Dummy Boards: the Fun Figures of the 1600s
These life-sized painted figures, popular in Europe and colonial America in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, were designed to amuse and confuse.
Luna Park and the Amusement Park Boom
The fortunes of Coney Island have waxed and waned, but in the early twentieth century, its amusement parks became a major American export.
How to Interpret the Meaning of an Image
This week, we practice using our skills of visual analysis and learn how to "read" deliberately constructed images.
The Evolution of Zaha Hadid, Architect
An unconventional architect who started her career as an outsider, Hadid became a leading figure in architecture and design in the twenty-first century.
What is a Symbol?
A symbol can be any object, character, color, or even shape that represents an abstract concept without explanatory text. But wait, there's more!
Mills Panoram and Soundies
In the 1940s, these short films set to music transgressed Hollywood’s racial mythology to create space for Black artists to experiment—and have fun.
Principles of Composition in Art and Design
An artist combines repetition, balance, proportion, movement, and other design elements to form the whole of a visual composition.
Exploring the Avant-Garde Architectural Manifesto
More than a century later, the architectural manifesto continues to hold our attention, emphasizing a charged moment when society was breaking with the past.
Victorians Mourned with Vulcanized Rubber Jewelry
Nineteenth-century Anglo-American mourning rituals called for a period of sentimental sadness, but they also demanded an investment in clothing and jewelry.
Finding Krao Farini
Public discourse on the bearded lady, a staple of circus sideshow, revealed the racial biases underpinning Darwinian theory.