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- Sep 1 20167 minutes
The Brief, Mystical Reign of the Wax Cadaver: Early medical models of human anatomy shrouded death in feminine beauty.
Toward the end of the 18th century, in a wax workshop in Florence, a life-sized, anatomically correct, dissectible goddess of colored wax was created. Artist Clemente Susini took the idealized feminine beauty for which Italian artists had long been r
- Jan 25 20173 minutes
What Happens to Those Handmade Posters From the Women’s Marches
A trio of professors in Boston stumbled across a trove of signs, threw them into a rented van, and created an “accidental archive.”
- Jan 4 20179 minutes
Opening Paragraphs Don’t Always Have to Be Exciting
The author Emily Ruskovich discusses the uncanny restraint of Alice Munro and the art of starting a short story.
- Oct 28 20162 minutes
The Shchukin Collection Comes to Paris
For the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution, this major art collection is at the heart of Europe.
- Dec 15 201614 minutes
A Prescription for Awe: In the debate between religion and science, wonder is what the doctor ordered.
Heads down, we plodded along a coastal path into an almost gale-force wind that came howling straight up the English Channel, driving the rain into our faces and making it hard to steal more than an occasional glance ahead of us to the west. Somewher
- Oct 3 20165 minutes
A Museum Embraces the Triumph and Struggle of Black America
ANY HISTORY MUSEUM IS A storytelling machine. But the newest one in Washington, D.C., starts telling its story before you even enter. The very silhouette of the National Museum of African American History and Culture has embedded meanings. Above a gl
- Oct 1 20163 minutes
A Bold Monument To The Black Experience
National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Sep 25 20154 minutes
Are Museums the Perfect Climate Change Education Tool?
When Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the New York and New Jersey coastlines, in October 2012, the looming threat of climate change abruptly became personal for a large portion of the East Coast—specifically Miranda Massie, a former public-interest
- Aug 1 20162 minutes
A Vat of Ink Inspired This Craft Ecommerce Company
Lauren K. Lancy started her business after a colorful trip to Thailand.
- Oct 3 20161 minute
Building a Better America
The famed architect, 50, designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C.
- Jun 13 20165 minutes
The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin
In 1868, on a hot, midsummer day, 28-year-old Mary Lynch was admitted to the Philadelphia Almshouse and Hospital, the city hospital for the poor, better known as “Old Blockley.” Lynch had tuberculosis, which was soon to be compounded by the parasitic
- Mar 17 20153 minutes
Can Remnants of Ancient Life Show Us How to Live Wisely Into the Future?
This is part 2 of Vincent Ialenti’s report on how how to think about nuclear waste in the environment over the very long term. Also see part 1, which ran on Facts So Romantic yesterday.In the next decade, nuclear-waste experts in Finland and Sweden h
- Jul 18 20161 minute
115. A New Home for Our Missing History
Maya Rhodan For tourists from thousands of miles away or for school-kids right in Washington, D.C., the first stop for anyone seeking a window into American democracy is usually the National Mall. For more than 200 years, however, the story it tells
- Oct 14 20166 minutes
The Battle For Nazi-Looted Art
After nearly seven decades of searching, a Holocaust survivor discovered her family's stolen Pissarro, 'Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep'—and now she wants it back.
- Apr 2 20144 minutes
Future of Fossils: Print Your Own Dinosaur at Home?
In 1898, the American Museum of Natural History was presented with a golden opportunity along with a challenge almost as significant. Paleontologist Walter Granger had returned from a trip to the West with an amazing find: a large set of fossilized b
- Jan 23 20146 minutes
Should Science Save Modern Art?: Keeping Father Time at bay is more than a question of chemistry.
An artist has a special relationship with time. As the age-old adage goes, ars longa, vita brevis: Art is long, life is short. Art can achieve a level of permanence beyond the aspirations of any mere mortal, which is, in part, why it is so attractive
- Dec 5 20165 minutes
Adam Pendleton On Art's Turbulent Moment
In “Midnight in America,” the conceptual artist uses language and abstraction to consider history’s “different sense of possibility.”
- Feb 2 20156 minutes
Art’s Biggest Wheel Turns Toward Science
Hans-Ulrich Obrist seems to be everywhere—and it’s not much of an illusion. Widely regarded as the most influential figure in today’s art world, he’s worked with a who’s-who of major artists, from painter Gerhard Richter and sculptor Jeff Koons to pe
- Jan 11 20173 minutes
Hong Kongers Snap Protest Selfies With Government’s Palace Museum Project ‘Exhibition’
After a cultural project proceeds without public consultation and the government spends even more money on a television series to promote it, Hong Kongers stage acts of protest through selfies.
- Mar 1 20164 minutes
How This Revolutionary Old Zoo Was Redesigned for the 21st Century
At the height of his powers in 15th century Florence, Lorenzo de Medici managed to secure a magnificent giraffe for his menagerie. The animal was such a marvel that several works of art depicted its arrival. (Just how grueling and gruesome the transi
- Oct 1 20131 minute
The Genius Behind the Whitney Museum's New Logo
The American Art museum gets a wow-worthy new responsive-design logo. Here's how it works.
- Feb 4 20155 minutes
6 Pieces of Art That Open Minds—and Get Stuff Done
The modern artist David Hockney once said that “art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus.” Such a polemic statement implies that there can be no blurring between pure art and usefulness. But an artwork’s function a
- Feb 10 20143 minutes
How to Negotiate Like—or Against—a Pirate
The atmosphere in El Anatsui’s studio is somewhere between a Renaissance artist’s workshop and a recycling plant. The roof is made of thin, uninsulated metal sheets that offer little protection against the hot Nigerian weather. Bags overflowing with
- Mar 24 20153 minutes
How to Make Art That Withstands the Test of Time
In the 1930s, Russian-born sculptor Naum Gabo started experimenting with a thin, plastic material called celluloid. Previously used as film for photography or to make cheap jewelry, celluloid in Gabo’s hands became translucent geometric structures th