Weird, Wild & Wonderful

The botanical world is full of surprises, as any of the thousands of people who’ve visited the Amorphophallus titanum in bloom might tell you. Wild sizes, outrageous colors, complex patterns, otherworldly shapes—all a result of the remarkable adaptations plants make in response to habitat, in defense against predators, and in … Continue reading

Lincoln’s Signature Accomplishments

One hundred and fifty years ago, on Jan. 31, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, a resolution ending slavery. The framers of the Constitution had forged a nation built on the rights of its citizens, but one that accommodated the peculiar institution of … Continue reading

A Satirical Look at Georgian Society

Today’s pop culture often goes overboard by invading personal privacy in the search for entertainment. Britain’s Georgian era (roughly 1714 to 1830) was a similarly nosy time—gossiping and people watching were especially popular pastimes, as were reading biography and looking at portraiture. Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827), one of Britain’s premier draftsmen, … Continue reading

George Romney’s Other Side

A monstrous frog-like creature nibbling at the breast of a corpse; a claustrophobic encounter between two women who embrace under the eyes of a shadowy watcher; a raving sorceress surging forward, bent on destruction—believe it or not, these disturbing images come from the mind of George Romney, the British painter … Continue reading

Two American Photographers at Home

This post is co-published with the Getty Iris. It may come as no surprise to you, savvy reader, that the years spent preparing for a major exhibition are fraught with considerable challenges and no small amount of pain. An elusive loan, an uncooperative colleague, an intransigent donor, an unanticipated expense … Continue reading