Category Archives: Psychology

July 02

Émile Coué: Autosuggestion and Self-Improvement

On the 2nd of July 1926,  French self-help guru Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie died in Nancy, France. Working as an apothecary at Troyes at the turn of the century, Coué came to know the placebo effect and used encouraging words to recommend medicines to patients, pinning small notes with positive messages to various remedies when handing […]

June 12

Harriet Martineau: Agoraphobia and Feminist Freedom

On the 12th of  June 1802, pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau was born in Norwich, England. In 1844 she wrote one of her most underrated books, Life in the Sickroom: Essays by an Invalid, a sociological investigation of illness in Victorian England, as well as an autobiographical reflection on convalescence. Written during a five year retreat to […]

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 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 […]

April 15

Leonardo da Vinci, Freud and Psychoanalysis

On the 15th of April 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci (hence the name), Italy. Generally considered the quintessential Renaissance Man, his input reached fields as various as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, mathematics, engineering, invention, anatomy, geology, cartography, botany and literature. His instatiable craving for knowledge is as much as a mystery as […]

April 11

Chris Burden: The Artist Who Shot Himself

On the 11th of April 1946, the American performance artist Chris Burden was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the US. “ Among other things, Burden has been described as a masochist; an avant-garde novitiate; a social therapist; an existential populist; a hero; the alter ego of the biblical Samson; a helpless, passive victim; a heroic victim; […]

April 09

Hiroshima: The Struggle for National Memory

On the 9th of April 1880, the Czech architect Jan Letzel was born in the town of Náchod, Bohemia. After succeeding as a prolific architect in Bohemia, Dalmatia, Montenegro, Herzegovina, and Cairo, in 1907, he moved to live and work in Japan, where together with his friend, Karl Hora, he established his own Tokyo-based architectural […]