Elizabeth Siddal, the Real-Life “Ophelia”
A working-class woman with artistic aspirations of her own, Siddal nearly died of pneumonia after posing for John Everett Millais’s iconic painting.
Paintings Made of Stone
Renaissance painters incorporated the inherent qualities of stone to produce works of art that revealed the beauty of nature and hand of God.
The Lumpy Pearls That Enchanted the Medicis
There’s a specific term for these irregular pearls: “baroque,” from the Portuguese barroco.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fraught Attempt at Mass Production
The famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright famously loathed commercialism, and yet he (reluctantly) designed commercial homewares to be mass-produced.
The Surprising History of the Kimono
The kimono that the world associates with Japan was actually created in the late-nineteenth century as a cultural identifier.
The Candid Appeal of the Advertising Show Card
A hand-painted show card evokes a certain nostalgia and humanity that machine-made signs can never arouse: It suggests honesty.