Month: August 2012

Britart: Young British Artists

The Young British Artists, or YBAs are a group of neo-conceptual artists led by Damien Hirst and founded in London during the 1980s. “In an artwork you’re always looking for artistic decisions, so an ashtray is perfect. An ashtray has got life and death.” – Damien Hirst Damien Hirst’s ‘The Inescapable Truth’ at The Tate […]

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XIV Summer Paralympics

Once again the world will be watching London as the city hosts the XIV Summer Paralympics. The spectacular opening ceremony will begin this evening with over 4,000 athletes from 166 nations expected to take part in 20 different sports across 503 events. The Paralympic Games were created by Ludwig Guttmann in 1949, a German neurosurgeon […]

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Avant-garde Pioneer: Man Ray

Emmanuel Radnitzky was born on this day in 1890. The son of Russian immigrants to the USA, his family soon moved from Philadelphia to Brooklyn, New York. In 1912 Emmanuel, Manny for short, followed his brother’s lead in changing the family-name to Ray. Manny also changed his first name to Man and combined the two […]

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Count Basie and Some Europeana Piano Gems

Today would be the birthday of Count Basie – American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. William ‘Count’ Basie is considered one of the most influential jazz musicians in history. Did you know? Count Basie’s playing was much more relaxed than a lot of other swing piano players. He actually played fewer notes than his […]

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Father of Chemistry: Jöns Jacob Berzelius

Jöns Jacob Berzelius. Lithograph by A. Farcy. Image courtesy of Wellcome Library, London.  (CC BY-NC 2.0) On 20th of August 1779 a boy was born without whom I couldn’t have written and shared this blog post. His name was Jöns Jacob Berzelius and he’s considered as one of the fathers of modern chemistry. Jacob’s parents […]

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Art: How Much Would You Pay?

The love of art crosses boundaries, transcends social classes and costs nothing. Owning art, on the other hand, comes at a price. A high price. In some cases, a massively high price. You could buy houses, or indeed whole streets, for less than some people pay for a Picasso. The record for the highest sum […]

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Napoleon in Cartoons

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte. To commemorate this occasion, we’ve searched Europeana for Bonaparte-related content and happened across a number of fascinating cartoons. It’s the political satire of its time, as clever and punchy as the TV panel shows that do the same job today. There’s also a cartoon challenge […]

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Happy Birthday to the Louvre

Musée du Louvre first opened its doors to the public on this day in 1793, hosting an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Before its birth as a museum, the Louvre was a royal palace for more than two centuries. Today the historic landmark in central […]

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Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Today is the United Nations (UN) International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. Indigenous populations are those who are native to a particular place, who practise ‘unique traditions’ and ‘retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live.’ (UN) There are around 370 million […]

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Vintage Advertising: Selling the Impossible

Love it or hate it, advertising is everywhere – no matter where you look, it’s likely you’ll clock an advert. This is by no means a new phenomenon, commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Today, guesstimates predict that the average person sees anywhere between […]

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A Happy Accident: Fleming’s Penicillin

Ear ache? Sore throat? Tooth ache? If you’re suffering these symptoms, it’s possible you’d benefit from a dose of penicillin. And if that’s the case, you should be raising a glass to Sir Alexander Fleming who discovered the popular antibiotic. He was born on this day, 6 August, in 1881 in the small town of […]

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Why is the Sky Blue? – John Tyndall

“The brightest flashes in the world of thought are incomplete until they have been proven to have their counterparts in the world of fact.” – John Tyndall John Tyndall. Photograph by Barraud. Courtesy of The Wellcome Library (CC BY-NC 2.0) Today we are celebrating the birth of one of the most important scientists and educators of […]

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