terra cotta warriors in Xi'an China

What Does Archaeology Have to do with Nationalism?

Many nations have adopted origin stories in order to link themselves more closely to heroic, historical figures.
mummy brown painting

When Artists Painted with Real Mummies

The popular paint pigment called “mummy brown” used to be made from—yep—ground-up Egyptian mummies.
krazy kat comic

Krazy Kat’s Complex Relationship with Race

Behind the slapstick antics in this beloved comic strip simmered ambivalence about color and race.
pioneer plaque

Art in Space

Artists may soon be heading to the moon for the first time, but art and space travel have been linked together since the beginning.
Barragan house

Casa Luis Barragán, Sacred Space of Mexican Modernism

A tour of the Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragán’s house and studio reveals a surprise with a touch of the divine.
Pogo comic

The Most Controversial Comic Strip

In the 1950s, Walt Kelly's comic strip about a cute opossum named Pogo was syndicated by over 450 newspapers. It was also frequently censored.
Antiques Roadshow

The Religious Experience of Antiques Roadshow

What has made this slow, quiet television show about antiques the sleeper hit of PBS? One scholar describes the show as enacting near-religious rituals.
georgia o'keeffe

When Dole Sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii

In 1939, Dole Pineapple Company sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii for three months in order to produce works that could be used in their advertisements.

The American Art Style that Idolized the Machine

Precisionism, a modernist art style that emerged in the early 20th century, glorified the machine age, all but erasing the presence of people.
Whaling painting

Did North America’s Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?

Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.