"The Vexed Man" by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt at The Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.

The Man Whose Face Got Stuck Like That

No one could have predicted Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s turn to the bizarre.
Rossia macrosoma, Stout Bobtail Squid

The Delicate Science-Art of the Blaschka Invertebrate Collection

The Cornell Collection of Blaschka Invertebrate Models includes hundreds of glass models of sea creatures, making it both a teaching tool and a metaphor.
Allegorical Groups Representing the Four Continents: America by Francesco Bertos

These Gravity-Defying Sculptures Provoked Accusations of Demonic Possession

Demons and artists, it seems, pull from the same bag of tricks. They take ordinary matter and transform it into something more wondrous, more terrifying.
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.
Beyonce Jay Z

What About the Art in “Apesh*t”?

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's new music video was filmed entirely at the Louvre museum. What messages hide in the histories of the featured artworks?
Pasquino statue

The Talking Statues of Rome

Since the 16th century, anonymous authors have been posting provocative political messages on or near these Roman statues.
Parco di Monstri

The Park of Monsters

Constructed in the mid-16th century by Pier Francesco "Vicino" Orsini, this bizarre pleasure garden features twelve strange, disturbing statues--and no one knows why.
Pioneer Mother sculpture

How to Memorialize Motherhood

Every statue tells a story, often long forgotten. San Francisco's Pioneer Mother Monument in Golden Gate Park was greeted with disappointed by the woman who originated it.
Zoe Crosher Palms

An Artist Memorializes the Disappearing Palm Trees of Los Angeles

Palm fronds in Southern California are falling more frequently due to age, invasive species, and fungus, Artist Zoe Crosher casts these fronds in bronze.
Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

The Unlikely Reason Why Mount Rushmore Exists

Mount Rushmore has been controversial since its inception. Its designer, Gutzon Borglum, wanted to communicate a particular vision of American history.