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The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

The Collages of Kurt Schwitters

On June 20, 1887, German artist Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters, known as Kurt Schwitters was born. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including Dadaism, Constructivism, Surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures. Kurt Schwitters was born in Hanover, Germany, the only child of Eduard Schwitters, the (co-)proprietor…
John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

John Henry Pepper and Pepper’s Ghost

On June 17, 1821, British inventor John Henry Pepper was born. Pepper is primarily remembered for developing the projection technique known as Pepper’s ghost, building a large-scale version of the concept by Henry Dircks. Furthermore, he toured the English-speaking world with his scientific demonstrations. He also entertained the public, royalty, and fellow scientists with a wide range of technological innovations. John Henry Pepper was highly influenced by the teachings of…
Gustave Courbet and French Realism

Gustave Courbet and French Realism

On June 10, 1819, French painter Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was born, who led the Realism movement in 19th-century French painting. Committed to painting only what he could see, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists. Gustave Courbet was born in in Ornans, a village in the Franche-Comté in eastern France, to Régis and Sylvie Oudot Courbet, a prosperous farming family with anti-monarchical…
Thomas Gainsborough and the British Landscape School

Thomas Gainsborough and the British Landscape School

On May 14, 1727, English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker Thomas Gainsborough was baptized. Gainsborough became the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He painted quickly, and the works of his maturity are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits, and is credited as one of the originator of the 18th-century British landscape school. Thomas Gainsborough probably…
Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age

Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age

On June 22, 1906, Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist and journalist Billy Wilder was born. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood‘s golden age. With The Apartment, Wilder became the first person to win Academy Awards as producer, director and screenwriter for the same film. Born as Samuel Wilder to a Jewish family in Sucha Beskidzka, Austria-Hungary, to Max and Eugenia Wilder,…
Jules Dumont d’Urville and his South-Pacific Voyages

Jules Dumont d’Urville and his South-Pacific Voyages

On May 8, 1842, French explorer, naval officer and rear admiral Jules Sébastien César Dumont d’Urville passed away. D’Urville commanded voyages of exploration to the South Pacific (1826–29) and the Antarctic (1837–40), resulting in extensive revisions of existing charts and discovery or redesignation of island groups. As a botanist and cartographer he left his mark, giving his name to several seaweeds, plants and shrubs, and places such as D’Urville Island. Dumont…
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