A nude drawing titled the Monna Vanna, or the “nude Mona Lisa,” has been sitting in the archives of the Condé Museum since 1862. And now scientists and historians are trying to figure out if Leonardo da Vinci was the man who drew it.
Not so long ago, vibrators—when they were sold at all—were generally available in seedy surroundings or marketed in a thick protective layer of double entendre. (Promising to massage you, for instance, “delightfully all over.”) In 2017, however, Dolly Parton can stand onstage at the Emmys and joke about wanting one in…
Okay, this Puerto Rico relief effort started by Stephen Colbert is a little convoluted, but it’s also genius. No one can resist posting their #TBT photos for a good cause.
Volunteers for the City of Boston Archaeological Program are currently rooting around in what they think was Paul Revere’s neighbor’s outhouse. This has afforded the presumably delighted staff of the Associated Press the opportunity to make some incredible puns, such as “Flush with artifacts?” and “No. 1 if by land,…
A special treat for you, the sophisticated, minimalist yet somehow also quirky and eclectic subscriber to this, the “Archeologie” catalog: you can now decorate your airy loft or adorable, plant-bedecked bungalow with a very special Bronze Age accessory—a jar of headless toads.
Flu season is approaching, and once again, drug stores across America will begin putting up signs advertising flu shots. Should you bother? Read Laura Spinney’s Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, then get back to me.
A long-lost Peter Paul Rubens painting has surfaced in Scotland. It’s a portrait of George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham—and often thought to have been in romantic relationship with King James I, who referred to Villiers as “husband.”
A fascinating fact about from the history of mass media: It was soldiers looking for something to do on their downtime during the Second World War who helped popularize the paperback book, which would become a defining element of American popular culture in the twentieth century.
There’s a new exhibit dedicated to the ancient site of Teotihuacan, outside Mexico City, that synthesizes a number of discoveries and recently uncovered artifacts. And it sounds like a fascinating peek into an incredible place.
A year after opening, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is officially a huge success—to the surprise of nobody who’s tried to snag one of those precious free tickets over the last year.
A rare collection of Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood effects—baby clothes and dolls—have made their way into an auction. The dolls in particular will haunt your nightmares for weeks to come.
Millicent Fawcett, an important figure in the UK fight for women’s suffrage, will be honored with a statue in London’s Parliament Square, which is one of those public spaces chock full of statues honoring important leaders—Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela—every one of whom, until now, has been a man.
One especially cruel twist of the 1950s was that many women were allowed just enough latitude to get their hopes up, before ramming into the social constraints of the era. Go to college, but for the Mrs. Get a job, but you can’t be a staff writer, only a researcher. Pass the same tests as the Mercury 7 astronauts, but…
For all the time the fashion business spends chasing the next big thing, for the towering names of the industry, the past is tremendously valuable. It’s also an incredible amount of work to maintain and very expensive.
Everybody knows that William Howard Taft, super-sized president of the United States, once got stuck in a bathtub and it required the assistance of several people to remove him. But everybody is wrong!
This year Vogue is celebrating its 125th anniversary in characteristic glitzy corporate manner. A century and a quarter into its life, Vogue is without question a pillar of the international fashion business—not just a chronicler, but a shaper of the industry, helping to determine trends even beyond the clothes we…
The TV show Drunk History is a consistent source of delight. How could it be otherwise? It’s just a bunch of people enthusiastically telling their favorite stories from history, three sheets to the wind. And apparently, there is an entire British version of the show of which I was previously unaware!
The new documentary Ex Libris - The New York Public Library works like a Russian nesting doll of information about information about information. In the signature style of master documentarian Frederick Wiseman, this sprawling, almost three-and-a-half-hour opus delivers a series of vignettes (many recurring) shot at…
Previously, we have discussed the importance of caution around historical artifacts and museum pieces, specifically during the taking of selfies. It appears we must add another “don’t” to our list of rules: Don’t move around a bunch of rocks in your personal artistic project to decorate important, protected,…
From the department of alternate timelines comes the revelation that Roald Dahl originally wanted Charlie Bucket, protagonist of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to be black.