Category: Featured

The Cosmos of Lee Bontecou

American abstract sculptor and printmaker Lee Bontecou was born on this day January 15, 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island. Bontecou was raised in New York and Nova Scotia, and spent much of her youth studying art. From 1952-1955, she studied at the Art Students League in New York with sculptor William Zorach, Morris Kantor, and …

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The Stardust Lens of Cecil Beaton

Legendary portrait and fashion photographer Cecil Beaton was born on January 14, 1904, in the Hampstead area of London, England. With an eye for beauty, he also excelled at interior design, and was an Oscar-winning stage and costume designer, and a sparkling writer. Beaton captured stunning, intimate portraits of his subjects, many of whom were his friends. Here’s a …

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The Photographic Travels of Roloff Beny

Often referred to as “a poetic photographer,” Roloff Beny was a passionate world traveler, and spent much of his life traveling and photographing the places and people he met there. The Canadian travel photographer and painter was born on this day January 7, 1924 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Beny was an international photographer, but …

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Hayao Miyazaki Brought Manga to the Masses

One-of-a-kind animator, artist, and masterful storyteller, Hayao Miyazaki brought delightful “manga” (Japanese comic books) and “anime” (Japanese animation) films to venerating audiences via Studio Ghibli, which Miyazaki co-founded with director Isao Takahata in 1985. Some of the first Studio Ghibli films made were Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), and Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), receiving recognition and …

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Looking Through David Bailey’s 1960s Eye

“We were so young. I don’t think Bailey or anyone had any idea how important the work we were doing was…we were just kids really, I was 18 when I first started working with Bailey. I met him on the roof of Vogue” -Jean Shrimpton English portrait and fashion photographer David Bailey was born on …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Mitten

While Rankin & Bass were celebrating wintertime with their cute 1960’s stop-motion animations for Americans, including the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Soviet animator Roman Kachanov was making his own very cute stop-motion films, including the Cheburashka children’s series. Kachanov has worked on many films, and was an animator for our recent feature, The Night …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas (1951) was directed by the prolific Soviet animation duo of Valentina Brumberg and Zinaida Brumberg, who were also known as the “Brumberg sisters” as well as the “grandmothers of Russian animation.” Some of their most well known films are Little Red Riding Hood and Ivashka and Baba-Yaga. Not your typical Christmas story, it begins …

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Power and Glory: Folk Icon Phil Ochs

Today is the birthday of legendary folk singer Phil Ochs, born on this day December 19, 1940 in El Paso, Texas. Known for his poetic and witty lyrics, clear singing voice, and exceptional musicality, Phil Ochs is an American icon. Since his musical course spanning the 60s and early 70s, and only recently receiving much …

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The Enchanting Music and Generous Spirit of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou

Ethiopian pianist, composer, and nun Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou turns 99 today, born Yewubdar Gebru on December 12, 1923. The pianist nun is known for her free-spirited piano playing of compositions where notes flit with ease up and down pentatonic (five-note) scales. Her playing is heartfelt and instinctive, skillfully moving around the keyboard without a hitch. The scales heard in …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: “Singing Cat” from Tale of the Fox

Here is a charming excerpt, “Singing Cat,” from Ladislas Starevich’s first animated feature, and often regarded as his finest work, The Tale of the Fox (Le Roman de Renard), made with his daughter Irene in 1941. Ladislas Starevich was born in Moscow on August 8, 1882 and moved to France following the Russian Revolution. He …

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