Category Archives: Society

February 18

Racial Dilemma in Twain’s Huck Finn

On the 18th of February 1885, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in the United States. Twain’s picaresque novel set in the 1840s, is about a young boy called Huck who runs away from home and floats down the Mississippi River. On his way he meets a runaway slave  Jim and […]

February 14

Artist Nina Hamnett, Jazz Age’s Wildest Party Girl

On the 14th of February 1890, Welsh artist, writer and bohemian party girl Nina Hamnett was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Her emerging artistic skill helped her escape an unhappy childhood. She moved to London where she studied at Pelham Art School, then the London School of Art and in 1914 she went to Montparnasse, […]

January 18

Grete Schütte-Lihotzky: House Maker, Not Homemaker

On the 18th of January 2000, Austria’s first female architect, Nazi resistance, as well as Marxist activist Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky died in Vienna five days before her 103rd birthday. Lihotzky became the first female student at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna, where important modern artists such as Hoffmann, Hanak and Kokoschka were teaching. She obtained her place with difficulty, […]

January 14

Summer of Love

On the 14th of January 1967, The Human Be-In, an event in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park signalled the beginning of the Summer of Love, which turned the city’s Haight-Ashbury district into the centre point of American counterculture; the world that came to characterise this suburban union was “psychedelic”. Tens of thousands of people gathered […]

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 […]

November 30

Folies Bergère: Populist Cosmopolitan Hub

On the 30th of November 1886, The Folies Bergère staged its first revue in Paris. Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, and called Folies Trévise back then, it was finished as an opera house by the architect Plumeret in 1869. The venue was at the height of its popularity from the 1890’s […]

October 10

Racism in Opera: Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

On the 10th of October 1935, George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess opened in the Alvin Theatre on Broadway, New York. A few years earlier, Singer Al Jolson attempted to musicalise the story starring as a comic blackface Porgy, his minstrel shows, an unacceptable racist concept nowadays. The Broadway opening was unprecedented in U.S. history due to […]