Here’s a good one for fans of centuries-old gossip about dead people: A museum in Rome is hosting an exhibit that questions the scandalous centuries-old notion that a 15th century Vatican painting used a Borgia pope’s mistress as a model for the Madonna. Take that, you scurrilous rumor-mongers of the late 1400s!
A growing group of legislators is backing the creation of a new Smithsonian women’s history museum.
The home where Harry Houdini lived when he died in 1926 is currently for sale. It could become yours, assuming you can make $4.5 million appear out of thin air. Abracadabra!
Archeologists have discovered a 2,600-year-old note from a soldier named Hananyahu in what’s now Israel, written on a piece of pottery, requesting more wine. Hananyahu—I get it, bud.
“Her case is cyclothymia, dating from the age of seven and a half. She is about thirty-three, speaks French fluently,” James Joyce wrote in a 1936 letter concerning his daughter, Lucia Joyce. “Her character is gay, sweet and ironic, but has had bursts of anger over nothing when she has been confined to a…
Nowadays people love to point how much they just adore coffee. Like, I get it, I won’t talk to you before you’ve had your precious cup. But once upon a time, the early 18th century to be exact, people thought coffee was basically evil. And Johannes Sebastian Bach wrote a mini-opera about how much people hated the…
A new museum exhibit traces the development of salsa and the broader context that produced the musical style, specifically the immigrant culture of New York City. It looks fascinating and informative and also like it will have you extremely motivated to step up your dance skills this summer.
When did popular culture start classifying certain clothes as “vintage” and therefore possessed of a certain cachet? Apparently it goes back to a 1950s fad for raccoon coats left over from the 1920s.
This year brings the 50th anniversary of 1967 and the “Summer of Love,” when young people from across America descended en masse upon San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to participate in what was generally agreed to be a cultural event (though the specifics were a little fuzzy). Hey, remember when the Bay…
Google is expanding one of its umpteen million experiments, Google Arts and Culture, to include fashion collections. What this means for you is an expanded ability to sit at your workplace computer and spend slow summer Friday afternoons staring at lavish dresses and historic hemline detailing.
Plucked from the archives of the august New York Times: This 1973 advertisement for a “personal vibrator,” which is stuffed with what’s either retrospectively funny double entendre—or deliberate wink-wink insinuation.
Women of the United Kingdom head to the polls for today’s special election on a particularly fitting anniversary. It’s been 104 years to the day since Emily Wilding Davison died for the cause of women’s suffrage, trampled to death in the middle of a high-profile horse race, in front of the King and Queen themselves.
Few women would have worn masks like the otherwise historically accurate one sported by Wonder Woman villain Doctor Poison. However, many of them were created by a woman—an American sculptor named Anna Coleman Ladd.
The Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens are currently hosting an exhibition, “Cultivating America’s Gardens,” which traces the cultural history of this practice as business, means of keeping body and soul together, and pleasurable hobby. It is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the stunningly lavish art…
When William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman back in 1941, the references for the superhero included suffragettes and pin-up artists (for which Marston had an affinity.) But Marston’s granddaughter writes that his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston was also an inspiration for the iconic character.
Here’s a good one for the “history stinks” files: one of the earliest artificial ice skating rinks was made of pig fat and salts and it reeked.
The people have spoken!
Just a handful of hardy apple varieties friendly to modern farming and grocery practices now dominate the industry. But there have been tens of thousands of varieties grown in North America throughout history, and now there are apple sleuths dedicated to tracking down lost types.