Some stories we’ve been reading this month:
- The strange story behind the CIA calendar the CIA gift shop refuses to sell.
- What it’s like to be a professional cheese sculptor.
- Related: a brief history of food as art.
- Were JG Ballard’s billboards actually coded Salvador Dalí paintings?
- We totally identify with this woman who accidentally got locked inside a museum in Germany.
- What is flood control missing? The eye of an artist, according to the city of Austin, Texas.
- Turns out it wasn’t so easy after all: a Brooklyn artist was arrested after allegedly wanting to show how easy it is to carry around a bomb.
- Here’s a nice Valentine’s Day project for art historians in love: make your own “love token.”
- The Uffizi will show more female artists—with a little help from the Guerrilla Girls.
Art & science
- A neuroscientist’s lessons on why abstract art makes our brains hurt so good.
- Since we didn’t have any Van Gogh-themed articles this month, here’s our inevitable Mona Lisa click-bait: Have researchers unlocked the mystery of Mona Lisa’s famously enigmatic smile?
- The 50-year rescue of Vasari’s flood-damaged masterpiece.
- What doctors can learn from looking at art.
- Psychologists believe they can identify progressive changes in work of artists who went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
- A pioneering female artist, botanist, naturalist, and entomologist re‑emerges after 300 years.
- Jackson Pollock’s paintings mirror nature’s fractals like branching trees, snowflakes, waves—and the structure of the human eye.