Category Archives: Art History

October 04

Mount Rushmore: Personal Ambition to National Heritage

On the 4th of October 1927, Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) began sculpting Mount Rushmore, a long project which ended unfinished in 1941, the year of the artist’s death. Borglum was a Danish-American  sculptor, son of a bigamist Mormon father who started off as a woodcarver, then moved with Gutzon’s aunt to New York to train as […]

October 02

Duchamp and the Dadaist Gender Offensive

On the 2nd of October 1968, artist Marcel Duchamp died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. His Rouen grave was engraved with the humorously defiant epitaph “Besides, it’s always the others who die!”. In death, as in life, he remained a master of sarcasm and controversy. A puzzling development in his career occurred in 1920, when Duchamp started adopting a […]

September 28

English Utopia in the Art of Helen Allingham

On the 28th of September 1926, Victorian water-colourist and illustrator Helen Allingham, born Helen M. E. Paterson, died in Haslemere, Surrey, England. Her career “was circumscribed by, relied upon, and exceeded accepted norms of landscape painting in the nineteenth century. She painted out-of-doors, for example, a common mode of practice none the less considered suspect […]

September 27

Drawing with Light: The Photographs of Olive Cotton

On the 27th of September 2003, modernist photographer Olive Cotton died in Koorawatha, New South Wales, Australia. Her work shows an interchange between the pictorialist style and ‘modernism’ (New Photography), which superseded the former in Australia in the 1930s. Cotton was introduced to the arts, science and a love of nature at an early age. Her mother, Florence, […]

September 25

Aesthetic Delirium in Jack Smith’s ‘Flaming Creatures’

On the 25th of September 1989, American filmmaker, photographer, performance artist, and pioneer of underground cinema Jack Smith died in New York City, New York. From the early 1960s through most of the 1980s, he was a key figure in American avant-garde film and theatre. His works, marked by a deceptively playful camp sensibility, combine […]

September 23

Paul Delvaux: Secret Facets of Surrealism

On the 23rd of September 1897, Belgian painter and printmaker Paul Delvaux was born in Antheit, Belgium. His original style and the mysterious, almost mystical, themes he employed in his art, place him outside ‘the box’ of any formal art movement. Between 1920 and 1924, Delvaux studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. His […]

September 22

The Musical Brush of M. K. Ciurlionis

On the 22nd of September 1875, Lithuanian painter, composer and writer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis was born in Senoji Varėna, the Russian Empire. Čiurlionis contributed to symbolism and art nouveau at the turn of the century and is seen as one of the earliest experimenters with abstraction in European art. The majority of his paintings are housed in the […]