Monthly Archives: December 2020

December 21

Subliminal Messages in Disney’s ‘Snow White’?

On the 21st of December 1937, the first full-length cel-animated feature film by Walt Disney Productions, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The film, based on the German fairytale by the Brothers Grimm, was a great international success, earning $8 million following its initial release. […]

December 20

It’s a Wonderful Life!

A taster of Christmassy things to come! On the 20th of December 1946, Frank Capra’s film It’s A Wonderful Life had a preview showing for charity at New York City’s Globe Theater, a day before its official premiere. “This was Frank Capra’s 1946 exploration of small-town America and its faith or lack of it in the […]

December 19

Emily Brontë: Female Talent vs Biased Male Criticism

On the 19th of December 1848, Emily Brontë, aged only thirty, died in her home in Haworth, Yorkshire, England. The young author of the famous novel Wuthering Heights died of tuberculosis. In a letter from the 21st of December 1848, her sister, Charlotte, wrote: “Emily suffers no more from pain or weakness now… Yesterday we […]

December 18

Cliff Palace and the Ancient Pueblo People

On the 18th of December 1888, Richard Wetherill, explorer, guide and excavator to-be, along with his friend Charlie Mason, both cowboys from Mancos, found Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde after noticing the ruins from the top of the highland. Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America, its structure built by the Ancient […]

December 17

Vogue: The Elitist Dream for The Masses

On the 17th of December 1892, the first issue of Vogue was published in America. The popular fashion magazine, which has reached by now an average monthly print circulation of 11.3 million, was founded by Arthur Turnure as a weekly society publication. Vogue magazine became instantly the biggest competitor to another famous fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, […]

December 16

Denny Fouts – From Escort and Literary Muse to Gay Idol

On the 16th of December 1948, Louis Denham Fouts died in Rome of a heart attack at the young age of 35 after years of excess – drugs, cigarettes, alcohol and a wild and promiscuous lifestyle. In the 1930s and ‘40s, he became notorious as America’s luxury gigolo, socialite and muse to literary greats such […]

December 15

Nero: Poet, Hedonist and Sadist

On the 15th of December 37 AD, Nero, the famous Roman Emperor (54-68 AD), was born in Antium, Italy. He was a controversial figure known for his explosive violence, homoeroticism, love of poetry and bad acting. This puzzling mélange of character traits has spawned numerous anecdotes and stories about Nero’s life. They present him as […]

December 14

Paths to Modernism: Puvis de Chavannes’ Murals

On  the 14th of December 1824, the Symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes was born in Lyon, France. Considered a ‘painter’s painter’, he was a great influence on artists, amongst which Matisse and Picasso and universally popular in his time. “Virtually all the artists and critics of the day admired Puvis de Chavannes. His admirers […]

December 13

Wassily Kandinsky: Architect of the Future of Art

On the 13th of December 1944, Wassily Kandinsky, an influential Russian painter and art theorist, died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. He has been credited with painting the first purely abstract work in the history of modern art. In the summer of 1922 he began teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where in the same year he […]

December 12

The Motel, Unsettling Icon of Popular Culture

On the 12th of December 1925, Arthur Heineman opened the first recorded motel along Highway 101 just north of San Luis Obispo, California. As he couldn’t fit in the full name ‘Milestone Motor Hotel’ on the sign, he left it as ‘Motor Hotel’, which then came to be abbreviated as mo-tel. This first example of […]