June 20

Forgotten Philosophers: Adam Ferguson On Social Solidarity

On the 20th of June 1723, Enlightenment philosopher and pioneering sociologist Adam Ferguson was born in Logierait, Perthshire, Scotland. “Ferguson is chiefly remembered for the Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), an intellectual history that traces humanity’s progression from barbarism to social and political refinement. In his philosophy Ferguson emphasized society as the […]

June 19

Jerome Myers: Painter of the Underdog

On the 19th of June 1940, American painter Jerome Myers died in New York. “For more than 50 years Myers, small of stature and bearing a striking resemblance to Paderewski, was a familiar sight on the streets of New York, which he made his special painting province.” His obituary in The Art Digest, read that, “The […]

June 18

Modernism Uncut: Marianne Brandt’s Photomontages

On the 18th of June 1983, German artist Marianne Brandt died in Kirchberg, Saxony at the age of 89. She was a complex multi-media artist and designer nowadays best remembered for creating metallic household objects such as lamps, ashtrays and teapots which are at the forefront of modern industrial design. Starting with 1926, Brandt also […]

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 16

Marie Laveau: Voodoo, Race and Female Power

On the 16th of June 1881, Marie Laveau, Louisiana Creole ‘princess’ of Voodoo, died in New Orleans, Louisiana, aged 79. “A nineteenth-century free woman of color, she is a founding figure of the African-American voodoo tradition. Little is known about Marie Laveau and her introduction to voodoo. Originally a devout Catholic, she “miraculously” transformed herself […]

June 15

Enrico Baj: Anarchist at Heart

On the 15th of June 2003, Italian painter, sculptor, writer and anarchist Enrico Baj died in Vergiate, Italy. In his works he focused mainly on politically engaged themes such as the threat of nuclear war or the political situation in Italy under Berlusconi. Baj was one of the founders of the Nuclear Art Movement that […]

June 14

Mary Cassatt as Muralist

On the 14 of June 1926, American Impressionist expatriate Mary Cassatt died in Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, at the age of 82. Usually remembered as a painter of sentimental images of mothers and children, Cassatt is not generally considered as an artist of radical beliefs. In Eve’s Daughter/Modern Woman (University of Illinois Press, 2004), […]