Today in History: Picasso born in 1881

Today in History: Picasso born in 1881

Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain. His work comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80 years.

Picasso is perhaps best known for his contribution to Cubism. In 1907, he painted the groundbreaking work Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which, with its fragmented and distorted representation of the human form, broke from previous European art. The painting demonstrated the influence on Picasso of both African mask art and Paul Cezanne and is seen as a forerunner of the Cubist movement, founded by Picasso and the French painter Georges Braque in 1909. After Cubism, Picasso explored classical and Mediterranean themes, and images of violence and anguish increasingly appeared in his work. In 1937, this trend culminated in the masterpiece Guernica, a monumental work that evoked the horror and suffering endured by the Basque town of Guernica when it was destroyed by German warplanes during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso remained in Paris during the Nazi occupation but was fervently opposed to fascism and after the war joined the French Communist Party. Picasso’s work after World War II is less studied than his earlier creations, but he continued to work feverishly and enjoyed commercial and critical success. He continued to produce art with undiminished force until his death in 1973 at the age of 91. Source: history.com

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Today in History: Wall Street Crash of 1929

Today in History: Wall Street Crash of 1929

91 years ago today, the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States occurred, when taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its after effects. The Wall Street (or Stock Market) Crash of 1929 started on October 24 and continued until October 29, 1929, when share prices on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed. The crash, which followed the London Stock Exchange’s crash of September, signaled the beginning of the 12-year Great Depression that affected all Western industrialized countries.

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Today in History: United Nations founded in 1945

Today in History: United Nations founded in 1945

75 years ago today, in an effort to promote international peace and security, the United Nations was formed. The founding 51 member countries established the UN following World War II with the idea to prevent another such conflict from happening, replacing the ineffective League of Nations that was formed after World War I. Aside from peacebuilding, the UN works for causes related to humanitarian assistance, sustainable development, disaster relief and the advancement of women. The UN’s headquarters are in New York City. There are currently 193 United Nations member states.

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Today in History: Disney’s Dumbo premiered in 1941

Today in History: Disney’s Dumbo premiered in 1941

79 years ago today, Disney’s animated classic premiered in the United States

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Today in History: Robert Rauschenberg is born in 1925

Today in History: Robert Rauschenberg is born in 1925

95 years ago today, American painter and graphic artist, Robert Rauschenberg, was born in Port Arthur, Texas. He studied art in Kansas (1946-1947), Paris (1947) and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina under Joseph Albers (1948-1950). Rauschenberg was based in New York City and is perhaps best known for his influence on pop art of the 1960s, constantly questioning the distinction between art and everyday objects. The eclectic artist often combined sculpture and paint in his works. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he experimented with collage and photography. Rauschenberg died from heart failure in 2008.

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Today in History: Thomas Edison invents a commercially practical incandescent light

Today in History: Thomas Edison invents a commercially practical incandescent light

On this day in 1879, Thomas Edison invented a commercially practical incandescent light at his industrial research lab in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Edison had filed his first patent application for “Improvement In Electric Lights” in October 1878. The first successful test was on October 22, 1879, and lasted 13.5 hours. Historians list 22 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Thomas Edison but Edison’s, although not first light bulb, is considered to be the first practical incandescent lamp.

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Today in History: Monterey Bay Aquarium opens in 1984

Today in History: Monterey Bay Aquarium opens in 1984

36 years ago today, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world opens in Monterey Bay, California. Among its many “firsts,” it is the only aquarium in the world able to keep a great white shark captive for more than 16 days.

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Today in History: Peter Max born in 1937

 

Today in History: Peter Max born in 1937

Happy Birthday, Peter Max! Peter Max (born Peter Max Finkelstein in Berlin) is a pop culture graphic artist known for his psychedelic style of painting and the use of bright, vibrant colors. In 1938, Max’s parents fled Berlin to settle in China and later in Israel, Paris and New York. Max began his artistic career in the United States in the 1960s by opening a small art studio with a friend. He developed a unique style of art combining antique photographic images, bold colors, and collages. His studio became very popular among business houses and his art was soon appearing on posters and walls of the colleges in the U.S.  He became famous for his unique symbolism and his artworks appeared on several television commercials which made him a national icon.

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Today in History: Alaska formally becomes part of the USA in 1867

Today in History: Alaska formally becomes part of the USA in 1867

The United States had purchased the large and sparsely populated territory of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The purchase was not seen as a positive acquirement by many American citizens who believed that adding Alaska to the US’s territory was a waste of taxpayers’ money. Many called the act, Seward’s folly after Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was responsible for making the purchase. Alaska was admitted to the Union as a state in 1959. October 18 is annually celebrated as Alaska Day in Alaska.

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Today is National Pasta Day

Today is National Pasta Day

Linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, tortellini, ziti—the list of kinds of pasta is endless! Pasta is typically thought of as an Italian dish, but there is evidence that people living in Asia in 2000 BC made noodles with millet! Pasta can be made dry (pasta secca) or fresh (pasta fresca). There are over 350 varieties of dried pasta in Italy. The highest quality of dried pasta is made with pure durum semolina flour and water. Did you know that a typical Italian person eats over sixty pounds of pasta per year? In comparison, Americans only eat around twenty pounds of pasta per person per year! Source: punchbowl.com

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