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February 23, 2012

Unfettered personal expression in the 1950s: the Beat Generation and the Abstract Expressionists

While the 1950s are popularly remembered as a decade of “button down” conformity, the postwar era saw the rise of two groups of American writers and artists who broke with tradition and social norms in an exaltation of unfettered personal expression. The Beat Generation scandalized the country with their licentious lives and confessional writings. Allen […]

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Grammar in art
February 16, 2012

Grammar in art

By Lera Boroditsky, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University How do artists decide whether time, death, or liberty should be personified as male or female? One suggestion comes from linguistics.  For example, Roman Jakobson (1959) reports: “The Russian painter Repin was baffled as to why Sin had been depicted as a woman by German artists: […]

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February 8, 2012

On this day: Valentine’s Day

February 14 is Valentine’s Day! Of course you know it’s the day in which you are supposed to express love for your sweetheart with flowers, candy, or greeting cards. And you probably know that it’s purportedly a holiday to honor an early Christian saint named Valentine. But did you know that there was more than one […]

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January 26, 2012

Artstor Is… Black History

Black History Month is observed every February in the United States and Canada. What better time to remind our readers of the many excellent resources on the topic available in the Artstor Digital Library? Black history: Image of the Black in Western Art A systematic investigation of how people of African descent have been perceived […]

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January 24, 2012

Artstor visits Downton Abbey

Two things have been tearing through the Artstor staff recently – a nagging cold that seems to be felling us department by department, and a fascination with the British television show Downton Abbey. The series follows the lives of an aristocratic family and their servants in a fictional Yorkshire country estate. The first season is […]

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January 13, 2012

On this day: Artstor celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pivotal figure in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Among his many achievements, King led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses; planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of African-Americans as voters; and directed the 1963 march on Washington […]

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December 12, 2011

On this day: Happy birthday to Mayor Ed Koch!

Happy 87th birthday to former New York City Mayor Ed Koch from ARTstor and artist Dmitry Borshch! Mayor Koch recently posed for this portrait, which is now included in the Catalog of American Portraits maintained by The National Portrait Gallery. View more of Dmitry Borsch’s work in the ARTstor Digital Library.

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December 6, 2011

Celebrating the season with Artstor

In The Elementary Structures of Kinship, French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss noted that we often reserve rich foods for celebrations: “These are some of the delicacies which one would not buy and consume alone without a vague feeling of guilt.” And guilty we would feel if we were to celebrate the passing of another year without […]

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