c.1759 / Oil on canvas / 30”x25”
National Portrait Gallery, London
c.1778 / Oil on canvas / 16 3/4”x12 3/4”
Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport, RI
In Flanders Field-Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow / Robert Vonnoh
1890 / Oil on canvas / 58”x104” / The Butler Institute of American Art
“In Flanders Fields” is a poem written by the Canadian army physician and poet John McCrae. He wrote it in early May 1915 in his medical aid station near Essex farm, 2 km to the north of the centre of Ypres. The poem was published on 8 December 1915. John McCrae died on 28 January 1918, while in charge of the Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne. He is buried in Wimereux cemetery (Pas-de-Calais, France).
“In Flanders Field” became popular almost immediately upon its publication. It was translated into other languages and used on billboards advertising Victory Loan Bonds in Canada. The poppy soon became known as the flower of remembrance for the men and women in Britain, France, the United States, and Canada who have died in service of their country.
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) documented the change on the homefront, especially among ethnic groups and workers uprooted by the war. Three months after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the relocation of Japanese-Americans into armed camps in the West. Soon after, the War Relocation Authority hired Lange to photograph Japanese neighborhoods, processing centers, and camp facilities.
Lange’s earlier work documenting displaced farm families and migrant workers during the Great Depression did not prepare her for the disturbing racial and civil rights issues raised by the Japanese internment. Lange quickly found herself at odds with her employer and her subjects’ persecutors, the United States government.
To capture the spirit of the camps, Lange created images that frequently juxtapose signs of human courage and dignity with physical evidence of the indignities of incarceration. Not surprisingly, many of Lange’s photographs were censored by the federal government, itself conflicted by the existence of the camps.
The true impact of Lange’s work was not felt until 1972, when the Whitney Museum incorporated twenty-seven of her photographs into Executive Order 9066, an exhibit about the Japanese internment. New York Times critic A.D. Coleman called Lange’s photographs “documents of such a high order that they convey the feelings of the victims as well as the facts of the crime.”
National Archives~ https://www.archives.gov/news/articles/japanese-internment-75th-anniversary
National Park Service~ https://www.nps.gov/manz/learn/photosmultimedia/dorothea-lange-gallery.htm
During World War I, Liberty Gardens (and later, Victory Gardens) grew out of the government’s efforts to encourage home gardening among Americans, both to express their patriotism and to aid the war effort by freeing up food production for soldiers.
As part of the (World War II) effort, the government rationed foods like sugar, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, coffee, meat and canned goods. Labor and transportation shortages made it hard to harvest and move fruits and vegetables to market. So, the government turned to its citizens and encouraged them to plant “Victory Gardens.” They wanted individuals to provide their own fruits and vegetables.
Americans were encouraged to grow their own to ensure everyone at home had enough to eat…There were 20 million gardens everywhere from rooftops and empty lots to backyards and schoolyards. 40% of produce, which made over 1 million tons, consumed in America was grown in victory gardens. People learned how to can and preserve so the harvests lasted all year.
It should be emphasized that marriage itself in this period was chaotic, without uniform boundaries or legal consistency. The scholars Silvana Seidel Menchi and Diego Quaglioni, who directed an impressive research project carried out through investigation of documents involving matrimony litigation housed in the ecclesiastical archives of Italy, provide startling information demonstrating just how informal the act of marriage could be and how it could take place in almost any location. “People got married in stables or in a tavern, in the kitchen or in the vegetable garden, in the pasture or in the attic, in a wood or in a blacksmith’s shop, under the portico of one’s house or near the public fountain.” This suggests that many weddings were extraordinarily spontaneous, and the fact that why often took place on a balcony or at a window bears this out: “With the assistance of a ladder, the groom, flanked by witnesses, reached the bride, and facing each other they pronounced the formula of the ritual, balanced in an equilibrium as unstable as the tie that thus bound them.” Indeed, before the edicts of The Council of Trent systematized the requirements of a proper wedding in 1563, only mutual consent was an absolute necessity for marriage. People did not need to be married in church or by priests; they did not need to post banns or to appear before a notary; they did not need to exchange rings nor were witnesses required (although most weddings were public acts). Clandestine marriages, undertaken to outwit disapproving parents, were common.
Art and Love in Renaissance Italy / MetPublications / The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Learn more by clicking on hyperlinks)
1949 / Gouache, ink and graphite pencil on paperboard / 11 3/4”x10 1/2″
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Ernest Baker, born in 1889 in Rhode Island, was a self-taught illustrator. Most of his works were covers for Time magazine, although he was responsible for eleven covers for Fortune magazine between 1929 and 1941.
Beginning in 1939, Baker produced over 300 covers for Time during his seventeen-year tenure with the magazine. He was described by Time publisher, Ralph Ingersoll, as an artist who could do anything.
In December of 1949, Winston Churchill was chosen by Time magazine as the “Man of the Half-Century”, celebrated in a 16-page supplement which was contained in the January 2nd issue of 1950. Baker did the cover illustration for that issue.
Describing Mr Churchill as “the man of the half -century,” Time magazine says: “No man’s history can sum up the dreadful, wonderful years 1900-50. Mr Churchill’s story comes closest …. Sometimes wrong, often right, he fought his way toward the heart of every storm.”
In 1979, Congress grants a Vietnam War veterans’ committee the right to build a memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., dedicated to American soldiers killed in the conflict in Vietnam. The committee puts the design out for competition convening a blue-ribbon panel of architects, sculptors, and landscape architects to evaluate more than 1,400 submissions. When the winner is announced, no one is more surprised than the student architect herself, Maya Lin, a 20-year-old Yale undergraduate. The panel is moved by the simplicity, honesty, and power of Lin’s design: a V-shaped, sunken wall of black stone, with the names of those killed in action engraved in chronological order. To search out a loved one, a mourner will walk along the monument and find the name among the 57,661 listed. Lin describes the Memorial thus: “I went to see the site. I had a general idea that I wanted to describe a journey…a journey that would make you experience death and where you’d have to be an observer, where you could never really fully be with the dead. It wasn’t going to be something that was going to say, ‘It’s all right, it’s all over,’ because it’s not.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/visualarts/thewall_a.html
For her life’s work, Lin was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009, and a film about the artist, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, won the 1994 Oscar for best documentary. Lin has served as a board member of the National Resources Defense Council and a member of the World Trade Center Site Memorial design jury. In 2016, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. https://www.biography.com/people/maya-lin-37259
Spotlight: Maya Lin~ https://www.archdaily.com/774717/spotlight-maya-lin
1818 / Watercolor and bodycolour over pencil / 9.8”x8.3” / Royal Collection
St. George’s Chapel was built in the 15th century and is a towering piece of Gothic architecture. It is lauded for its stone fan-vault ceilings, but the intricate stained glasswork along each of its walls, and the tall arched windows, intricate woodwork, and ironwork doorframes add to the historic feel of the grand room. The tombs of ten sovereigns also lie within the chapel, including Henry VIII and Charles I.
Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank will marry in St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018. A list of past Royal Weddings in St George’s Chapel can be found here: https://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/about-st-georges/royal-connection/marriage/
Mathew Brady is often referred to as the father of photojournalism and is most well known for his documentation of the Civil War. His photographs, and those he commissioned, had a tremendous impact on society at the time of the war, and continue to do so today. He and his employees photographed thousands of images including battlefields, camp life, and portraits of some of the most famous citizens of his time including Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee.
The Civil War as Photographed by Mathew Brady~
“Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation” by Robert Wilson~
Portraits by Mathew Brady~ http://www.mathewbrady.com/portraits.htm