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Pacita Abad. Assaulting the eye with ecstasy. 1986. Acrylic, embroidery, buttons, mirrors on stitched and padded canvas. Image and data provided by © Pacita Abad Art Estate

Pacita Abad. Assaulting the eye with ecstasy. 1986. Acrylic, embroidery, buttons, mirrors on stitched and padded canvas. Image and data provided by © Pacita Abad Art Estate

Our thanks to the Pacita Abad Art Estate, which contributed 500 images of the artist’s work to the Artstor Digital Library.* The selection in Artstor illustrates the artist’s career from the 1970s to her final years in the 2000s.

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Richard H. Truly. S40-151-129 Washington, D.C.. 1991. Image and data courtesy Regis University Library.

Richard H. Truly was the first person to be launched into space on his birthday when he piloted the Space Shuttle Columbia on November 12, 1981. In 1989 he would become the eighth NASA Administrator, the first astronaut to hold the position. Two public collections in Artstor from Regis University document the astronaut’s fascinating career via papers and media. Continue Reading »

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When you see Andy Warhol’s name, his Pop Art paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Campbell’s soup cans probably spring to mind. But Warhol’s interests extended beyond fame and commerce, as evidenced in the photos he took to record his daily life. “A picture means I know where I was every minute,” the artist said. “That’s why I take pictures. It’s a visual Diary.” Continue Reading »

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Bartolomeo Bimbi. Pears. 1699. Oil on canvas. Villa Medicea. Image and data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Every year the subject of food rises in our thoughts and comes into greater and more glorious focus as we are swept up in a wave of planning, preparation, and consumption for the holidays. In anticipation and celebration of our sumptuous banquets and stolen treats, Artstor offers a feast of foodie still lifes. Think of this selection as an appetizer: with heaping mounds of fruit, Bartolomeo Bimbi’s monumental Pears (1699) heralds the abundant extreme of the genre. Continue Reading »

Erich Salomon. The American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst reading telegraphs in his castle “La Cuesta Encantada,” San Simeon, CA. 1930. Silver gelatin photograph. Licensed under CC0

Erich Salomon. The American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst reading telegraphs in his castle “La Cuesta Encantada,” San Simeon, CA. 1930. Silver gelatin photograph. Licensed under CC0

The William Randolph Hearst Archive has contributed 2,050 images to the Artstor Digital Library,* providing an intriguing perspective on the collecting passions of Hearst, the man best known to us as a newspaper baron, and notoriously immortalized on film as the unscrupulous “Citizen Kane.”

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James Winthrop. Egyptian hieroglyphics, from public monuments extracted from Denon. Late 18th or early 19th century. Image and data courtesy Allegheny College Library Special Collections.

The Allegheny College Egyptian Hieroglyphics collection features every page of a single manuscript in the James Winthrop Collection. The collection includes approximately 3,000 titles from the libraries of Winthrop and his father, John Winthrop, who was Hollis Professor of Natural Philosophy and Mathematics at Harvard. This particular manuscript is in the public domain, and Allegheny has shared this digital reproduction as a Public Collection in Artstor so that anyone can view and download the images. Continue Reading »

…and how to protect yourself from them

While there were a lot of delightful beliefs about animals in the Middle Ages (our favorite: hedgehogs roll on grapes to spear them on their spines so they can take them home to their young), this Halloween season we’re focusing on the creepiest creatures of all: reptiles! Not to worry, we’ll also tell you what to do to stay safe from them.

Our source for this guide is Richard Barber’s translation of the Bodleian Library’s MS Bodley 764, a mid-thirteenth century bestiary, so don’t be too surprised if the descriptions deviate just a tad from contemporary herpetology.

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Bestiary. Folio #: fol. 160r, 12th century. Image and original data provided by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Let’s start with plain old snakes. We bet you didn’t know that snakes are frightened by naked men, but attack clothed ones. Unfortunately our source doesn’t specify how snakes respond to women (the thirteenth century not being the most progressive of centuries), so your best bet is to keep a stag nearby, as they can handily deal with bothersome serpents. Continue Reading »