Today in History: Opening of the Bauhaus in 1919

Today in History: Opening of the Bauhaus in 1919

On March 21, 1919, the Bauhaus, a German design school founded in Weimar by Walter Gropius, opened its doors. Its goal was to create a new unity between art and industry, allowing people from the sectors of the decorative arts, architecture and modern technology to work together and learn from one another. The school moved to Dessau in 1925 and to Berlin in 1932 and was closed in July of 1933 by its own staff under pressure from the Nazi government.

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Today is National Jewel Day

Today is #NationalJewelDay

National Jewel Day is observed annually on March 13, celebrating brilliant gems of all shapes, sizes, cuts and colors. While the origins of this holiday are unknown, we can take a wild guess that a jeweler or gal came up with the idea. J

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Today in History: Piet #Mondrian born in 1872

Today in History: Piet #Mondrian born in 1872

Happy Birthday, Piet Mondrian. The Dutch painter was born 145 years ago today. Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan (after 1906 Mondrian) was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and is best known for his non-representational form termed neo-plasticism. While Mondrian’s early works were naturalistic and impressionistic in nature, his appreciation of cubism around 1910 put him on the path toward pure abstraction. Mondrian’s most famous compositions (f.ex. “Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue” from 1921) consisted primarily of grids of black lines and colored rectangles on a white background.

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Today in History: Alexander Graham Bell born in 1847

170 years ago today, the American scientist, inventor and engineer was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Bell studied at the University of Edinburgh. In 1871, he went to Boston to become a teacher for the deaf. Bell’s mother and wife were both deaf, which had a major influence on his work. From 1873 to 1877, he worked as a professor of speech physiology. His research on hearing and speech led him to experiment with hearing devices which culminated in the development of the telephone in 1876. His invention attracted a great deal of attention at the 1776 Philadelphia International Exhibition, but over the years, Bell was not much involved in the further development of the phone. It is said that that Bell refused to have a telephone in his study, feeling it was an intrusion on his work as a scientist. Bell died in 1822 at the age of 75.

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Today in History: Polaroid introduces the instant camera in 1947

60 years ago today, Polaroid founder Edwin Land first demonstrated the instant camera at a meeting of the Optical Society of America in New York City.The American scientist got his idea while vacationing in Mexico in 1944 when he introduced his daughter Jennifer to the basic principles of photography. Inspired by his daughter’s question why the images taken with the camera could not be seen immediately, Land spent his remaining vacation working on a preliminary design and concept for an instant camera. Although dismissed by most of his peers as a gimmick, the first Polaroid camera hit the market only one year later in  November of 1948. By 1956, Polaroid had sold one million instant cameras. Today, that number has grown to over 165 million.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Today in History: Ikko Tanaka born in 1930


Today in History: Ikko Tanaka born in 1930

87 years ago today, graphic designer Ikko Tanaka was born in Nara, Japan. Tanaka was known for merging principles of clean, modern design with Japanese traditionalism. He studied art in Kyoto and worked as a textile and graphic designer before establishing his own studio in 1963. By the 1970s, Tanaka had become a leading commercial artist. He was also editor of a series of books on Japanese culture. His most famous work is perhaps the 1981 poster design of an abstract version of a Geisha for the Nihon Buyo performance by the Asian Performing Arts Institute. He died in 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 71.

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