Pendant in the Form of Neptune and a Sea Monster

The Lumpy Pearls That Enchanted the Medicis

There’s a specific term for these irregular pearls: “baroque,” from the Portuguese barroco.
“Colors That Never Run,” W1, Undated.

Ed Hardy Changed Tattooing Forever

Trained as a printmaker, this artist helped change American tattooing from a fringe behavior into an art form people use to express themselves.
The Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in St. Augustine, FL

Should Museums Display Shrunken Heads?

Tsantsas, or shrunken human heads, remind us of how museums have often been founded on a violent trade in indigenous culture.
Portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger

The Codpiece and the Pox

A brief history of the codpiece, that mysterious garment favored by 16th-century gents who just may have been covering up their cases of syphilis.
Portland, OR sign

How to Navigate by Nostalgia: The Linguistics of Place Names

Place names are often intimately tied to nostalgia and history.
JSTOR Daily Friday Reads

Tig Notaro, Annie Proulx, and More

Our Friday Reads rounds up five new books out this week, and links to related content you won't find anywhere else. 

Ota Benga and the Living Ethnographic Exhibit

In the book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, Pamela Newkirk tells a tale that is more than astonishing.