W. Heath Robinson: Born May 31, 1872

RobinsonRobinson was born into a family of artists in 1872. His father, grandfather and uncle all made their livings through art, via drawing or engraving. Robinson was educated at Islington Art School and the Royal Academy. He illustrated dozens of books, from famous works like Donoutdoors Quixote and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to lesser-known volumes such as The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm and Plantation Barn Dance.
http://www.abebooks.com/books/illustration-art-uncle-lubin-william/w-heath-robinson.shtml

…in World War Two the machine created by British code breakers at Bletchley Park, the golfdriverspredecessor to the world’s first computer Colossus, was nicknamed Heath Robinson. It consisted of reels and spools, which had to be precisely aligned and timed in order for it to work.
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27813927

waterFor his own pleasure, he continued to paint in watercolours, experimenting with effects of light and colour. His importance, as an innovator in the fields of illustration and advertising, and perhaps more importantly as the heir of Rowlandson and Cruikshank in the British humorous tradition, has yet to be fully appreciated, and his work is poorly represented in public collections.
http://heathrobinson.org/robinson/index.htm

Walter Richard Sickert: Born May 31, 1860

Persuasion

Sickert1Unlike the majority of the Camden Town Group, Walter Richard Sickert was recognised during his own lifetime as an important artist, and in the years since his death has increasingly gained a reputation as one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century British art…His art, like his personality, is multifaceted, complex and compelling.

The twenty-first century has seen a sustained period of Sickert research and exhibitions,TheRing crystallising his reputation as one of the most significant British artists of the early modern period.
http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/walter-richard-sickert-r1105345

Sickert2The most popular and famous theory as to the identity of Jack the Ripper…was first posited by author Stephen Knight in the 1970s.

He claimed the Ripper’s victims were really killed to cover up a scandalous secret marriage between the Queen’s son Prince Albert Victor, then second in line to the throne, and a Catholic prostitute named Annie Elizabeth Crook, who bore Albert’s child.

Knight got much of his information from Joseph Gorman-Sickert, who claimed to be the illegitimate son of painter Walter Sickert, himself a Ripper suspect.
http://theunredacted.com/jack-the-ripper-the-royal-conspiracy/

Top 10 Stupidest/Weirdest Jack the Ripper theories~ http://swallowingthecamel.me/2013/11/10/top-10-stupidestweirdest-jack-the-ripper-theories/

Benny Goodman: Born May 30, 1909

AlbumCover

YoungBGBorn in Chicago, Illinois in the United States, into a large, impoverished family of immigrants. Goodman experienced hard times while growing up. Encouraged by his father to learn a musical instrument, Goodman and two of his brothers took lessons; as the youngest and smallest he learned to play the clarinet. These early studies took place at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue and later at Hull House, a settlement house founded by reformer Jane Addams. From the start, Goodman displayed an exceptional talent and he received personal tuition from James Sylvester and then the renowned classicist Franz Schoepp. Before he was in his teens, Goodman had begun performing in public and was soon playing in bands with such emerging jazz artists as Jimmy McPartland, Frank Teschemacher and Dave Tough. Goodman’s precocious talent allowed him to become a member of the American Federation of Musicians at the age of 14 and that same year he played with Bix Beiderbecke. By his mid-teens Goodman was already established as a leading musician, working on numerous engagements with many bands to the detriment of his formal education.
http://biography.just-the-swing.com/benny-goodmanOrchestra

The summer of 1932 saw Benny organise his first band which starred singer Russ Columbo. The second band that he formed (in 1934) got a job at Billy Rose’s Music Hall. This band made some great recordings and began appearing on the 3-hour NBC radio program called “Let’s Dance.”

After this, the Benny Goodman Orchestra began touring (with not so fantastic results) until August 21, 1935, when the Benny Goodman Orchestra opened in the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. After playing a few dance tunes, he told the band to play some Fletcher Henderson arrangements. The mostly young crowd promptly started something of a riot. After this public approval of the music – this thing called “Swing” – there was no looking back!
http://www.touchoftonga.com/DavidMulliss/benny-goodman.html

OlderBGBenny did for clarinet what Louis Armstrong had done for the trumpet.  He gave it a newly assertive leadership role in the jazz ensemble.

His was the most popular and influential swing band of the 1930s and ‘40s, and his unique trios, quartets and sextets shaped small-band Jazz style.  Before Benny, clarinet was rarely a lead instrument for a band.  His success made it the most popular instrument for other bandleaders like Artie Shaw, Jimmy Dorsey and Woody Herman.
http://jazzhotbigstep.com/45801.html

Benny Goodman Discography: http://www.discogs.com/artist/254768-Benny-Goodman

Dorothea Lange: Born May 26, 1895

Lange

MulesBiographies:
International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum~ http://www.iphf.org/hall-of-fame/dorothea-lange/
PBS: American Masters~ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/dorothea-lange/dorothea-lange-biography-with-photo-gallery/3097/

RICHARD K. DOUD: This is a tape recorded interview with Dorothea Lange in New York City, May 22, 1964. The interviewer is Richard K. Doud. Now I have read, and I don’t remember where, that you decided to become a photographer when you were about seventeen years old. I wanted to ask you first, why, if you were interested in a visual communication medium, you picked photography rather than say, some form of graphic arts, or something like this. It seems to me that at that time photography would beby Dorothea Lange a very unlikely choice for a woman to suddenly decide to pursue, because I don’t think that photography was really that commonplace when you decided to become a photographer. I was wondering why?

DOROTHEA LANGE: Well, I have no convincing answer to that. Many of my decisions, I don’t know where they came from. I can’t really place them-all of a sudden I know what I’m going to do. I was young, and faced with the question of how I was going to maintain myself on the planet. I had to earn my own living; my mother was a librarian, taking care of Sharecroppermyself and my brother and seeing us through, and the family thought that the quickest way for a woman to earn a living was to go into teaching, which I didn’t want to do at all. I didn’t argue it; but my mother and grandmother used to use the phrase, “But it’s something to fall back on,” you know. And that, I think, is a detestable phrase for a young person. I decided, almost on a certain day, that I was going to be a photographer. I thought at the time that I could earn my living without too much difficulty. I’d make modest photographs of people, starting with the people whom I knew. I had some sort of a general idea. This was before I even owned a camera. I had never owned a camera, but I just knew that was what I wanted to do. Maybe I was one of those lucky people who know what they want to do without having to make these hard decisions, but I didn’t know any photography.
http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-dorothea-lange-11757

FatherSonLibrary of Congress~ http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/wcf/wcf0013.html
National Archives~ http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/picturing_the_century/portfolios/port_lange.html
Shorpy~ http://www.shorpy.com/dorothea-lange-photographs