Japanese Anatomical Diagrams that utilize 19th-Century Kabuki Actors as Models

4:00 PM
The opening of Japan in the 19th century after its isolationist Edo period caused an influx of foreign influence, including Western approaches to medicine. Woodblock prints from this era, often in the vibrant ukiyo-e style, captured this transition, with kabuki actors representing internal processes, and Buddhist deities battling cholera and measles. The University of California, San Francisco, has a particularly rich collection of over 400 o…

The Celestial Atlas of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, ca. 1776, published in 1795

10:13 PM
Flamsteed was born into a prosperous family and was largely self taught as he did not attend University due to poor health. His extensive studies in astronomy resulted in his being appointed the first Astronomer Royal by King Charles II, with the Royal Observatory at Greenwich being built for him to continue his observations of the heavens. Flamsteed was the first astronomer to sight Uranus in 1690, naming it 34 Tauri, as he believed it to be …

Alchemical and Rosicrucian Compendium ca. 1760 at the Beinecke Library

5:33 PM
Alchemy entered into European popular culture in the late middle ages, with the translation of Greek and Arabic texts into Latin and the European vernaculars. Based on the tenets of the Corpus Hermeticum, a body of texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus and meant to date to the age of Abraham, alchemy, or al-kimya in Arabic, can be summarized as the attempt to decipher a divine presence in the material world. Hermetic philosophy taught its pr…

Eduardo Recife: A Contemporary Master of Typography and Collage

5:06 PM
Eduardo Recife explains the origins of his remarkable art and design output as follows: "I´ve been drawing since I was little. At school I had notebooks filled with drawings instead of notes. I used to tattoo my buddies with a black ink pen. I used to draw on any kind of surface when I was bored... I believe it's what I do best. It's also the best way for me to communicate things I can't find words for... It's a therapy…

Edward Bawden's Fortnum and Mason Catalog Illustrations

3:12 PM
The first Christmas catalogue Edward Bawden (1903 - 1989) created for Fortnum's was in 1955. The 1958 catalogue is an extended pun on the word 'cat', and is full of witty and playful drawings. Cats were a passion of his, as they strut, dance, and grin their way through these remarkable pages. Part of his enduring appeal is his combination of modernism and tradition. He always believed that a good piece of design was as valuable as …
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