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Madeleine Compagnon

Madeleine Compagnon is an art historian, writer, and editor based in New York.
Sugar Skulls

What Do Sugar Skulls Mean on El Día de los Muertos?

The iconography of Mexico's Día de los Muertos has become wildly popular outside Latino communities. But where did the skulls and skeletons come from?
Print shows men and women riding bicycles and tricycles to a fair, 1819

Are Cyclists Reckless Lawbreakers?

Three researchers investigate whether bicyclists deserve their negative reputation.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

How Black Artists Fought Exclusion in Museums

When the Metropolitan Museum of Art excluded artworks from a major exhibition all about Harlem, Black artists protested the erasure.
Patrocle by Jacques-Louis David

Who Were the Male Models in French History Paintings?

Before the French Revolution, professional models were salaried professionals. That would all change in the nineteenth century.
From a 1920s poster from the National Agricultural Library highlight the connection between good eating habits and overall health

The Surprising Backstory of Victory Gardens

In World War I, the Victory Garden movement encouraged people to grow their own food to conserve home-front supplies. But kids' gardens had planted the roots.
Yvonne Rainer

Yvonne Rainer, Postmodern Dance, and You

In the 1960s, a group of artists started experimenting with choreography based on ordinary movement and improvisation. Now your living room is the stage.
John Carl Warnecke and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy discuss plans for Lafayette Square and the New Executive Office Building in September 1962.

What Makes a “Beautiful” Federal Building?

A new draft executive order requiring classical architecture in government buildings negates principles established during the Kennedy administration.