liberation Day is celebrated on May 5th. On May 4th the victims of World War II are commemorated.

(photos via Archief Eeemland)

next episode: war

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Jan Steen - Girl Eating Oysters

Jan Steen - Girl Eating Oysters (ca. 1658-1660, Mauritshuis, The Hague)

This is the smallest painting Jan Steen ever made. A young woman (Grietje van Goyen) looks at us coquettishly while sprinkling salt on an oyster. Spread out on the table before her is a beautifully painted still life, consisting of oysters, a Delft blue pitcher next to a glass of wine, and a silver tray containing a half-eaten roll, a little mound of salt and peppercorns spilling out of a paper cone. More oysters are being prepared in the kitchen in the background.

In those days oysters were thought to be an aphrodisiac. Steen alludes to these erotic connotations, making it seem as though this women offers not just oysters but herself as well. As if not wanting to leave us in any doubt, Steen drops yet another hint: behind the woman is a bed with closed curtains.

(source: Mauritshuis)

next episode: Liberation!


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