Category Archives: Art History

June 18

Modernism Uncut: Marianne Brandt’s Photomontages

On the 18th of June 1983, German artist Marianne Brandt died in Kirchberg, Saxony at the age of 89. She was a complex multi-media artist and designer nowadays best remembered for creating metallic household objects such as lamps, ashtrays and teapots which are at the forefront of modern industrial design. Starting with 1926, Brandt also […]

June 15

Enrico Baj: Anarchist at Heart

On the 15th of June 2003, Italian painter, sculptor, writer and anarchist Enrico Baj died in Vergiate, Italy. In his works he focused mainly on politically engaged themes such as the threat of nuclear war or the political situation in Italy under Berlusconi. Baj was one of the founders of the Nuclear Art Movement that […]

June 14

Mary Cassatt as Muralist

On the 14 of June 1926, American Impressionist expatriate Mary Cassatt died in Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, at the age of 82. Usually remembered as a painter of sentimental images of mothers and children, Cassatt is not generally considered as an artist of radical beliefs. In Eve’s Daughter/Modern Woman (University of Illinois Press, 2004), […]

June 10

Psychic Hélène Smith and Surrealist Automatism

On the 10th of June 1929, famous late-19th century French psychic medium and artist Hélène Smith (née Catherine-Elise Müller) died in Geneva. She was considered “the Muse of Automatic Writing” by the Surrealists, who looked up to her as a conduit to surrealist knowledge. Smith outrageously claimed that she was able to communicate, amongst others, with Martians, Victor Hugo […]

June 09

Donald Duck and Wartime Propaganda

On the 9th of June 1934, Donald Duck debuted in Disney’s The Wise Little Hen, which was part of the Silly Symphonies series of theatrical cartoon shorts. The anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet, dressed in a blue sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie, is […]

June 08

The Feminine Side of Cubism: Marie Laurencin

On the 8th of June 1956, Cubist artist Marie Laurencin died in Paris at the age of 72. During her lifetime, Laurencin achieved a successful international reputation, especially in the 1920s and 1930s. Even earlier though at the Salon des Indépendants (1910-1911) and the Salon d’Automne (1911-1912) she exhibited alongside Pablo Picasso, and Cubists associated […]

June 06

Hans Prinzhorn: Curating the Art of Mental Illness

On the 6th of June 1886, German psychiatrist and art historian  Hans Prinzhorn was born in Hemer, Westphalia. After obtaining a doctorate in art history and philosophy from the University of Vienna, he decided to train in England as a singer, but ended up studying medicine and became an Army surgeon in WWI.  In 1919, he […]