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Archive for the ‘Humanities & Social Sciences’ Category

Exhibition: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk | Exhibition on view: November 13, 2011-February 12, 2012 | Exhibition Location: Dallas Museum of Art; dma.org

Exhibition: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk | Exhibition on view: November 13, 2011-February 12, 2012 | Exhibition Location: Dallas Museum of Art; dma.org

Since its opening in 2011 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the haute couture and prêt-à-porter designs in “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” have been electrifying audiences in Montreal, Stockholm, Brooklyn, and Dallas—and now, London.

Designer: Jean Paul Gaultier | Two Ensembles; Group | Fall/Winter 1994-1995 | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art; metmuseum.org

Designer: Jean Paul Gaultier | Two Ensembles; Group | Fall/Winter 1994-1995 | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art; metmuseum.org

I had the opportunity to see the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum this past March. I’m no fashionista, but I could certainly appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity of an absurdly talented artist. Credit is also due to the curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot. I admittedly rarely read museum labels, but I was so impressed and eager to learn more that I read all of the wall text. All of it.

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Neo-Babylonian | Ishtar Gate | 604-562 BCE | Berlin State Museum | Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz; bpkgate.picturemaxx.com/webgate_cms

Neo-Babylonian | Ishtar Gate | 604-562 BCE | Berlin State Museum | Vorderasiatisches Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz; bpkgate.picturemaxx.com/webgate_cms

Travelers to ancient Babylon were met with an astonishing sight: a gate nearly 50 feet high and 100 feet wide made of jewel-like blue glazed bricks and adorned with bas-relief dragons and young bulls. Dedicated to Ishtar, goddess of fertility, love, and war, the main entrance to the city was constructed for King Nebuchadnezzar II circa 575 BCE.

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artstor_logo_rgb2Artstor and Thomas McGovern are collaborating to share approximately 100 photographs from the artist’s series covering the AIDS crisis.

The photographs, taken between 1987 and 1997, portray individuals with AIDS and activist demonstrations in the U.S. “While I have photographed many aspects of the crisis since 1987, it is the portraits of people with AIDS that are central to the project and it is around these that the other photos of events revolve,” McGovern writes.

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Byron Company | Madison Square |1896 | Museum of the City of New York | mcny.org

Byron Company | Madison Square |1896 | Museum of the City of New York | mcny.org

In an unusual event, temperatures dropped below freezing in all 50 states Tuesday after a polar vortex swept southwards. As NBC New York explains, “The polar vortex forms every year to the north, but large blocks of high pressure over Greenland and the Southwest weakened the jet stream in recent days, allowing part of the polar vortex to break off from a parent system and dip in to the US.”

While the worst of it is over, we highly recommend you stay indoors and just look at winter images:

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logo_AMNH

Artstor Digital Library and the American Museum of Natural History are collaborating to share approximately 400 images of objects from the Museum’s Division of Anthropology and approximately 880 historical photographs from the Research Library’s Photo Archive.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its foundation in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition.

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William M. Vander Weyde | Ice Skating | ca. 1900 | George Eastman House

William M. Vander Weyde | Ice Skating | ca. 1900 | George Eastman House

It’s snowing today in New York City and crowds are lining up to skate at the legendary ice rink at Rockefeller Center, with its sparkling light displays and famous holiday tree. If I visit this year, it’ll be as a spectator only, since I’ve never ice skated in my life. Sad, I know, but I have a good excuse—I grew up in extremely warm areas of Mexico and Texas, so I didn’t have many opportunities to learn. But that doesn’t stop me from admiring skaters. I love their graceful gliding, and enjoy seeing the camaraderie that spontaneously develops when groups of people converge on the ice. Evidently I’m not alone, judging from the many depictions of skating groups in the Artstor Digital Library.

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Daniel Meader | Marionette Head and Torso | Image and data from Detroit Institute of Arts

Daniel Meader | Marionette Head and Torso | Image and data from Detroit Institute of Arts

By Mark Branner, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Nigerian | Puppet: Ekon Society | Seattle Art Museum; seattleartmuseum.org

Nigerian | Puppet: Ekon Society | Seattle Art Museum; seattleartmuseum.org

I have the great privilege of teaching an introductory college-level course on puppetry. Even though it is an introductory course, it is actually classified as an upper division course, which means that I generally have juniors and seniors straggling in, looking for an easy “basket-weaving” escape. There are even sniggers from some of the participants when I ask them why they are in the class. This is all pretty understandable. Just put the words together: “College. Puppets.” Already it feels like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch. No, we’re not saving the world (or destroying it) through biomedical engineering. We’re not planning a manned mission to Venus. We’re studying puppets, for crying out loud. What’s the earthly value in that?

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Rob Stevenson  | Snapping Turtle Upclose View of Face |2004 | UMASS Boston;  Field Guide of Biodiversity Images |Photographic credit: Susan Speak

Rob Stevenson | Snapping Turtle Upclose View of Face |2004 | UMASS Boston; Field Guide of Biodiversity Images |Photographic credit: Susan Speak

Rob Stevenson’s Electronic Field Guide Project’s image collection is composed of more than 200 images of turtles, many of them photographed by Susan Speak. Stevenson is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at UMass Boston, where he works on problems related to conservation physiology, environmental informatics, and science education.

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artstor_logo_rgb2Georgetown University’s James J. O’Donnell is contributing 22 images of Deir Mar Musa, a monastic compound north of Damascus, to the Artstor Digital Library.

Deir Mar Musa began as a Byzantine watchtower, served as a medieval hermitage and modern monastery, fell into disrepair and neglect, and was then brought back to life a few years ago as a monastic community and place for Christian and Muslim Syrians to meet in mutual respect. O’Donnell’s photographs document the site and its murals, which date ca. 11th-13th centuries.

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Willard Stewart | Dickinson Mansion | 1930s | Kent County, Delaware | Willard Stewart WPA and HABS Photographs of Delaware

Willard Stewart | Dickinson Mansion | 1930s | Kent County, Delaware | Willard Stewart WPA and HABS Photographs of Delaware

Artstor has collaborated with the University of Delaware and Washington University in St. Louis to provide access to nearly 13,000 high-quality images in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The collections were originally made available to the public in Shared Shelf Commons, an open-access library of images from institutions that subscribe to Shared Shelf, Artstor’s Web-based service for cataloging and managing digital collections.

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