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April 12, 2012

On this day: The American Civil War begins

On April 12, 1861, Confederate shore batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina; in response, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern insurrection, marking the beginning of the American Civil War. The conflict had been building up for some time before the attack: Following Lincoln’s election the previous […]

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April 4, 2012

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

From those fabulous poems by Roman bad-boy Catullus (84-54 BC) to today’s contemporary poet rock-stars like Billy Collins, poetry might not enjoy the same mass popularity as it did in ancient times, but when you dive in, poetry is its own universe of aural, oral, and cerebral pleasures. Poetry and art are intertwined—two art forms […]

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April 2, 2012

April is Jazz Appreciation Month!

Happy Jazz Appreciation Month! While the attributes of jazz are difficult to describe without getting technical, the key element that ties together its many sub-genres, from swing to bebop to avant-garde, is improvisation—or as Louis Armstrong put it, “Jazz is music that’s never played the same way once.”

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March 23, 2012

Artstor visits The Hunger Games

The Artstor water cooler is abuzz with excitement about the premiere of The Hunger Games this weekend. The books by Suzanne Collins have made their way around the offices over the past couple of years, and the movie was a good excuse to do some “research” in Artstor for somewhat-relevant imagery.

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March 19, 2012

On this day: Josef Albers is born

Pioneering modern artist Josef Albers was born on March 19, 1888. Albers was an influential teacher, writer, painter, and color theorist best known for the Homages to the Square series and the groundbreaking book The Interaction of Color. In partnership with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the ARTstor Digital Library features 2,100 images of […]

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March 15, 2012

On this day: The Ides of March

Julius Caesar, “dictator in perpetuity” of the Roman Empire, was murdered by his own senators on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 BC. Caesar had raised the ire of his already-resentful Republican senators after he appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire while he was away from Rome to fight in a […]

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March 14, 2012

On this day: Happy Pi Day (3/14)!

Happy Pi (∏)Day! Today is 3/14, the first three decimals of ∏ (3.14). To celebrate, here is a 16th-century woodcut of the Greek letter ∏ from The Illustrated Bartsch. Too dry? Try these pies from Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud, courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art: Painting and Sculpture. Not enough? Visit this site from the University of […]

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March 9, 2012

Travel Awards 2012: call for entries

The Artstor Travel Awards are back! Five winners will receive $1,500 each in support of educational and scholarly activities, such as flying to a conference. The contest is open to graduate students, scholars, curators, educators, and librarians in any field. To apply, submit one or more Artstor image groups and a single accompanying essay that […]

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February 29, 2012

Artstor Is… Women’s Studies

March is Women’s History Month! The Artstor Digital Library offers a variety of excellent resources to support Women’s Studies, from historical photographs to the history of fashion, and from canonical artworks to modern and contemporary art by female practitioners.

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February 23, 2012

Unfettered personal expression in the 1950s: the Beat Generation and the Abstract Expressionists

While the 1950s are popularly remembered as a decade of “button down” conformity, the postwar era saw the rise of two groups of American writers and artists who broke with tradition and social norms in an exaltation of unfettered personal expression. The Beat Generation scandalized the country with their licentious lives and confessional writings. Allen […]

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