Category Archives: Society

July 01

Buckminster Fuller on Childhood and Education

On the 1st of July 1983, American neo-futuristic architect, system theorist, designer and inventor Buckminster Fuller died in Los Angeles, California. The man who used to launch his lectures by introducing himself as “the world’s most successful failure” was in fact one of the most brilliant and nonconformist minds of the twentieth century. Expelled from […]

June 30

Showmanship and Mass Frenzy: Blondin’s Niagara Stunt

On the 30th of June 1859, French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope. “About 25,000 thrill-seekers arrived by train and steamer and dispersed on the American or Canadian side of the falls (…) Both banks grew “fairly black” with swarms of spectators, among them statesmen, judges, clerics, generals, members of Congress, capitalists, […]

June 29

James Van Der Zee: Life and Death in Harlem

On the 29th of June 1886, the largely self-taught African American photographer James Van Der Zee was born in Lenox, Massachusetts. He became the leading photographer of the Harlem Renaissance, also known as the New Negro Movement or the New Negro Renaissance – the cultural movement that spanned the 1920s. The term New Negro was […]

June 21

Jacqueline Livingston: Male Nudity Against the System

On the 21st of June 2013, American photographer Jacqueline Louise Livingston (nèe Barrett) died in Ithaca, New York. Born in August 1943, Jacqueline Louise Barrrett, grew up in Chandler, Arizona, where her father worked on the Air Force base as chief of the Fire Dept. He died when she was 12 years old, leaving her […]

June 17

The Guillotine: Does death by decapitation equal instant death?

On the 17th of June 1939, Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in Versailles outside Saint-Pierre prison. He was the last person to be guillotined in public. Since then, until the 10th of September 1977 and the last ever execution by guillotine performed on Hamida Djandoubi, all executions by guillotine were done in private. […]

June 13

Lucile, Lady Duff-Gordon: Inventor of the Modern Fashion Show

On the 13th of June 1863, Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff-Gordon (née Sutherland), best known as ‘Lucile’, was born in London, England. She gained recognition as a leading fashion designer in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century. After being abandoned by her first husband, James Stuart Wallace, who left her practically penniless, she set […]

June 11

Renée Vivien and the Trials of Lesbian Poetry

On the 11th of June 1877, English poet Renée Vivien (née Pauline Mary Tarn) was born in London to a wealthy British father and an American mother. She adopted her French name at the age of twenty-one after moving to Paris, where she lived a notorious bohemian lifestyle defined by her quirky style of dressing, turbulent […]