Author Archives: maryannadair

Take Potluck or be Thunderstruck

[Above: Two issues of Pluck and Luck: Complete Stories of Adventure] Left: Issue No. 76  November 15, 1899. “The Rocket or Adventures in the Air” by Allyn Draper. Frustrated pursuers stand agape as their quarry lifts off for a trip … Continue reading

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Tax on Delivery

[Cuneiform Tablet: Southern Mesopotamia c. 2050 BC.] Cuneiform writing was developed by the ancient culture of Sumer (which is now in the region of modern-day Iraq) and was one of the first scripts used to record information. It was written … Continue reading

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Gerard of the Night (Painter By Day)

[The Happy Musician (De Vrolijke Speelman) 108 x 89 cm Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam] Dutch Golden Age artist, “Gerard of the Night” (Gerard van Honthorst, Gerrit van Honthorst) was born on 4th November 1592 in Utrecht. Early in his career he visited … Continue reading

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Where the Hammock Swung | When the World Was Young

[“In the Hammock“,  (1886) by Hans Thoma] German artist Hans Thoma, was born on October 2, 1839 in Bernau within the Black Forest region of Germany.  In 1859, at the age of 20, having started life as a painter of … Continue reading

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Kiss Me Tootsie and Then Do It Over Again

[Untitled (1990) glass sculpture by Toots Zynsky] Mary Ann ‘Toots’ Zynsky was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 25 March, 1951.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence (1973). During her studies, … Continue reading

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Feeling a Little Jaded?

In 1968, two complete jade burial suits were discovered in the tomb of Han Prince Liu Sheng and Princess Dou Wan in Mancheng, Hebei, China. They were the first of a number of jade suits that would be found in … Continue reading

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Two Huge Fans of Kempinas’ Art

[Double O  by Žilvinas Kempinas (2008) video tape, fans, ed. 6/6; Gift- Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund, National Gallery of Victoria, (NGV).] Žilvinas Kempinas (born in 1969 in Plungė, Lithuania) is an artist living and working in New York City. … Continue reading

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Cake Stool or Fake Stool?

[Above: ‘Cake Stool‘ (2008) by Humberto and Fernando Campana (Designers) and Estudio Campana (Manufacturer) from Sao Paolo, Brazil.  (Made from soft toys, steel, and canvas).] Brazilian designers, “The Campana Brothers” are Humberto Campana, (b. 1953) and Fernando Campana, (b. 1961).  … Continue reading

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Time Fur Breakfast

[Object (or Breakfast) in Fur, (1936) is Méret Oppenheim’s famous cup, saucer and teaspoon covered with Chinese gazelle fur]. German-born, Swiss Surrealist artist and photographer, Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim was born on 6 October 1913 in Berlin. She was raised by … Continue reading

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There is Nothing Finer Than the Chimes of the Clinaman

[Featured – Clinamen (2013) MDF floor, PVC liner, water pump, heating device, porcelain bowls, water]. Paula Cooper Gallery New York and Galerie Xippas, Paris. This installation is generously supported at the NGV by the Loti and Victor Smorgon Fund. Céleste Boursier-Mougenot … Continue reading

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Katnjupayi Benson | A Tale of Two Sittings

Katnjupayi Benson (Ngaanyatjarra) born c. 1933 comes from Papulankutja (Blackstone Community, 300 kms west of the Western Australia (W.A.), Northern Territory and South Australia borders); and spends time between Blackstone and the Docker River communities. She began to make baskets … Continue reading

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The Crusader, The Thief, The Nun & The Unknown

St Michan’s Church of Ireland is located in the heart of inner-city Dublin, where worship has existed on this site since 1095, when it was originally built by the Vikings who dedicated it after a Danish bishop. The Church encountered … Continue reading

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With a Huffin’ and a Puffin’ These Covers Will Blow You Away

[Above: Book covers for Puffin Story Books published in 1951. Gloria Freedman’s front and back cover (The Secret Garden) and John Harwood’s covers for Fairy Tales From the Isle of Man.] Four years after Australian paperback publisher Penguin Books had been … Continue reading

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Bathing or Resting But Never Protesting

[Francois Boucher The Surprised Bather (1736) and Diana Resting After Leaving Her Bath] French Rococo style artist Pompidour François Boucher was born in Paris on 29 September 1703, the son of lace designer Nicolas Boucher. Boucher is known for his … Continue reading

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Is Art Trash? or Is It ‘Trash Art’

The Destroyed Room (1978) by Jeff Wall. Transparency in light-box 159 cm x 234 cm. (Collection  of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) Canadian photographic artist Jeffrey “Jeff” Wall, was born in Vancouver on September 29, 1946. He is best … Continue reading

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