Autoportrait Day 279~ Virginia A. Myers

A random survey of self-portraits created by women through the centuries

American artist and inventor Virginia A. Myers (1927-2015)

Self Portrait with a Hat, c.1960-1970 / Drypoint / The University of Iowa, Iowa City

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“Learn about the Iowa Foil Printer & the hot stamped foil print-making process”:

January 3, 1496~ Leonardo unsuccessfully tests a flying machine [supposedly]

Atlantic Codex (Codex Atlanticus) by Leonardo da Vinci
(Top) f.858 recto   (Bottom) f.860 recto

c.1478-1480 / Pen and ink on paper / 12-volumes, 1,119 pp / Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy

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Previous January 3 posts:

Winter~ January 3

Artist Birthday Quiz for 1/3~

August 27, 1776~ The Battle of Long Island begins

George Washington by Charles Willson Peale

1776 / Oil on canvas / 44”x38 5/16” / Brooklyn Museum, NYC

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The Battle of Long Island~

Previous August 27 posts:

Self Portraits~August 27

Man Ray: Born August 27, 1890

Artist Birthday Quiz for 8/27~

August 21, 1911~ “Mona Lisa” stolen from the Louvre by an employee

Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo
by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

c.1503–19 / Oil on poplar panel / 30”x21” / Musée du Louvre, Paris

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The Theft That Made The ‘Mona Lisa’ A Masterpiece~

Previous August 21 posts:

Self Portraits~August 21

Artist Birthday Quiz for 8/21~

June 28, 1846~ Adolphe Sax files 14 patents for the saxophone

All The Things You Are by Romare Bearden

1987 / Collage, color dyes, and watercolor on board / 36”x24” / Private collection?

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Previous June 28 posts:

Pride Month~ June 28

June 28 & 29, 1969~ the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village

Artist Birthday Quiz for 6/28~

March 27, 1790~ Modern shoelace with aglet patented

An aglet is the small plastic or fiber tube that binds the end of a shoelace (or similar cord) to prevent fraying and to allow the lace to be passed through an eyelet or another opening. This comes from the Latin word for “needle.” The modern shoestring (string and shoe holes) was first invented in England in 1790 (first recorded date March 27). Before shoestrings, shoes were commonly fastened with buckles.

Shoes, 1888 by Vincent van Gogh

1888 / Oil on canvas / 18”x21 3/4” / The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Previous March 27 posts:

March 27~ Women’s History Month in visual arts

Edward Steichen: Born March 27, 1879

Carl Barks (March 27, 1901-August 25, 2000)

Artist Birthday Quiz for 3/27~

Artist Birthday Quiz for 12/4~

What American photographer found support among Rothko, Kline, and other painters and is widely considered to be closely involved with, if not a part of, the abstract expressionist movement?

What American scientist, inventor, artist, and master craftsman held over 60 glass-oriented patents and has art work in the permanent collections of more than 100 museums throughout the world?

Answers here~

George Washington Carver: c.1864 – January 5, 1943

“Probably one of the most recognized names in agricultural research, George Washington Carver (c.1865-1943) overcame numerous obstacles to achieve a graduate education and gain international fame as an educator, inventor, and scientist. FROM

Born a slave, [Carver] is one of the most historically prominent African American scientists. Carver was a pioneer as an agriculturalist and botanist by introducing methods of soil conservation for farmers, inventing hundreds of by-products from peanuts, pecans, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, and practicing “zero waste” sustainability. Scholars have recognized Carver’s talent as a painter and his ability to develop paints and dyes from various natural sources; however, there is very little scholarship documenting his work as a textile artist.”


“Throughout Carver’s life, he balanced two interests and talents that may seem at odds – the creative arts and the natural sciences. Skills of observation, experimentation, replication, and communication applied to both art and science, making Carver as comfortable in the sciences as in the arts.” FROM

“In the late 1880s, [Carver] made his way to Winterset, Iowa, where a white couple encouraged him to apply to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. The only African American student, Carver enrolled in Simpson in September 1890 as an art major. His art teacher recognized his considerable talents, but she was concerned that as a black man, he would have difficulties finding work as a professional artist. After Carver showed her some plants he had hybridized, she suggested that he transfer to Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts (now Iowa State University), in Ames, Iowa, where her father, J. L. Budd, taught horticulture”. FROM

“Holdings at the G.W. Carver National Monument and Tuskegee Institute National Historic indicate that Carver was proficient in textile techniques such as embroidery, weaving, crocheting, knitting and basketry. According to a document written by the National Park Service Carver created, ’embroideries on burlap, ornaments made of chicken feathers, seed and colored peanut necklaces, woven textiles’ (p. 24) and that ‘He was an honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts in London, England’.” FROM

“What spare time he salvaged from his hectic schedule usually went for the pursuit of loves Carver had sacrificed, like botany and art. He found time to crochet, knit, and do needlework. He found these activities satisfactory and they enabled him to produce useful items for friends. He had great appreciation for the world around him, in particular, the materials found in nature. He dyed many of his own threads and fibers with natural dyes made from local walnut, mulberry, and ochre clay.

He became a scientist, a teacher, a speaker, and more, but he never entirely let go of his art. Rather he brought it to his other pursuits, and at times even let it guide them. Carver taught art classes at Tuskegee in addition to his regular roster of courses. He also allowed his artistic talents to improve his scientific work. He drew diagrams with the fine pen of an illustrator, collected specimens with the attention of a painter and crossbred plants with profound creativity. Through out his life he maintained the soul of an artist and continued to paint. Carver was driven by science, but art remained his passion.” FROM

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