May 18

Through the Female Lens: Gertrude Käsebier’s Indians

On the 18th of May 1852, leading American pictorialist photographer Gertrude Käsebier was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Artistically trained at the Pratt Institute, then in France and Germany, she started off as a magazine photo-illustrator, opening her own portrait studio on Fifth Avenue in New York at the end of the 19th century. Her […]

May 17

Fashion, Mondrian Style

On the 17th of May 1911, the Swedish fashion model Lisa Fonssagrives, widely credited as the first ever supermodel,  was born in Västra Götaland County, Sweden. A classic Scandinavian beauty “with impossibly high cheekbones and a cool, penetrating look of well-born entitlement” (Harold Koda, Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion), she posed for some of the most […]

May 16

Teen Marriage: Marie Antoinette & Louis-Auguste

On the 16th of May 1770, the wedding of Marie Antoinette and Louis-Auguste was held at Versailles in the Chapel Royal. Following three centuries of rivalry, France and Austria had finally become allies in 1756, so in order to cement their fresh diplomatic ties, Louis XV and the Empress Maria Theresa arranged the marriage of […]

May 15

World’s Voyage to Eternity in Katherine Anne Porter’s ‘Ship of Fools’

On the 15th of May 1890, the American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas. During the next ninety years, she came to experience the most extraordinary social, political and technological transformations, all of which constituted merely a background to her very eventful life. After losing her mother and grandmother at […]

May 14

Oona O’Neill Chaplin. Behind Every Great Man…

… There is a Great Woman. One such woman, Oona O’Neill, was born on the 14 of May 1925,  in Warwick Parish, Bermuda, to talented parents, the prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill and writer Agnes Boulton. We can only assume that this saying must have been true in Oona’s case, as her true character remained an […]

May 13

Is God a Woman? The Visions of Julian of Norwich

Here is a vision shown by the goodness of God to a devout woman, and her name is Julian, who is a recluse at Norwich and still alive, A.D. 1413, in which vision are very many words of comfort, greatly moving for all those who desire to be Christ’s lovers. (Julian of Norwich, Showings) On […]

May 12

Florence Nightingale’s Dark Decade

On the 12th of May 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Tuscany, the city she owes her name to. She was a national heroine in her lifetime already, elevated to near sainthood by some and bitterly criticised by others. Much of this is due to the fact that this complex and dedicated woman had often […]