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Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category

Katsushika Hokusai, Soccer, early 19th century, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin State Museums. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

Katsushika Hokusai, Soccer, early 19th century, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin State Museums. Image and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz
bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

By all accounts, Americans are becoming enthusiastic about soccer in unprecedented numbers. Rumor even has it that a handful of Artstor employees may have sneaked into a conference room yesterday to watch the US team confront Germany (though, when asked about the story, everyone seemed too busy with work to comment).

Of course, the game has long been popular around the world, as you can see from this slideshow of images ranging from the 17th to the 20th century, and from countries including Italy, France, Japan, Ghana, and yes, the United States.

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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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Unknown, French | Comet | ca. 1900 | San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Unknown, French | Comet | ca. 1900 | San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Debris from a meteor streaked through the sky in western Siberia early this morning, causing a boom that damaged a large number of buildings, mainly in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. Some 1,000 people were reportedly hurt, mostly as a result of glass shattering when the meteor entered the atmosphere.

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Félix Vallotton | The sick patient (Helene Chatenay), 1892 | Samuel Josefowitz Collection, Lausanne| Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y. artres.com

Félix Vallotton | The sick patient (Helene Chatenay), 1892 | Samuel Josefowitz Collection, Lausanne| Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.
artres.com

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that though the influenza epidemic that has recently been ravaging the United States has waned in recent weeks, flu activity remains high and may continue for some time. You can watch a great documentary about the flu epidemic of 1918 on the PBS website, and find out how to protect yourself here.

This image of a patient in bed by Félix Vallotton comes to us from the Art, Archaeology, and Architecture (Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives) collection. View the painting in the ARTstor Digital Library, and be sure to zoom in to see the masterful way the painter depicts the medicine bottles on the table.

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Nina de Garis Davies | Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor, Tomb of Amenherkhepeshef | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nina de Garis Davies | Ramesses III and Prince Amenherkhepeshef before Hathor, Tomb of Amenherkhepeshef | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A mystery from nearly 3,200 years ago has been solved: Conspirators murdered Egyptian king Ramesses III by cutting his throat, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal. Furthermore, the investigation suggests that one of his sons was involved in the murder.

The fate of the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty was long the subject of debate among historians after the discovery of papyrus trial documents revealed that members of his harem had made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup in 1155 BC.

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Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive; mayavase.com

Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive; mayavase.com

As you’ve probably heard, people across the world have been worrying that the world will end on December 21, 2012, influenced by some recent interpretations of Popol Vuh, a 16th-century narrative about the origins, traditions, and history of the Maya nation. Thankfully, NASA scientists recently debunked this and other apocalyptic predictions.

But don’t let the fact that the world is not about to end damper your interest in Mayan artifacts! The ARTstor Digital Library features more  than 500 fascinating photographs of Pre-Columbian artifacts from Justin Kerr and Barbara Kerr that shouldn’t be missed. The collection consists of still and rollout photographs of vases, plates, and bowls from the various cultures of Mesoamerica. The rollouts—which show the entire surface of an object in a single frame—were made by photographer Justin Kerr with a camera he designed and built. The objects in the collection depict a variety of everyday Mayan activities and religious concepts, and stem from archaeological sites, museums, and collections throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the United States, Canada, and Europe. View the collection here.

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Fernand Léger | Après le déluge, pg. 61, in the book Les Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud | 1949 | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Digital Library (with primary servers in Colorado) is working normally, but like many others based in the Northeast, ARTstor’s operations are being affected by tropical storm Sandy. Our Shared Shelf service, hosted at an Internet service provider in Manhattan, is down until power returns, but all images and data are backed-up remotely. Our office email and phones are also down, but in the meanwhile you may contact us via Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for your patience.

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Marine Fauna | Roman copy of Hellenistic original | Museo nazionale di Napoli | Image and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y., artres.com, scalarchives.com | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence / ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

The dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) is reputedly the best-tasting of all Mediterranean fish, so it comes as no surprise that they find themselves endangered. Efforts are underway throughout the Mediterranean to help the species recover, and, according to an article in this month’s Scientific American, ancient art is playing a part.

To determine just how far recovery efforts had to go, scientists wanted to get a sense of how the grouper has changed in the past thousands of years. University of Salento biologist Paolo Guidetti remembered having once seen an image of a Roman mosaic depicting an enormous grouper swallowing a man. Guidetti was struck by the image; while dusky groupers today can grow to be more than four feet long and a weigh around 100 pounds, most are much smaller, and generally live in waters too deep to be able to leap out and swallow a whole Roman fisherman, even a tiny one. (more…)

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Jacopo Bassano il Vecchio | Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark, 1563-1568 | Museo del Prado, Spain | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y. http://www.artres.com

A record-breaking heat wave plaguing the Northeastern US ended with a cold front that moved in this afternoon, resulting in intense storms affecting areas in more than seven states.

The high winds, lightning, and periods of heavy rain have been wreaking havoc in New York City. The ARTstor office is considering rounding up the animals and finding an ark like the one depicted here by Jacopo Bassano il Vecchio. This image in the ARTstor Digital Library comes to us from the Art, Archaeology, and Architecture (Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives) collection.

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According to the New York Times, the Supreme Court has upheld the law that permits restoration of copyright protection to works formerly in the public domain (we first mentioned the case last October). This means that possibly millions of foreign works that previously had been freely available, such as Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” the British films of Alfred Hitchcock, and the drawings of M. C. Escher, will once again be under copyright. What do you think? Does restoring copyright to these works make sense?

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