August 09

Jan Sawka: Political Posters and the Polish Solidarity Movement

On the 9th of August 2012, Polish painter, printmaker, graphic artist, set designer and architect Jan Sawka died in his home in High Falls, New York. Jan Sawka was the son of an architect father and linguist mother.  His childhood was overshadowed by his father’s Stalin-era political imprisonment.  Sawka completed two Master degrees:  in Painting and Printmaking, from […]

August 08

James Tissot – Visual Notes of a Victorian Dandy

On the 8th of August 1902, French Victorian portrait painter, engraver, and enameler, James Tissot, died in Buillon Abbey, near Besançon, France. “After receiving a religious education, Tissot went to Paris at age 19 to study art. In 1859 he exhibited at the Salon. Turning from his rather anguished early works to modern genre paintings […]

August 07

Lucien Hervé: The Master of Contrast

On the 7th of August 1910, photographer Lucien Hervé (née László Elkán) was born in Hódmezõvásárhely, Hungary. He is remembered for his distinctive black-and-white photographs of strong visual contrast. Born to a middle class Jewish family, Hervé had never really planned to become a photographer. In fact, as a teenager he developed an extensive interest in […]

August 06

Vajda Lajos: A Hungarian Modernist

On the 6th of August 1908, artist Lajos Vajda was born in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary. He was the youngest child born into a poor Jewish family of five. In 1916, his father moved the family to Serbia in search of a better life. Here the young Lajos came into contact with religious Byzantine-Orthodox art for the […]

August 05

Was The Elephant Man Dr Treves’ ‘Private’ Freak?

On the 5th of August 1862, John Merrick, commonly known by his stage name ‘The Elephant Man’, was born in Leicester, England. Merrick suffered from a rare condition, which has not been conclusively identified yet. Some doctors believed his condition to be neurofibromatosis type I, others, Proteus syndrome and it caused severe deformities of Merrick’s body. At […]

August 04

Hedda Sterne: Against the Abstract Expressionist Tide

On the 4th of August 1910, Romanian-Jewish artist Hedda Sterne was born as Hedwig Lindenberg in Bucharest. Sterne is remembered as the only woman present in the Life magazine “Irascibles” photograph taken by Nina Leen in New York on the 24th of November 1950. The article in which the picture appeared documented the Abstract Expressionists’ […]

August 03

Architectural Wonders: Melnikov’s House

On the 3rd of August 1890, Russian architect and painter Konstantin Melnikov was born in Moscow. A pious Orthodox Christian from a peasant family, Melnikov had managed to gain admission to the prestigious Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and study with Russia’s greatest neoclassical painters and architects on the eve of the October […]