March 1~ Women’s History Month in visual arts

 

Illuminations in “Scivias” Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
German abbess, writer, composer, mystic, and perhaps artist; it is unclear how involved she was in the illustrations
https://www.wikiart.org/en/hildegard-of-bingen

Das Weltall (The Universe) / c.1165 / Manuscript illumination from “Scivias” by Hildegard of Bingen

 

 

 

 

 

Herrad von Landsberg (c.1130-1195)
Alsatian abbess, artist, author, poet, composer, and educator
https://www.wikiart.org/en/herrad-of-landsberg

Hell / c.1180 / Colored pen and ink drawing on paper, original no longer available

I Want To Hold Your Hand

February 1, 1964 was the day that a Beatles song hit Number One for the first time in the USA. The song was “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The Beatles flew into JFK on February 7 and made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan two days later. And we all had a gear time!

https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/beatles
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-beatles-songs-20110919/i-want-to-hold-your-hand-19691231

Jackie Robinson: January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972

robinsonLIFE With Jackie Robinson: Rare and Classic Photos of an American Icon

When Jack Roosevelt Robinson stepped onto Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947, he not only changed the face of professional baseball in America. In ways subtle and profound — ways that have been debated, dissected and celebrated in books, films, popular songs, academic circles and casual conversations in the long decades since — he changed the nation itself.

Here, LIFE.com offers a selection of both classic and, in some cases, rare pictures that paint a portrait of a man whose dignity, competitive fire and grace under pressure set him indelibly and inevitably apart from his peers and his rivals.

http://time.com/3813840/life-with-jackie-robinson-rare-and-classic-photos-of-an-american-icon/

Frances Benjamin Johnston: Born January 15, 1864

FBJ
Many women, as well as men, who earned modest reputations with their camera in the 1890s, took up the craft as a hobby…
Johnston, however, took up photography as a business; it was no idle amusement for her. “I have not been able to lose sight of the pecuniary side,” she emphasized, “though for the sake of money or anything else I would never publish a photograph which fell below the standard I have set for myself.”

Frances Benjamin Johnston~ http://www.cliohistory.org/exhibits/johnston/
Photographs~ http://www.whitehousehistory.org/galleries/frances-benjamin-johnston
Library of Congress~ http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/fbjchron.html

Frank Sinatra: Born December 12, 1915

Francis Albert Sinatra [was born] in Hoboken, New Jersey. Although his mother had hoped that he would be the first person in the family to attend college and was disappointed that he did not finish high school, she encouraged his ambition to be a singer. His father, on the other hand, was opposed and insisted that he should find a job. The young Sinatra worked briefly as a truck driver for a newspaper, a riveter in a Hoboken shipyard, and a fruit hauler. By 1932, he had decided that he wanted to be a professional singer.
http://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-1803570

His break came in 1937, when he and three instrumentalists, billed as the Hoboken Four, won on the Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour. After some touring, the group disbanded. Harry James signed Sinatra to sing with his orchestra, and on July 13, 1939, two weeks after his debut as a big-band vocalist at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Sinatra cut his first disc, “From the Bottom of My Heart,” with the orchestra.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/frank-sinatra/biography

James graciously freed Sinatra from his contract when the singer received a more lucrative offer from bandleader Tommy Dorsey in December 1939. By 1942 Sinatra’s fame had eclipsed that of Dorsey, and the singer yearned for a solo career.
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Frank-Sinatra

Between 1943 and 1946, Sinatra’s solo career blossomed as the singer charted a slew of hit singles. Sinatra made his movie acting debut in 1943. In 1945, he won a special Academy Award for The House I Live In, a 10-minute short made to promote racial and religious tolerance on the home front. Sinatra’s popularity began to slide in the postwar years (but) in 1953, he made a triumphant comeback, winning a supporting actor Oscar for From Here to Eternity.
https://www.biography.com/people/frank-sinatra-9484810

In the mid-’70s Sinatra’s career slowed down, but in mid-1980, after a five-year recording hiatus, he released Trilogy which included a version of “Theme From New York, New York” that the city fervently adopted. In 1985, he was accorded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Frank Sinatra died of a heart attack on May 14, 1998, in L.A.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/frank-sinatra/biography

https://schristywolfe.com/2015/12/12/frank-sinatra-born-december-12-1915/

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre: Born November 18, 1787

LJDLouis Jacques Mande Daguerre was born near Paris, France in 1787. The illusionistic painter Pierre Prevost asked him to join his team of panorama-painting artists when he was just twenty years old. Daguerre soon after became an assistant stage designer for a theater. He was a gifted illusionist in terms of his ability to design sets that dazzled his audiences. An artist who wanted his work to be as real as possible, Daguerre created amazingly life-like scenes right in the theater. These designs, which were able to simulate the passage of day into night, changes in weather, and even give viewers the feel of motion, Daguerre later coined as “dioramas,” or “dramas of light.” By 1825, Daguerre was a successful creator, proprietor, and promoter of a successful illusionistic theater in Paris that specialized in these dioramas.  https://www.fi.edu/history-daguerreotype

Daguerre had been searching since the mid-1820s for a means to capture the fleeting images he saw in his camera obscura, a draftsman’s aid consisting of a wood box with a lens at one end that threw an image onto a frosted sheet of glass at the other. In 1829, he had formed a partnership with Nicéphore Niépce, who had been working on the same problem—how to make a permanent image using light and chemistry—and who had achieved primitive but real results as early as 1826. By the time Niépce died in 1833, the partners had yet to come up with a practical, reliable process.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/dagu/hd_dagu.htm

Niépce died in 1833 before practical success was achieved. But Daguerre had learned important things StillLifethrough the partnership, and by 1837 had worked out a solution to the puzzle. In brief, his method consisted of treating silver-plated copper sheets with iodine to make them sensitive to light, then exposing them in a camera and “developing” the images with warm mercury vapor. On the basis of its novelty, and difference from the pewter-and-resin based systems developed by Niépce, Daguerre claimed the invention as his own by naming it “The Daguerreotype.”
http://www.daguerre.org/?page=DagFAQ

Daguerreotype

The Diorama: 19th century entertainment~

Daguerre’s Sole Extant Diorama, Recently Restored~

Alois Senefelder: Born November 6, 1771

senefelderAlois Senefelder (1771-1834) was an Austrian actor and playwright who invented the printing technique of lithography in 1798. Born Aloys Johann Nepomuk Franz Senefelder in Prague where his actor father was appearing on stage. He was educated in Munich and won a scholarship to study law at Ingolstadt. The death of his father in 1791 forced him to leave his studies to support his mother and eight siblings, and he became an actor and wrote a successful play Connoisseur of Girls.
Problems with the printing of his play Mathilde von Altenstein caused him to fall into debt, and unable to afford to publish a new play he had written, Senefelder experimented with a novel etching technique using a greasy, acid resistant ink as a resist on a smooth fine-grained stone of Solnhofen limestone. He then discovered that this could be extended to allow printing from the flat surface of the stone alone, the first planographic process in printing. He joined with the André family of music publishers and gradually brought his technique into a workable form, perfecting both the chemical processes and the special form of printing press required for using the stones. He called it “stone printing” or “chemical printing”, but the French name “lithography” became more widely adopted.
http://www.radio.cz/en/static/inventors/senefelderLithographic-Press

Lithography is a printing technique that gives multiple reproductions of an image drawn with ink or crayon on a certain type of limestone. The image must be prepared with a chemical process so that the grease contained in the ink or crayon (both being specially made for lithographic work) becomes permanently fixed to the stone. When the naturally absorbant stone is wetted before printing the lithographic ink will be retained in all areas containing grease and repelled in all other areas. The characteristic of this printing technique lies in the fact that the image area and the non-image area react differently to the presence of ink. http://www.polymetaal.nl/beguin/mapl/lithography/lithodefinition.htm

Alois Senefelder Invents & Develops Lithography (1796 – 1819)
Interactive explanation of lithography from MOMA

Peter Max: Born October 19, 1937

When Go-Go Met Day-Glo”
“LIFE Magazine, September 5, 1969: A Portrait of Peter Max as a Very Rich Man”
Biography~ https://www.parkwestgallery.com/artist/peter-max

Born in Berlin in 1937, Max and his family fled Nazi-Germany to Shanghai where he would spend the first 10 years of his life. It was here where Max’s father, a reputable businessman, and mother first began to notice his artistic talents. The pair hired the daughter of a street vendor to conduct art lessons and serve as a nanny. Max began his formal art training at the Art Students League of New York in Manhattan…