Picture from an MSNBC.com link for a slideshow of ice skaters.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Detail from "The Burial of Count Orgaz"
"The image first appeared in the May 9, 1754, issue of Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette. By the 1750s, France and Great Britain had been arguing for years over the extent one another’s landholdings in the Americas. Franklin considered the American colonies to be dangerously fragmented and, through this cartoon and its accompanying article, hoped to convince the American colonies that they would have great power if they united against the threat of French expansion in North America.
"The “Join or Die” snake enjoyed popularity long after its first publication in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754. Newspapers throughout the colonies copied and reprinted the image. For example, in 1774 Paul Revere adopted a snake device in the masthead of The Massachusetts Spy. As the years progressed, Franklin’s image lost its usefulness as a symbolic map, yet the powerful message of strength in unity it conveyed remained for centuries."
Friday, November 25, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
"O beautiful for spacious skies, / For amber waves of grain, / For purple mountain majesties / Above the fruited plain! / America! America! / God shed his grace on thee / And crown thy good with brotherhood / From sea to shining sea! / O beautiful for pilgrim feet / Whose stern, impassioned stress / A thoroughfare for freedom beat / Across the wilderness! / America! America! / God mend thine every flaw, / Confirm thy soul in self-control, / Thy liberty in law! / O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife. / Who more than self the country loved / And mercy more than life! / America! America! / May God thy gold refine / Till all success be nobleness / And every gain divine! / O beautiful for patriot dream / That sees beyond the years / Thine alabaster cities gleam / Undimmed by human tears! / America! America! / God shed his grace on thee / And crown thy good with brotherhood / From sea to shining sea! / O beautiful for halcyon skies, / For amber waves of grain, / For purple mountain majesties / Above the enameled plain! / America! America! / God shed his grace on thee / Till souls wax fair as earth and air / And music-hearted sea! / O beautiful for pilgrims feet, / Whose stern impassioned stress / A thoroughfare for freedom beat / Across the wilderness! / America! America! / God shed his grace on thee / Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought / By pilgrim foot and knee! / O beautiful for glory-tale / Of liberating strife / When once and twice, / for man's avail / Men lavished precious life! / America! America! / God shed his grace on thee / Till selfish gain no longer stain / The banner of the free! / O beautiful for patriot dream / That sees beyond the years / Thine alabaster cities gleam / Undimmed by human tears! / America! America! / God shed his grace on thee / Till nobler men keep once again / Thy whiter jubilee!"
Monday, November 7, 2011
Autumn Landscape 1885
"The Autumn Landscape is one of Vincent van Gogh's earlier works, where he was painting in more of an impressionist manner, with more details and less color than his later works. Van Gogh was pleased with the results of this particular painting which he talks about in a letter to Theo below.
"Van Gogh wrote about the Autumn Landscape painting in a letter to his brother Theo van Gogh in 1885, saying "I think that I am making progress with my work. Last night something happened to me which I will tell you as minutely as I can. You know those three pollard oaks at the bottom of the garden at home; I have plodded on them for the fourth time. I had been at them for three days with a canvas the size of, lets say, the cottage, and the country church-yard which you have.
"The difficulty was the tufts of havana leaves, to model them and give them form, color, tone. Then in the evening I took it to that acquaintance of mine in Eindhoven, who has a rather stylish drawing room, where we put it on the wall (gray paper, furniture black with gold). Well, never before was I so convinced that I shall make things that do well, that I shall succeed in calculating my colors, so that I have it in my power to make the right effect."