Cultural History – Literature, Music & Fine Arts


Articles on some facets of cultural history, including literature, music, and fine arts.

 

Go to Century Past History Resources for a directory of all pages.

10 Stolen Pieces Of Art That Have Never Been Found

Here are 10 stolen pieces of art that are still lost somewhere in the world today.

Morgan Swank, Listverse 2014

100 Ideas That Changed Photography

“A concise and intelligent chronicle of the most seminal developments in the history of today’s most prevalent visual art.” Each of the ideas is accompanied by a short essay contextualizing its history and significance.

Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

A Guide to the Real-Life Homes of the Heroes of Children’s Literature

On this map, you will find the real world locations where the heroes of books you might have read early in life lived out their adventures.

Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura 2017

This Is the “Jass” Record That Introduced Millions of Americans to a New Kind of Music

One hundred years ago (February 2017), Victor Records recorded a 78-rpm disc called “Livery Stable Blues” by the Original Dixieland “Jass” Band. This exuberant number became a nationwide hit, selling more than a million copies, and today it is almost universally hailed as the first jazz recording.

Geoffey Himes, Smithsonian 2017

A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley

To explore the American Revolution through the eyes of John Singleton Copley is to see it with fresh eyes, to understand that it was a civil war with many shades of allegiance.

Jane Kamensky, American Heritage 2017

A Video History of the Ford Rotunda

Here’s an excellent film history of one of the Ford Motor Company’s most famous buildings, and probably its most beloved: The Ford Rotunda in Dearborn.

Mac’s Motor City Garage 2016

Over 100 Years Ago, the US Government Commissioned 7,500 Watercolor Paintings of Every Kind of Fruit in the Country

The Pomological Watercolor Collection comprises over 7,500 paintings, drawings, and wax models commissioned by the USDA between 1886 and 1942. As farmers across the United States worked with the USDA to set up orchards to serve emerging markets, the country’s most prolific fruit-producing regions began to take shape. About 65 American artists contributed to the collection, tasked by the USDA to document the thousands and thousands of varieties of heirloom and experimental fruit cultivars sprouting up nationwide.

Chloe Olewitz, Morsel 2017

Saving the 78s

While audio CDs whiz by at about 500 revolutions per minute, the earliest flat disks offering music whirled at 78rpm. They were mostly made from shellac, i.e., beetle (the bug, not The Beatles) resin and were the brittle predecessors to the LP (microgroove) era. The format is obsolete, and the surface noise is often unbearable and just picking them up can break your heart as they break apart in your hands. So why does the Internet Archive have more than 200,000 in our physical possession?

B. George, Internet Archive Blogs 2016

Architectural Styles

The Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology created the following guide to give Hoosiers a brief overview of Indiana’s most common architectural styles, barn types, and bridge forms.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Around the World in 80 Models: Petra – Animation

The Zamani project was started in 2004 with the aim of spatially documenting African heritage sites for conservation and restoration interventions, for education and research, to increase awareness of Africa’s heritage and a as record for future generations. The spatial data captured on site is processed to create textured (where possible) 3D models, site GISs, Panorama tours and other spatial materials.

Sketchfab 2017

Art of Indiana weavers

Paper from the Conner Prairie Museum Textile Collection.

Coplon, Jessica Eibschutz, Connor Prairie 1993

Copywrong

Are copyright laws too strict?

Louis Menand, New Yorker 2014

Western art’s debt to the Islamic world

The discipline of art history is slowly recognizing the Arab influence on European art

Noah Charney, Salon 2017

Dada: a short history

A short account of the Dada movement that developed during the First World War in radical revulsion to the society that had let it come about.

Libcom.org

Fallingwater – Video

3d animation featuring the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece

Cristobal Vila, Vimeo

Fascinating Women: Bessie Smith and the Blues

Ragtime, blues, jazz, and the like are also considered the soundtrack of early twentieth century American life, and the combination of the popular press, new technologies like phonographs and the cinema, and the hunger for celebrities, created a perfect storm for the rise of music stars.

Evangeline Holland, Edwardian Promenade 2015

The Historical Roots of Blues Music

Contrary to what some people believe, the blues is not “slave music.” Although it was cultivated by the descendants of slaves, the blues was the expression of freed African Americans.

Lamont Pearley Sr., Black Perspectives 2018

The 8 Most Prolific Forgers in Art History (That We Know Of)

Forgery has a long and fascinating history, spanning from the Renaissance to today.

Leila Amineddoleh, Artsy 2016

The Most Beautiful World Heritage Sites in the USA

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO, created the World Heritage list in order to protect our past. The USA has 22 amazing sites on the list ranging from archaeological gems built by ancestral cultures to beautiful landscapes created by nature. We’ve put together a list of some of the stunning sites found throughout the country.

Marcelina Morfin, Culture Trip 2017

Directory at Century Past History Resources

 

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