“Geishas by Gaslight”: I review a show at the Freer

for AmCon: The Freer Gallery named their show of wood-block prints by fin de siecle Japanese artist Kobayashi Kiyochika “Master of the Night” (on display through July 27th), but night is ancient and Kiyochika’s work is distinctly modern. His prints show a world in transition. Some of the street scenes might almost be Victorian London; even the rickshaw used to pull a geisha through the night turns out to be a recent import, an innovation. Many of the scenes show people in traditional kimono mixi … [Read more...]

Richard III’s Bones Definitely Found; Details of His Brutal Last Day

This week, in Things I Care About: Not just the identity of the man in the car park with the twisted spine, but the appalling last moments and humiliating treatment of the naked body of Richard III in the hours after his death have been revealed at an extraordinary press conference at Leicester University. ..."I'm a medievalist really," Morris said. "I don't go much for the Tudors. Even if Richard did kill the princes in the tower, you have to judge him by the standards of his day – no o … [Read more...]

“18th Century Fox”: Helen Rittelmeyer Is Hilarious

in AmSpec, on Burke-era popular conservatism: TWO THINGS ALL  conservatives love are narratives of decline and talking about conservatism. Put those together and you have the popular argument that conservatism ain’t what it used to be. The chart of that supposed decline, if you were to draw it Ascent of Man style, would start with Edmund Burke looking intelligent and walking upright, followed by William F. Buckley as Australopithecus, slouching. The present age would be represented by some knuc … [Read more...]

A Piano That Ate a Violin

Here's a thing! Designed but never built by Leonardo da Vinci, the viola organista is shaped like a piano but the strings are played by a bow. Weird and fascinating.Via Libresco. … [Read more...]

Glorious Jewelled Skeletons

SO AWESOME. For the two people who read me yet haven't already seen these. Even back when I was reflexively anti-Catholic I was fascinated by reliquaries and similar examples of Catholic tenderness toward and adornment of the bodies of the dead. ...This Daily Mail piece also gets points for describing one of the awesome skeletons as "louche." … [Read more...]

“Ages of Revolution: How Old Were They on July 4, 1776?”

This is super-neat. Probably via Jesse Walker. … [Read more...]

A Lovely Example of Spiritual Friendship Between Two Protestant Women

here: To students of church history, Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758) is known today as one of eleven children born to Sarah and Jonathan Edwards, America’s greatest theologian.To students of American history, she is known as the mother of Aaron Burr Jr., Thomas Jefferson’s vice president who mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in an illegal duel in 1804. When Aaron was all of 19 months old, she recorded in a letter that he was “a little dirty Noisy Boy . . . very sly and mischievous . . . no … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X