From Ah Wilderness
The head of a funerary couch in the form of a cheetah with tears falling from his eyes.
During the 1960s, Dennis Hopper carried a camera everywhere—on film sets and locations, at parties, in diners, bars and galleries, driving on freeways and walking on political marches. He photographed movie idols, pop stars, writers, artists, girlfriends, and complete strangers. Along the way he captured some of the most intriguing moments of his generation with a keen and intuitive eye. A reluctant icon at the epicenter of that decade’s cultural upheaval, Hopper documented the likes of Tina Turner in the studio, Andy Warhol at his first West Coast show, Paul Newman on set, and Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. (via)
Burgonet, Filippo Negroli, 1543.
“This masterpiece of Renaissance metalwork is signed on the browplate by Filippo Negroli, whose embossed armor was praised by sixteenth-century chroniclers as “miraculous” and deserving “immortal merit.” Made from one plate of steel patinated to look like bronze, the bowl is raised in high relief with motifs inspired by classical art. The graceful mermaid forming the helmet’s comb holds the grimacing head of Medusa by the hair. The sides of the helmet are covered with acanthus scrolls inhabited by putti, a motif probably derived from the Roman wall frescoes rediscovered in the Golden House of Nero.”
Today in history: 16th Street Baptist Church bombing of 1963
September 15, 2014
The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was used as a meeting-place for civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Shutterworth. Tensions became high when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) became involved in a campaign to register African American to vote in Birmingham.
On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Soon afterwards, at 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school classes at the church. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast.
Civil rights activists blamed George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, for the killings. Only a week before the bombing he had told the New York Times that to stop integration Alabama needed a “few first-class funerals.”
A witness identified Robert Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, as the man who placed the bomb under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He was arrested and charged with murder and possessing a box of 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. On 8th October, 1963, Chambliss was found not guilty of murder and received a hundred-dollar fine and a six-month jail sentence for having the dynamite.
The case was unsolved until Bill Baxley was elected attorney general of Alabama. He requested the original Federal Bureau of Investigation files on the case and discovered that the organization had accumulated a great deal of evidence against Chambliss that had not been used in the original trial.
In November, 1977 Chambliss was tried once again for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Now aged 73, Chambliss was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in an Alabama prison on 29th October, 1985.
On 17th May, 2000, the FBI announced that the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing had been carried out by the Ku Klux Klan splinter group, the Cahaba Boys. It was claimed that four men, Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry had been responsible for the crime. Cash was dead but Blanton and Cherry were arrested and Blanton has since been tried and convicted.
Eugène Atget - Boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris, 1912 (via)
Chinese Short Sword
- Medium: steel, jade, silver, cloisonne, turquoise, jasper
- Measurements: overall length 25 inches, blade length 19 1/2 inch
The sword has a straight double edged single fuller blade set onto a 1 9/10 inch wide, 1/5th inch thick round jade guard - white/green in color with silver panels at front and rear. The grip is smooth round jade, light green with darker green streaked accents fitted with a three inch long silver collar with a floral shaped border along the bottom, and a round pommel cap, both of which are both over 90% covered in attractive multi-colored wireless cloisonne enamel.
The collar is showing an extensive vinework in yellow, blue, green and brown radiating from a green, yellow and gray floral bloom. This also has additional floral designs on the edge and a light blue background. There are also similar vines around the side of the cap with a single blooming flower covering the bottom.
Similar decoration is present on the scabbard, with the addition of a number of green and red stone (possibly turquoise and jasper) accents, with a 2 7/8 inch long silver throat decorated with raised cloisonne accented Eastern dragons, including a large 3-dimensional horned dragon head consuming the sun (a reference to the ancient mythology of the cause of solar eclipses).
The latter doubles as the base for two suspension rings, 12 individual rings of white/green jade, between 5/8 to 3/4 inch long each, with 11 floral cloisonne and stone decorated silver bands between them. There’s a silver tip with additional raised dragon designs and wire outlined stone accents and finally a green jade endcap with a silver flower on the flared end.
I got dressed in my traditional Indian regalia, but there was a man, he was the producer of the whole show. He took that speech away from me and he warned me very sternly. “I’ll give you 60 seconds or less. And if you go over that 60 seconds, I’ll have you arrested. I’ll have you put in handcuffs.”
- Sacheen Littlefeather in Reel Injun (2009), dir. Neil Diamond.
Rink’s first celebration of his birthday in his adopted city of San Francisco took place on June 27th, 1969—and was interrupted by a phone call from a friend in Greenwich Village relating the Stonewall riots in real time. After getting caught up in the then-nascent LGBT political movement, Rink turned his focus to the rich fabric of queer social and political life, chronicling San Francisco’s seismic self-transformation into the queerest city in the world in the space of a decade. The great historical value of Rink’s work is the nearly day by day chronicling of that process of transformation, the gradual and occasionally violent birthing of the San Francisco we know today.
Art of the Maya archaeological site of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico.
Founded in the Late Preclassic, and peaking between about AD 500 and 700, Palenque is a well-known Maya site with particularly remarkable, and well preserved, sculptural and architectural remains.
Photos by Richard Weil.
Ramses II, Luxor, Egypt, 1880s
photo by J. Pascal Sébah
Today, September 8th, is the 60th birthday of Ruby Nell Bridges - a woman who, being the first black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960, underwent a traumatizing ordeal that came to signify the deeply troubled state of race relations in America.
On her first day of school at William Frantz Elementary School, during a 1997 NewsHour interview Bridges recalled that she was perplexed by the site that befell, thinking that it was some sort of Mardi Gras celebration:
"Driving up I could see the crowd, but living in New Orleans, I actually thought it was Mardi Gras. There was a large crowd of people outside of the school. They were throwing things and shouting, and that sort of goes on in New Orleans at Mardi Gras.”
Only six-years-old at the time, little Ruby had to deal with a slew of disgusting and violent harassment, beginning with threats of violence that prompted then President Eisenhower to dispatch U.S Marshals as her official escorts, to teachers refusing to teach her and a woman who put a black baby doll in a coffin and demonstrated outside the school in protest of Ruby’s presence there. This particular ordeal had a profound effect on young Ruby who said that it “scared me more than the nasty things people screamed at us.”
Only one teacher, Barbara Henry, would teach Ruby and did so for over a year with Ruby being the only pupil in her class.
The Bridges family suffered greatly for their brave decision. Her father lost his job, they were barred from shopping at their local grocery store, her grandparents, who were sharecroppers, were forcibly removed from their land, not to mention the psychological effect this entire ordeal had on her family. There were, however, members of their community - both black and white - who gathered behind the Bridges family in a show of support, including providing her father with a new job and taking turns to babysit Ruby.
Part of her experience was immortalized in a 1964 Norman Rockwell painting, pictured above, titled The Problem We All Live With. Her entire story was made into a TV movie released in 1998.
Today, still living in New Orleans, Briges works as an activist, who has spoken at TEDx, and is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation.
The Dhamek Stupa of Sarnath, India.
The Archaeological Survey of India, and many alike, claim this to be the location where Buddha first encountered the five Parivajrakas and delivered the First Sermon.
Built in approximately 500 CE, the Dhamek Stupa is a huge cylindrically shaped stupa (Buddhist commemorative monuments which traditionally usually house sacred relics associated with Buddha), and is about 44m tall, with a diameter of 29m. Around it are 8 niches which are thought to have once contained images. Below these niches is a section of beautifully carved ornamentation, which remains partly preserved today, and highlights the high skill level of stone artisans of the Gupta period.
A Chinese traveler who visited Sarnath in 638 CE by the name of Hiuen-Tsang records seeing the Dhamek Stupa, and observing over 1,500 priest there.