Archive for March, 2017

From 1935 to 1943 the arts were funded by the U.S. government

When artists are supported, there’s more art for everyone to enjoy.



Artsy Editorial via,

What We Can Learn from the Brief Period When the Government Employed Artists

By Tess Thackara


“Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko are best-known as pioneers of Abstract Expressionism. But all four were also among thousands of artists and other creatives employed by the government through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) between the years of 1935 and 1943. That the arts would be funded significantly by the federal government—never mind that it would actively employ artists—may well raise an eyebrow today. But working under a subdivision of the WPA known as the Federal Art Project, these artists got to work to help the country recover from the Great Depression, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.


Evidence of impoverishment and a portfolio showcasing one’s skills and commitment to the arts were all that was needed to qualify for the WPA initiative. This and the Federal Art Project’s non-discrimination clause meant that it attracted, and hired, not just white men but also artists of color and women who received little attention in the mainstream art world of the day. These artists created posters, murals, paintings, and sculptures to adorn public buildings.


Hospitals, post offices, schools, and airports were decorated with some of the roughly 200,000 artworks created through the program. Yet no accompanying agency was established to preserve the works. So following the dissolution of the WPA in the lead-up to World War II, many were destroyed, sold as scrap, or hastily auctioned off with little record—save a small portion that were discovered at a Long Island salvage dealer, bought by a Lower West Side curio shop owner, and repurchased by their artists for three to five dollars a pop, as Christopher DeNoon notes in the book Posters of the WPA…”


For the rest and an incredible gallery of images, click here.



Hoax, Fiction, or Truth? A Run-Down of Mysterious Books Throughout History

Happy Tuesday, Museum goers. Enjoy this irresistible list of mysterious books — all of which you will be curious about…



From Ranker,


12 Mysterious Books Throughout History No One Can Explain
by Juliet Bennett Rylah


“There are certain books that aren’t exactly listed in great detail on Amazon. These weird and mysterious works often have unknown authors and describe forgotten histories or strange and fantastical worlds. There are some books that are so mysterious that no one has ever been able to read them, as they are written in cryptic codes that have yet to be cracked. Some contain odd pictures depicting battles or the origin of the earth, or flora and fauna that we’ve never seen in the world we know.


While some argue that these works are hoaxes intentionally left behind to befuddle us, others insist that these books hold ancient truths. Read on to find out what’s in the Vatican’s secret archives and meet a Chicago area janitor who spent years writing and illustrating an epic saga about a child slave rebellion in the secrecy of his own home…”


For the rest, click here.


Book Lovers: Book This!

Could this possibly be the best hotel for introverts and book lovers? The Literary Man hotel in Óbidos, Portugal has a massive reading lounge with over 50,000 books…



From HuffPost,
This Hotel With 50,000 Books Is A Literary Lover’s Dream Come True
Oh, and there’s a gin bar too.

by Suzy Strutner


“If you tend to spend your vacations reading, then this is the spot for you.
The Literary Man hotel in Óbidos, Portugal is home to about 50,000 books and counting, a manager told The Huffington Post. Some titles are available for purchase, and others are reserved for reading only in the historic hotel’s massive lounge, which is pretty much the book lover’s equivalent of a Caribbean island:


The Literary Man is nestled just outside the walls of the historic center of Óbidos, a charming medieval town that’s recently started embracing bookishness with the addition of new bookshops and a literary festival.


Guests at the hotel can savor their reads–which range from vintage titles to best-selling fiction to cookbooks–at the in-house gin bar, in the cellar during a massage or in a variety of cozy, simple hotel rooms. Prices start at about $90 per night, but we have a feeling we wouldn’t sleep a wink here…”


For glorious pictures of the hotel’s bookish interior, click here.





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