crowd of people and vehicles on a busy street outside a large cathedral

A home for all: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

For thousands of migrants looking for a job or a new start in life, New York City has always been (and still is) a favoured destination. Many live together in specific neighbourhoods, aiding them in finding work, engaging in social activities and preserving their cultural identity.

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Beautiful & useful: Bauhaus and Walter Gropius

2019 celebrates the centenary of the influential Bauhaus art and design school, founded by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar Germany on April 12th in 1919.

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painting of man sitting at a piano with

Prelude in Gothenburg, finale in Prague: the Swedish adventure of Bedřich Smetana

While Antonín Dvorák is sometime considered as the greatest composer ever to have lived in the Czech Republic, in the eyes of the Czechs only one man deserves that epithet: Bedřich Smetana.

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From earth goddess festival to family feast: the roots and guises of ‘Mother’s Day’

Throughout the world, the love, patience, dedication and commitment of mothers are honoured yearly on ‘Mother’s Day’. Many countries and cultures celebrate their mothers in the month of May, and treat the ‘leading lady’ of the family to a day of pampering, presents, festive food and extra doses of hugs. But did you know that […]

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From the New World: American music from a Czech maestro

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák brought his sensibility and musical genius from his homeland to the United States.

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black and white group portrait of woman and two priests

Grynoriai: Lithuanian-American life in the early 20th century

Lithuania has long been a nation of immigrants, with the majority of the Lithuanian diaspora living in the United States. In this blog, Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania describes Lithuanian-American life through digitised photographs and ephemera from the library’s collections.

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Legends of La Liga: Ferenc ‘Pancho’ Puskás and Hungarian footballers in El Clásico

Hungary reached the football World Cup final in 1954 and, although they didn’t win, its Hungarian national team of the 1950s became legendary. This is the story of Ferenc ‘Pancho’ Puskás and the ‘Golden Team’ generation which made its mark on Spanish football.

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From Russia with love: Misia Sert, queen of Paris

Misia Sert was one of the most intriguing and influential women in Belle Époque Paris, a muse and confidant to many of the iconic artists and composers of the time.

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Josephine Baker – dancer, spy and freedom fighter 

Born into poverty, Josephine Baker reached heights beyond what could have been possible for an African-American woman between the 20s and 60s. She was a polarising force throughout her life as a performer and activist. Seen as a threat to the United States for speaking out against race discrimination, she was loved in France – […]

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The Trailblazer: Jelena Dimitrijević, Serbia’s first feminist author

This is a story about a Serbian writer and traveller who chose to lead a very different life to the one expected of a woman born and raised in the patriarchal Serbian society of the 19th and early 20th century. Brave, educated and self-aware, this remarkable woman was a poetess, a novelist, and a writer […]

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The world was her stage: the extraordinary life and times of Unė Baye

From Hollywood glamour to the Siberian gulag, the life of Lithuanian actor Unė Baye was as dramatic in life as it was on the stage Uršulė Babickaitė-Graičiūnienė was born in the Lithuanian village of Laukminiškiai. She began acting and singing whilst in elementary school. In 1913, she moved to Russia, where she studied music, drama […]

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Queen of Arts: Christina of Sweden’s Roman reign

Anyone who wanted to see the musical avant-garde at work around 1600 went south of the Alps. With figureheads such as Monteverdi, Peri and Caccini and their work in the new opera genre, Italy pioneered an innovative repertoire and ‘modern’ styles and became the mecca for musicians in the early days of the baroque era. […]

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Five of the finest (anti-)heroines from European literature

This post began with an idea to write about great female characters in European literature. Those that break the mould. Doing a little bit of research, the term ‘anti-heroine’ came up. And so did a range of characters who could fall into that category (see below for more on them). So I started to look […]

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A life devoted to art – Olga Boznańska

Olga Boznańska was a notable Polish painter of the turn of the 20th century. In a special guest post, curator Dr Piotr Kopszak of Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie explores her life and work.

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The story of Monopoly: how Charles stole Lizzie’s idea and made his fortune

‘Hepeating‘ might be a new word, but the concept it represents is tried and tested. Woman comes up with great idea. Man takes it and passes it off as his own. Man receives great acclaim. Woman doesn’t make a fuss. Add in a dinner party ending in a broken friendship, a courtroom revelation, and escaping […]

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