How Leonardo da Vinci Made His Magnificent Drawings Using Only a Metal Stylus, Pen & Ink, and Chalk

The mod­ern artist has what can seem like an unlim­it­ed range of mate­ri­als from which to choose, a vari­ety com­plete­ly unknown to great Renais­sance mas­ters like Leonar­do da Vin­ci. Few, if any, can say, how­ev­er, that they have any­thing like the raw tal­ent, inge­nu­ity, and dis­ci­pline that drove Leonar­do to draw inces­sant­ly, con­stant­ly hon­ing his tech­niques and exploit­ing every use of the tools and tech­niques avail­able to him.

What were those tools and tech­niques? Con­ser­va­tor Alan Don­nithorne demon­strates Leonardo’s mate­ri­als in the video above, with exam­ples from the hold­ings of the Roy­al Col­lec­tion at Wind­sor Cas­tle. Leonar­do “drew inces­sant­ly,” the Roy­al Col­lec­tion Trust writes, “to devise his artis­tic projects, to explore the nat­ur­al world, and to record the work­ings of his imag­i­na­tion.” He used met­al­point, a method of draw­ing on coat­ed paper with a met­al sty­lus; pen and ink, with pens made from a goose wing feath­er; and, after the 1490s, red and black chalks.

Leonar­do pro­duced thou­sands of draw­ings dur­ing his lifetime“many of them of extreme beau­ty and com­plex­i­ty,” says Don­nithorne, “and it’s incred­i­ble to think that he pro­duced them using these very sim­ple ingre­di­ents.”

The Roy­al Col­lec­tion owns around 550 of these draw­ings, “togeth­er as a group since the artist’s death in 1519,” when he bequeathed them to his stu­dent, Francesco Melzi. These works “pro­vide unpar­al­leled insight,” the Col­lec­tion writes, “into the work­ings of Leonardo’s mind and reflect the full range of his inter­ests, includ­ing paint­ing, sculp­ture, archi­tec­ture, anato­my, engi­neer­ing, car­tog­ra­phy, geol­o­gy, and botany.”

The rest­less­ness of Leonardo’s mind and hand also reflect the need to move quick­ly from project to project as he pur­sued some com­mis­sions and aban­doned oth­ers. “Across all these themes,” how­ev­er, Christo­pher Bak­er, direc­tor of Euro­pean and Scot­tish Art and Por­trai­ture at the Nation­al Gal­leries of Scot­land, sees “a rav­ish­ing range of tech­niques and mate­ri­als…. The pre­ci­sion required by met­al­point proved espe­cial­ly appro­pri­ate for some of his most inci­sive human or ani­mal obser­va­tions, while iron gall ink and red and black chalks allowed an explorato­ry free­dom fit­ting for com­po­si­tion­al tri­als, fic­tive works or cap­tur­ing move­ment.”

The artist’s “prodi­gious skills” are evi­dent among his many shifts in style and sub­ject and we see even in util­i­tar­i­an illus­tra­tions how “he over­turned so many con­ven­tions and some­times mixed his media to won­der­ful effect.” Leonardo’s choice of media was hard­ly expan­sive com­pared to the dizzy­ing­ly col­or­ful aisles that greet the bud­ding artist at art sup­ply stores today. But what he could do with a sty­lus, goose-quill pen, and chalk has nev­er been equalled. Learn more about how he used his mate­ri­als in Donnithorne’s book, Leonar­do da Vin­ci: A Clos­er Look, pub­lished on the 500th anniver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of Leonardo’s death.

via Core77

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Old­est Known Globe to Depict the New World Was Engraved on an Ostrich Egg, Maybe by Leon­dar­do da Vin­ci (1504)

Leonar­do da Vinci’s Ele­gant Stud­ies of the Human Heart Were 500 Years Ahead of Their Time

Leonar­do da Vinci’s Ear­li­est Note­books Now Dig­i­tized and Made Free Online: Explore His Inge­nious Draw­ings, Dia­grams, Mir­ror Writ­ing & More

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Street Artist Creates an Optical Illusion That Lets People See the Art Inside a Shuttered Museum in Florence

The pan­dem­ic will end, but the coro­n­avirus could become endem­ic, most virol­o­gists believe, “mean­ing that it will con­tin­ue to cir­cu­late in pock­ets of the glob­al pop­u­la­tion for years to come,” as Nicky Phillips writes at Nature. The dis­ease will pose much less of a dan­ger to us over time, yet the prob­lem of its per­sis­tence rais­es a ques­tion many of us are ask­ing our­selves as pre­cau­tions drag into anoth­er year: what kind of world will we step into when this is (most­ly) final­ly over?

Many restau­rants, the­aters, and music venues are shut­tered for good, while the impact on the art world has been dev­as­tat­ing. Accord­ing to an Art Basel report, sales con­tract­ed 36% in gal­leries world­wide in 2020.

Daniel Langer pre­dicts that up to 40 per­cent of gal­leries will close after the pan­dem­ic, even as the high-end “‘lux­u­ry’ art mar­ket is grow­ing dur­ing the pan­dem­ic” as wealthy investors “look to art as a long-term val­ue play.” The coro­n­avirus has only exag­ger­at­ed con­di­tions in which “99 per cent of all artists are paid mis­er­ably, while the top 1 per cent enjoys a celebri­ty sta­tus and can sell their art with enor­mous pre­mi­ums.”

French artist JR is one of the few who has done well over the past year, exhibit­ing his large-scale trompe l’oeil pho­to­graph­ic instal­la­tions in Paris and São Paulo. In his most recent instal­la­tion in Flo­rence, JR makes a strik­ing visu­al com­men­tary on “the adver­si­ties that cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions — includ­ing muse­ums, libraries, and cin­e­mas — have faced over the past year,” writes My Mod­ern Met. Called La Feri­ta (“The Wound” in Ital­ian) and “mea­sur­ing 28 meters high and 33 meters wide, this opti­cal illu­sion cre­ates a ‘crack’ in the exte­ri­or” of the Palaz­zo Strozzi, “so that view­ers can see mas­ter­pieces like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Pri­mav­era.”

In JR’s Insta­gram posts, you can see the piece being installed “as Italy entered anoth­er lock­down that will last until April 6, clos­ing the doors of all cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions once again.” Though it func­tions more as a memo­r­i­al to what feels like a lost world than a polit­i­cal state­ment, JR has accom­pa­nied his Insta­gram posts with pub­lic com­men­tary: “They say the muse­ums are closed,” he writes, “but it’s up to us to open them. Here is Flo­rence, the city of Bot­ti­cel­li, Donatel­lo, Machi­av­el, and Dante, we opened the Palaz­zo Strozzi.”

JR con­cludes on a wan note of hope­ful­ness: “we still have the free­dom to dream, to cre­ate, to envi­sion the future,” he writes. “Maybe it’s not much, but we have that!” Maybe we’ll also have more pub­lic art instal­la­tions in place of indoor gal­leries and muse­ums, and more artists bring­ing their work to the streets, “the largest art gallery in the world,” JR has said, and one that can’t be locked down or put out of busi­ness by a virus or the rav­ages of the mar­ket.

via My Mod­ern Met

Relat­ed Con­tent:  

A New Dig­i­tal Archive Pre­serves Black Lives Mat­ter & COVID-19 Street Art

Banksy Debuts His COVID-19 Art Project: Good to See That He Has TP at Home

A Bio­sta­tis­ti­cian Uses Cro­chet to Visu­al­ize the Fright­en­ing Infec­tion Rates of the Coro­n­avirus

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

How Sounds Are Faked For Nature Documentaries: Meet the Artists Who Create the Sounds of Fish, Spiders, Orangutans, Mushrooms & More

We think of nature doc­u­men­taries as pri­mar­i­ly visu­al works. As well we prob­a­bly should, giv­en the count­less, most­ly dull and uncom­fort­able hours spent in the field they demand of their pho­tog­ra­phy crews. But what comes to mind when we imag­ine the sound of nature doc­u­men­taries — apart, of course, from the voice of David Atten­bor­ough? Lis­ten close­ly dur­ing the breaks in his nar­ra­tion of such hit nature series as Plan­et Earth or Our Plan­et, and you’ll hear all man­ner of sounds: the sound of sharks swim­ming, of orang­utans chew­ing, of spi­ders shoot­ing their webs, of mush­rooms sprout­ing. Hang on — mush­rooms sprout­ing?

Nature doc­u­men­taries, as nar­ra­tor Abby Tang says in the Insid­er video above, are full of “sounds that would either be impos­si­ble to cap­ture, or ones that are straight-up made up.” In this they dif­fer lit­tle from script­ed films, whose actu­al shoots usu­al­ly man­age to record only the actors’ dia­logue, if that.

Work­ing in the wild, far indeed from any stu­dio, nature doc­u­men­tar­i­ans “might actu­al­ly be shoot­ing a sub­ject mat­ter that’s across a val­ley, or they’ll cap­ture objects nor­mal­ly too small to have a reg­is­tered noise to it.” Hence the need for a cat­e­go­ry of pro­fes­sion­als pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture: foley artists, those inven­tive cre­ators of foot­steps, door-knocks, punch­es, sword-unsheath­ings, and all the oth­er sounds view­ers expect to hear.

Here foley artist Richard Hin­ton demon­strates his meth­ods for breath­ing son­ic life into a range of nature scenes. A shoal of mack­er­el? Old mag­net­ic audio tape sloshed around in a tub of water. The vibra­tions of a spi­der­web? A slinky, held per­ilous­ly close to the micro­phone. The north­ern lights? A pair of cym­bals and a set of wind chimes. Often, just the right sound emerges from those of two dis­tinct objects lay­ered togeth­er, a prin­ci­ple known to foley artists since the ear­ly days of radio dra­ma. In fact, though foley sounds today go through a fair bit of dig­i­tal edit­ing and pro­cess­ing to make them more con­vinc­ing, the tools and tech­niques used to pro­duce them have changed lit­tle since those days. The next time you watch a bear onscreen open its eyes after months-long hiber­na­tion, con­sid­er the pos­si­bil­i­ty that you’re hear­ing an Eng­lish­man mak­ing nois­es with scraps of fur and his mouth.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch 50 Hours of Nature Sound­scapes from the BBC: Sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly Proven to Ease Stress and Pro­mote Hap­pi­ness & Awe

Chill Out to 70 Hours of Ocean­scape Nature Videos Filmed by BBC Earth

Watch­ing Nature Doc­u­men­taries Can Pro­duce “Real Hap­pi­ness,” Finds a Study from the BBC and UC-Berke­ley

How the Sounds You Hear in Movies Are Real­ly Made: Dis­cov­er the Mag­ic of “Foley Artists”

How the Sound Effects on 1930s Radio Shows Were Made: An Inside Look

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

Four Cellists Play Ravel’s “Bolero” on One Cello

And now for some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent…

Above, the Wiener Cel­loensem­ble 5 + 1–“an untra­di­tion­al cel­lo ensem­ble” found­ed by the Vien­na Phil­har­mon­ic’s Ger­hard Kaufmann–presents an uncon­ven­tion­al per­for­mance of Ravel’s “Bolero.” It’s min­i­mal­ist, in a cer­tain way. Four musi­cians. One instru­ment. And noth­ing more…

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

via Clas­sicFM/MyModernMet

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear a 1930 Record­ing of Boléro, Con­duct­ed by Rav­el Him­self

Juil­liard Stu­dents & the New York Phil­har­mon­ic Per­form Ravel’s Bolero While Social Dis­tanc­ing in Quar­an­tine

Copen­hagen Phil­har­mon­ic Plays Ravel’s Bolero at Train Sta­tion

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Women Street Photographers: The Web Site, Instragram Account & Book That Amplify the Work of Women Artists Worldwide

It’s almost impos­si­ble not to won­der how reclu­sive artists of the past — like anony­mous street pho­tog­ra­ph­er and Chica­go nan­ny Vivian Maier — would fare in the age of Tum­blr and Insta­gram. Would Maier have become inter­net famous? Would she have post­ed any of her pho­tographs? The lit­tle we know about her makes it hard to answer the ques­tion. Maier lived a life of abstemious self-nega­tion. “She nev­er exhib­it­ed her work,” Alex Kot­lowitz writes at Moth­er Jones, “she didn’t share her pho­tos with any­one, except some of the chil­dren in her care.”

And yet, Maier was known to enjoy con­ver­sa­tions about film and the­ater with knowl­edge­able peo­ple. One sus­pects that if she had been able to stay in touch with like minds, she might have been encour­aged by a sup­port­ive com­mu­ni­ty she couldn’t find any­where else. We might imag­ine her, for exam­ple, sub­mit­ting a select few pho­tographs to Women Street Pho­tog­ra­phers, a project that began in 2017 as an Insta­gram account and has since “bur­geoned into a web­site, artist res­i­den­cy, series of exhi­bi­tions, film series, and now a book pub­lished this month by Pres­tel,” Grace Ebert writes at Colos­sal.

For women street pho­tog­ra­phers liv­ing and work­ing today, the project offers what founder Gul­nara Samoilo­va says she need­ed and couldn’t find: “I soon began to real­ize that with this plat­form, I could cre­ate every­thing I had always want­ed to receive as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er: the kinds of sup­port and oppor­tu­ni­ties that would have helped me grow dur­ing those for­ma­tive and piv­otal points on my jour­ney.” The project is inter­na­tion­al in scope, bring­ing togeth­er the work of 100 women from 31 coun­tries, “a tiny sam­pling of what’s out there.”

In her intro­duc­tion to the 224-page book, Samoilo­va describes the impor­tance of such a col­lec­tion:

Street pho­tog­ra­phy is both a record of the world and a state­ment of the artist them­selves: it is how they see the world, who they are, what cap­tures their atten­tion, and fas­ci­nates them. There’s a won­der­ful mix­ture of art and arti­fact, poet­ry and tes­ti­mo­ny that makes street pho­tog­ra­phy so appeal­ing. It’s both doc­u­men­tary and fine art at the same time, yet high­ly acces­si­ble to peo­ple out­side the pho­tog­ra­phy world.

There are Vivian Maiers around the world dri­ven to doc­u­ment their sur­round­ings, whether any­one ever sees their work or not. Maier made her pho­tographs “for all the right rea­sons,” says Chica­go artist Tony Fitz­patrick. “She made them because to not make them was impos­si­ble. She had no choice.” But per­haps she might have cho­sen to show her work if she had access to plat­forms like Women Street Pho­tog­ra­phers. We can be grate­ful for such out­lets now: they offer per­spec­tives that we can find nowhere else. Women Street Pho­tog­ra­phers will announce the win­ners of its inau­gur­al vir­tu­al exhi­bi­tion “on or around April 1.”

via Colos­sal

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Meet Ger­da Taro, the First Female Pho­to­jour­nal­ist to Die on the Front Lines

Take a Visu­al Jour­ney Through 181 Years of Street Pho­tog­ra­phy (1838–2019)

Vivian Maier, Street Pho­tog­ra­ph­er, Dis­cov­ered

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Explore a New Archive of 2,200 Historical Wildlife Illustrations (1916–1965): Courtesy of The Wildlife Conservation Society

Between the 1910s and the 1960s, a nature-lover with a sure artis­tic hand and a yen to see the world could have done much worse than sign­ing on with the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety. Dur­ing those decades, when the WCS was known as the New York Zoo­log­i­cal Soci­ety, its “Depart­ment of Trop­i­cal Research (DTR), led by William Beebe, con­duct­ed dozens of eco­log­i­cal expe­di­tions across trop­i­cal ter­res­tri­al and marine locales,” says the orga­ni­za­tion’s web site. This long-term project brought togeth­er both sci­en­tists and artists, who “par­tic­i­pat­ed in field work and col­lab­o­rat­ed close­ly with DTR sci­en­tists to cre­ate their illus­tra­tions.”

Now the fruits of those artis­tic-sci­en­tif­ic labors have come avail­able in a free online archive con­tain­ing “just over 2,200 dig­i­tized col­or and black-and-white illus­tra­tions of liv­ing and non-liv­ing spec­i­mens cre­at­ed by DTR field artists between 1916 and 1953.”

Their sub­jects include “mam­mals, birds, rep­tiles, amphib­ians, fish, insects, marine inver­te­brates, plants, and fun­gi,” all orig­i­nal­ly found in places like “British Guiana (now Guyana), the Galá­pa­gos Islands, the Hud­son Canyon, Bermu­da, the Gulf of Mex­i­co and the East­ern Pacif­ic Ocean, Venezuela, and Trinidad.”

It was in Trinidad and Toba­go that Beebe estab­lished his first eco­log­i­cal research sta­tion in 1916 — and where his long life and career came to an end more than 45 years lat­er. “Although Beebe’s name is unfa­mil­iar to most today, he was a celebri­ty sci­en­tist in his time,” says the WCS’ about page. “The DTR’s expe­di­tions were cov­ered by the pop­u­lar press, Beebe’s accounts were best­sellers, and he and the DTR staff pub­lished hun­dreds of arti­cles for both sci­en­tists and the gen­er­al pub­lic.” Pub­lished in not just spe­cial­ist media but Nation­al Geo­graph­ic and The New York Times, their illus­tra­tions cap­tured the col­or and move­ment of the nat­ur­al realm with a detail and vivid­ness that pho­tog­ra­phy could­n’t.

“Rang­ing from depic­tions of sin­gle spec­i­mens to com­plex nar­ra­tive images that show where and how ani­mals lived,” these images are avail­able in geo­graph­i­cal­ly and chrono­log­i­cal­ly orga­nized col­lec­tions at the WCS’ online archive. As many as pos­si­ble are cred­it­ed to their artists — Isabel Coop­er, Toshio Asae­da, George Alan Swan­son, Frances Waite Gib­son, and oth­ers — which ensures that this wealth of nature illus­tra­tions will do its part to not just renew inter­est in Bee­be’s life and work but gen­er­ate inter­est in those who entered into this adven­tur­ous col­lab­o­ra­tion with him. But then, Beebe him­self artic­u­lat­ed best what we can learn from appre­ci­at­ing these works of sci­en­tif­ic art: “All about us, nature puts on the most thrilling adven­ture sto­ries ever cre­at­ed, but we have to use our eyes.”

Enter the WCS archive here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Two Mil­lion Won­drous Nature Illus­tra­tions Put Online by The Bio­di­ver­si­ty Her­itage Library

The Metic­u­lous, Ele­gant Illus­tra­tions of the Nature Observed in England’s Coun­try­side

Ernst Haeckel’s Sub­lime Draw­ings of Flo­ra and Fau­na: The Beau­ti­ful Sci­en­tif­ic Draw­ings That Influ­enced Europe’s Art Nou­veau Move­ment (1889)

Behold an Inter­ac­tive Online Edi­tion of Eliz­a­beth Twining’s Illus­tra­tions of the Nat­ur­al Orders of Plants (1868)

A Beau­ti­ful 1897 Illus­trat­ed Book Shows How Flow­ers Become Art Nou­veau Designs

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

The Irish Aristocratic Woman Who Almost Assassinated Mussolini in 1926: An Introduction to Violet Gibson

By 1926, Ben­i­to Mus­soli­ni had become one of Europe’s most pop­u­lar lead­ers after con­sol­i­dat­ing pow­er through vio­lence, turn­ing Italy into a police state, and pro­vid­ing a mod­el for bud­ding dic­ta­tor Adolf Hitler. Mussolini’s received pos­i­tive recog­ni­tion from the press, celebri­ties, and gov­ern­ments around the world, as well as the impri­matur of the Roman Catholic church. None of this mat­tered to one­time Irish socialite and fer­vent Catholic con­vert Vio­let Gib­son. She knew he must be stopped, and she almost did it, get­ting close enough to graze his nose with a bul­let in 1926 before she was tak­en into cus­tody, hand­ed over to British author­i­ties, and “con­signed to an asy­lum” for the next 29 years, “her sto­ry… all but for­got­ten,” Nora McGreevy writes at Smith­son­ian.

Gib­son grew up between Dublin and Lon­don, hail­ing “from a wealthy fam­i­ly head­ed by her father, Lord Ash­bourne, a senior judi­cial fig­ure in Ire­land.” She “served as a debu­tante in the court of Queen Vic­to­ria” and was raised among Euro­pean aris­toc­ra­cy. A sick­ly child, she also suf­fered from men­tal health issues and was diag­nosed with “hys­te­ria.” Per­haps the most defin­ing moment in Gibson’s life — before her assas­si­na­tion attempt on the Ital­ian fas­cist dic­ta­tor — came when she con­vert­ed to Catholi­cism in 1902. It was an event, argues Siob­han Lynam in the 2014 RTÉ radio doc­u­men­tary below, that would lead to “a sort muti­la­tion” in her rela­tion­ship with her fam­i­ly. “There’s a sort of sev­er­ing that hap­pens,” says Frances Stonor Saun­ders, author of The Woman Who Shot Mus­soli­ni.

Through­out the 1920s, Gib­son suf­fered attacks of men­tal ill­ness and was hos­pi­tal­ized after her brother’s death, “over­whelmed by grief and loss and the sheer exhaus­tion of phys­i­cal ill­ness.” She also fol­lowed cur­rent events close­ly, and she was appalled by Mussolini’s rise to pow­er. “Italy for her,” Stonor Saun­ders says, “is a place of… ide­al­ized val­ues.” Gib­son trav­eled to Italy in 1925 with a revolver, which she first used to shoot her­self in the chest. She sur­vived, then formed a plan to kill Mus­soli­ni instead, despair­ing of the world he was bring­ing about. She was able to get close to him, per­haps, because she fit the car­i­ca­ture to which she has been reduced as a his­tor­i­cal foot­note.

“This is a woman whom his­to­ry has stripped of all her dig­ni­ty,” says Stonor Saun­ders. “She exists as a series of real­ly dread­ful clich­es in a num­ber of texts, books that refuse her any kind of human­i­ty. She’s just a stereo­type of crazy Irish spin­ster.” As Lynam’s doc­u­men­tary, Stonor Saun­ders’ book, and a new doc­u­men­tary film cur­rent­ly screen­ing at film fes­ti­vals (see trail­er at then top) show, there was much more to Vio­let Gib­son; she was a com­mit­ted Catholic and anti-fas­cist and she near­ly changed his­to­ry in the most suc­cess­ful of the four attempts on Mussolini’s life. She was fifty years old at the time and she lived anoth­er 30 years in an insti­tu­tion, dying in 1956. She became known among the staff as the delu­sion­al old woman who believed she’d tried to kill Il Duce. No one remem­bered the event, her own rec­ol­lec­tions had been silenced, and she had vir­tu­al­ly fad­ed from the his­tor­i­cal record.

Now, in addi­tion to the media atten­tion, attempts to erect a plaque in Dublin in Gibson’s hon­or are con­tin­u­ing apace. But why was she ignored for so long? Dublin city coun­cil­lor Man­nix Fly­nn tells the BBC that while women are rarely giv­en their due for their role in his­tor­i­cal events, “for some strange rea­sons, Vio­let Gib­son became some sort of an embar­rass­ment, she got shunned, they tried to say she was insane to hide the shame.” Gibson’s fam­i­ly had a hand in this, imme­di­ate­ly using their pow­er to bar­gain for her release from Italy and her com­mit­ment in Britain. But she also became an embar­rass­ment to the pow­ers in Britain and the world at large who had hap­pi­ly embraced a fas­cist dic­ta­tor.

via The Smith­son­ian

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Mus­soli­ni Sends to Amer­i­ca a Hap­py Mes­sage, Full of Friend­ly Feel­ings, in Eng­lish (1927)

The Sto­ry of Fas­cism: Rick Steves’ Doc­u­men­tary Helps Us Learn from the Hard Lessons of the 20th Cen­tu­ry

Umber­to Eco Makes a List of the 14 Com­mon Fea­tures of Fas­cism

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

What “Irish” Means: A Discussion with Author and Black 47 Front Man Larry Kirwan (Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #86)

Anoth­er St. Patrick­’s Day has passed, and this one prob­a­bly with­out a lot of green-beer-at-the-pub-action. Let’s talk about what sort of rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Ire­land we were sup­posed to get out of all that mer­ri­ment, as it’s cer­tain­ly not akin to the stern, very reli­gious cer­e­monies that we the grow­ing-up expe­ri­ence of our guest Lar­ry, who’s writ­ten books, plays and many songs ema­nat­ing from and often about his Irish her­itage.

He joins Mark, Eri­ca, and Bri­an to dis­cuss the appeal in the U.S. of Irish cul­ture and how it relates to his­to­ry, who gets to define what’s authen­ti­cal­ly Irish, slurs and stereo­types, the range of Irish music, the char­ac­ter of Irish humor, Lar­ry’s jour­ney as front man for Black 47, and his new nov­el about Irish cops on 9/11: Rock­away Blue (enter 09FLYER at check­out on the Cor­nell Press site for a dis­count).

Watch one of Black 47’s old videos. Wikipedia lies about Tim. What is Ire­land’s REAL nation­al col­or?

Hear more of this pod­cast at This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can access by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.
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