Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome, Italy

Why Are Cities Filled with Metal Men on Horseback?

The original inspiration for the now-ubiquitous equestrian statue, a classical bronze of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, was almost melted down and lost forever.
Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877. Fred W. Rose. 1877. Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection

Persuasive Cartography: An Interview with Map Collector PJ Mode

A collection of rare maps explores their power as visual messengers.
the Peacock Room

The Controversial Backstory of London’s Most Lavish Room

James McNeill Whistler created the famous "Peacock Room" for a wealthy patron. But the patron never actually wanted it.
“Colors That Never Run,” W1, Undated.

Ed Hardy Changed Tattooing Forever

Trained as a printmaker, this artist helped change American tattooing from a fringe behavior into an art form people use to express themselves.
A Wes Wilson band poster, 1967

When Posters Went Psychedelic

Posters were originally a method of advertising and promotion, but in the 1960s, a new crop of psychedelic signs became emblematic of the counterculture.
Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David

Napoleon Bonaparte’s Personal #Brand

Napoleon didn't like sitting for portraits, and yet artists and mass market prints helped cement his legendary status.
'Ohne Titel' by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923

Art Is Good for Your Brain

The field of neuroaesthetics uses neuroscience to understand how art affects our brains, both when we're making it and when we're viewing it.
The Indian's Vespers by Asher Brown Durand, 1847

Subscription Art for the 19th-Century Set

How the American Art-Union brought fine art to the people, via a subscription service, in the 1840s.
Design 513, Damask, 1956 and Design 104, Printed Silk and Fortisan Casement [curtain fabric], 1955, by Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fraught Attempt at Mass Production

The famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright famously loathed commercialism, and yet he (reluctantly) designed commercial homewares to be mass-produced.
Rossia macrosoma, Stout Bobtail Squid

The Delicate Science-Art of the Blaschka Invertebrate Collection

The Cornell Collection of Blaschka Invertebrate Models includes hundreds of glass models of sea creatures, making it both a teaching tool and a metaphor.