Photographs released by the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, have confirmed the destruction of the ancient Temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra, Syria. Until now, the ancient city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, contained remarkably well-preserved structures built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, making it one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. The news of the Temple’s destruction was preceded by the horrifying news that Khaled Asaad, the 83-year-old chief of the city’s antiquities department, was publicly beheaded. While the seemingly endless loss of lives must be our primary concern, the destruction of the Temple of Baalshamin is shocking for its attempt to erase Syria and the region’s rich, multicultural history. The New York Times quoted Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO, saying “The art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, is a symbol of the complexity and wealth of the Syrian identity and history. Extremists seek to destroy this diversity and richness, and I call on the international community to stand united against this persistent cultural cleansing.”
Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category
Posted in Decorative Arts, Utilitarian Objects & Interior Des, In the news on February 27, 2015| Leave a Comment »
A poorly taken photograph of a dress and the simple question “what color is it?” spread all over social media and was picked up by several news outlets. Some people in our office saw black and blue, others white and gold, but we all agreed—enough is enough with #thatdress! The Artstor Digital Library offers you thousands of more interesting dresses from collections like Museum at FIT, Gazette du Bon Ton (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Brooklyn Museum Costumes.
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.
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 Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives collection. Take a look at 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.