Image of the Week 6: "New York’s New Solar System"

As leader of the Tammany Hall political consortium at the turn of the twentieth century, Richard Croker (1843-1922) was once the most powerful man in New York City. He received bribes from numerous brothels, saloons and other businesses during an era of enormous growth for the city due to European immigration, and he oversaw criminal […]

Image of the Week 3: "Cats Forming the Characters for ‘Catfish’"

Today’s image is a surreal print by one of the last great masters of traditional Japanese woodblock printing, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). An assemblage of black and white, tan and calico cats, looking quite content with themselves, float in an abstract color field of steel gray, cream and blue, their twisting bodies forming an approximation of […]

Image of the Week 2: the Court of the Ottoman Grand Vizier

Click to enlarge. Today’s image of the week depicts a formal audience between Ahmed III‘s powerful Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Pasha, and the  Vicomte d’Andrezel, the French Ambassador to the ‘Sublime Porte‘ (as the Ottoman court was called in diplomatic circles.) The date is given as October, 1724. This puts the work squarely in the middle […]

Image of the Week 1: Bathing Machine

I love this late Victorian postcard of a woman leaving a ‘bathing machine,’ a now-forgotten wagon-like vehicle that was wheeled a discrete distance out to sea so that ladies of quality could swim without showing a scandalous amount of flesh to the general public. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. I’m also […]