A 17th century standing cup

These Bizarre Ivory Cups Were Carved by Princes

The royal houses of Europe felt that it would be good for their sons to learn a manual trade. Artisans taught nobles to carve ivory on a lathe.
Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival in 2019

The Gospel According to Kanye West

On the making of gospel music, from Gospel Pearls to Jesus Is King.
Lloyd Corrigan (left) and José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac

McCarthyism at the Oscars

As José Ferrer was being handed his Oscar—making him the first Latino actor to win—he was being investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

How to Write Great True Crime

Hint: Branch out from serial killers coming through the window.
An exhibition of Damage Control by John Baldessari

Why John Baldessari Burned His Own Art

The artist's "Cremation Project" of 1970 marked a liberation from the tradition of painting and a step toward a more encompassing vision.
Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury on War, Recycling, and Artificial Intelligence

As the 21st century unravels, Ray Bradbury remains a fundamental figure of the sci-fi genre.
An illustration depicting two regency-era women speaking with an iMessage bubble

Is Jane Austen the Antidote to Social Media Overload?

Racking up likes and followers today resembles the nonstop friending of 19th-century England. But Austen's characters figured out how to disengage.
Isaac Asimov. Photo by Jay Kay Klein, courtesy Regents of the University of California

Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall

The science fiction author Isaac Asimov engaged in forms of unwanted touching with countless women. It set the tone for the entire genre.
A still from The Lodger, 1927

Hitchcock’s Transition from London to Hollywood

In England, Alfred Hitchcock cultivated a comedic sensibility that shines through in his Hollywood thrillers.
El Jaleo by John Singer Sargent, 1882

What Did Franco’s Spain Do to Spanish Music?

Contemporary Spanish genres like flamenco and zarzuela still carry the weight of cultural associations with Franco’s fascist regime.