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D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation

D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation

On February 8, 1915, American silent epic drama film The Birth of a Nation, directed by D. W. Griffith, was released. Griffith’s innovative techniques and storytelling power have made The Birth of a Nation one of the landmarks of film history. The film chronicles the relationship of two families in the American Civil War and Reconstruction era over the course of several years. “A film without a message is just a waste…
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The Portraits of August Sander

The Portraits of August Sander

On Nov 17, 1876, German portrait and documentary photographer August Sander was born. Sander has been described as “the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century”. His work includes landscape, nature, architecture, and street photography, but he is best known for his portraits, as exemplified by his series People of the 20th Century. In this series, he aims to show a cross-section of society during the Weimar Republic. August…
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The Mobiles of Alexander Calder

The Mobiles of Alexander Calder

On November 11, 1976, American sculptor Alexander Calder passed away. Calder is known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents. Calder’s monumental stationary sculptures are called stabiles. He also produced wire figures, which are like drawings made in space, and notably a miniature circus work that was performed by the artist. Alexander Calder…
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Raymond Loewy – the Father of Streamlining

Raymond Loewy – the Father of Streamlining

On November 5, 1893, French-born American industrial designer Raymond Loewy was born. Loewy achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries. He is known as the “Father of Streamlining.” Among his designs were the Shell, Exxon, TWA and the former BP logos, the Greyhound Scenicruiser bus, Coca-Cola vending machines, the Lucky Strike package, Coldspot refrigerators, the Studebaker Avanti and Champion, and the Air Force One livery. During…
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Lucas Cranach the Elder – the “fastest Painter”

Lucas Cranach the Elder – the “fastest Painter”

On October 16, 1553, German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving Lucas Cranach the Elder passed away. Cranach is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time. Youth and Apprenticeship Lucas Cranach was born…
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The Venus of Willendorf and its Controversial Interpretation

The Venus of Willendorf and its Controversial Interpretation

On August 7, 1908, among railway construction work on the Donauuferbahn in Lower Austria, a lime stone figure was discovered, the Venus of Willendorf. The high statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. The Willendorf Hamlet The Willendorf hamlet is located near today’s Aggsbach, a small wine-growing town in the Krems-Land district of Lower Austria. Wilendorf had already been known as a Palaeolithic…
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Josiah Wedgwood and his Pottery Company

Josiah Wedgwood and his Pottery Company

On July 12, 1730, English potter and founder of the eponymous company Josiah Wedgwood was born. Wedgwood is credited with the industrialisation of the manufacture of pottery. Every new invention that Wedgwood produced – green glaze, creamware, black basalt and jasper – was quickly copied. Having once achieved perfection in production, he achieved perfection in sales and distribution. The Art of Making Porcelain We had already featured the (re-)discovery of the art…
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Gustav Mahler and the Modernism in Music

Gustav Mahler and the Modernism in Music

On July 7, 1860, Austrian late-Romantic composer Gustav Mahler was born. Mahler also was one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. Gustav Magler – Early Years Gustav Mahler was born in Kaliště in Bohemia, then part of the Austrian Empire, now Czech Republic, as the 2nd of 14 children…
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The Phantastic Micrography of Matthias Buchinger

The Phantastic Micrography of Matthias Buchinger

On June 2, 1674, German artist, magician, calligrapher, and performer Matthias Buchinger, sometimes called Matthew Buckinger in English, was born. Buchinger was born without hands or feet and was only 74 cm (29 inches) tall. He was especially noted for his micrography, in which illustrations consist of infinitesimal text, which was presented in an exhibition early 2016 in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Greatest Living German Matthias Buchinger was born as…
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The Paris Salon des Refusés of 1863

The Paris Salon des Refusés of 1863

On May 15, 1863, the Salon des Refusés in Paris was opened, an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon. In 1863 the Salon jury refused two thirds of the paintings presented, including the works of Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissaro and Johan Jongkind, marking the birth of the avant-garde. Upon the protest of the artists, emperor Napoleon III decided to let the public judge and…
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