Plaster face casts by Anna Coleman Ladd

How Masks of Mutilated WWI Soldiers Haunted Postwar Culture

In the age before plastic surgery, masks were the best option for veterans with faces scarred by war. The end results, however, were somewhat uncanny.
Vintage engraving from 1876 of a old victorian haunted house.

How Victorian Mansions Became the Default Haunted House

Quick: Picture a haunted house. It's probably a Victorian mansion, right? Here's how these structures became signifiers of horror, haunting, and death.

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.

Edward S. Curtis: Romance vs. Reality

In a famous 1910 photograph "In a Piegan Lodge," a small clock appears between two seated Native American men. In a later print, the clock is missing.
Graceland facade

Was Graceland Elvis’ Greatest Aesthetic Masterpiece?

When you think of the aesthetic life of Elvis Presley, you probably think of the gaudy glitz of Graceland. But what did the tacky décor really mean?
Refugee child reading Superman

Why Art Historians Still Ignore Comics

In recent history comic art has crossed boundaries to enter other mediums. So why aren't art historians paying more attention?
Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

Francis Picabia’s Chameleonic Style

The Francis Picabia retrospective at MoMA is wowing museumgoers again with his ever-shifting, always challenging art.
Photograph: President Barack Obama, Ruby Bridges,  and representatives of the Norman Rockwell Museum view Rockwell’s  "The Problem We All Live With,"  hanging in a West Wing hallway near the Oval Office, July 15, 2011.  Ruby Bridges is the girl in the painting. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. 

Source: https://flic.kr/p/a41wAb

Norman Rockwell: Provocative Artist or Predictable Hack?

While Norman Rockwell's paintings struck a chord with the mass American public, that was not always not the case with art critics.
Le bateau-atelier The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Le bateau-atelier (another impression)" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 10, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7d3b4edc-0895-16f4-e040-e00a18067a68

Why We Should Preserve Artist Studios

The rich historical and inspirational sites of artists’ studios and homes make them worthy of historical preservation.