March 16

The Matriarchal Reign of Artist Rosa Bonheur

On the 16th of March 1822, French painter and sculptor Marie-Rosalie Bonheur was born in Bordeaux, Gironde, as the oldest child in a family of artists. A feisty, ambitious woman, Bonheur achieved more than most of her female contemporaries could ever dream of. During a time when the Napoleonic Codes limited French women to access […]

March 15

Immigration and Racial Prejudice: The Chinese Exclusion Act

On the 15th of March 1879, Thomas Nast’s cartoon, A Matter of Taste, was published. In the cartoon, criticising the support of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Senator James G. Blaine, an active backer of the Act, is shown dining in ‘Kearney’s Senatorial Restaurant’ – a reference to Denis Kearney, the leader of a violent anti-Chinese […]

March 14

Parallelism in Ferdinand Hodler’s Symbolist Painting

On the 14th March 1853, Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler was born in Gürzelen, canton of Berne. Hodler’s friend, Symbolist poet Louis Duchosal described him as “a mystic and a realist, a duality which disconcerts and disorients …. He excels in rendering the things of the past or of the dream and the realities of life.” […]

March 13

The Mystery of ‘The Fortune Teller’ by Georges de la Tour

On the 13th of March 1593, the French Baroque painter Georges de la Tour was born in the town of Vic-sur-Seuille, a few miles from Nancy, France. In 1620, when he was already a practicing painter, he moved to Lunéville, Lorraine, an independent duchy between north-east France and the German states. That is where he […]

March 12

Corporate ‘Museums’: The World of Coca Cola

On the 12th of March 1894, the first bottles of Coca-Cola were sold in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the drink invented by Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John Pemberton eight years earlier. Joseph Biedenharn, the owner of the soda fountain in Vicksburg, was the first to install bottling machinery in the rear of his store. Their popularity quickly spread […]

March 11

Victor Lusting: The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower… Twice!

On the 11th of March 1947, Victor Lusting, a Czech con artist, best known as ‘The man who sold the Eiffel Tower’, died in Springfield, Missouri. At the time of his death, he was still serving his sentence of twenty years in Alcatraz Island for major money forgery. A glib and witty man, he spoke […]

March 10

Is There One True Inventor of the Telephone?

On the 10th of March 1876, three days after his patent was issued, Scottish-born Canadian scientist Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922) succeeded in communicating with sound, using a liquid transmitter similar to Elisha Gray’s design of an early telephone. Controversy reigned over who was the first actual inventor of the device, and recent books […]