The Soap Bubble Trope
Throughout the history of philosophy, literature, art, and science, people have been fascinated with the shimmering surfaces of soap bubbles.
The Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries Depict a “Virgin-Capture Legend”
They’re big in elementary school, but unicorn tableaux also have a complex iconographic history that combines religious and secular myths.
The Unicorns of JSTOR
These rare creatures have by turn—and somewhat paradoxically—been associated with purity, fertility, seduction, healing, sacrifice, immortality, and divinity.
Fall in Love with Fabric Samples
Donald Brothers was a storied Scottish firm that produced amazing fabric designs. Feast your eyes on a selection today.
Album Cover Artwork Was Super Boring before Alex Steinweiss
Inspired by the Bauhaus and WPA posters, the midcentury designer all but invented the modern record-album cover.
The Benin Bronzes and the Cultural History of Museums
What an 1897 exhibition at the British Museum can tell us about how African artworks were perceived in an era of imperialism.
Eighteenth-Century Spies in the European Silk Industry
Curious about the advancing wonders of the age, savants traveled abroad to gather trade secrets for their homeland.
Victorian Botanical Paintings
Amateur botanist Margaret Rebecca Dickinson painted the wildflowers she collected in the English countryside.
The Origins of the Feminist Art Movement
Before the Guerrilla Girls, Women Artists in Revolution pressured institutions to include women artists, inspiring similar groups around the U.S.
The Women of Pop
In addition to bringing attention to overlooked artists, one scholar argues that art criticism has contributed to their obscurity.