Today in History: Dong Kingman born in 1911

Today in History: Dong Kingman born in 1911

Happy Birthday, Dong Kingman. 109 years ago today, Chinese-American artist Dong Kingman was born in Oakland, California. Kingman was a leading watercolor painter of the California Style School. He was known for his urban and landscape paintings and his graphic design work for the Hollywood film industry. Kingman produced several posters for American Airlines during the late 1960s / early 1970s. His works are included in over 50 public and private collections worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco’s deYoung Museum and the Art Institute in Chicago. Kingman died of cancer on May 11, 2000, in his New York City home. Source wikipedia.com.

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Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Today in History: The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889

Happy Birthday, La Tour Eiffel, the global icon of Paris. 131 years ago today, the construction of the 324 m (1024 feet) Eiffel Tower was completed.

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Today in History: Russia sells Alaska to the United States in 1867

Today in History: Russia sells Alaska to the United States in 1867

On March 30, 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signed the treaty finalizing the purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, President Andrew Johnson was ridiculed for the purchase by both Congress and the press. The Senate ratified the treaty with a margin of only one vote on April 9, 1967. Alaska was formally handed over in October 1867. After three decades of slow U.S. settlement, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory. Alaska, rich in natural resources, has contributed to American prosperity ever since.

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Today on History: Alexander “Xanti” Schawinsky” born in 1904

Today on History: Alexander “Xanti” Schawinsky” born in 1904

Happy Birthday, Alexander “Xanti” Schawinsky. The Swiss-born artist would have turned 115 today. After studying in a German architectural office, he joined the Bauhaus School of Design in 1924 where he studied with Kandinsky, Klee, Moholy-Nagy and other Bauhaus Masters. He was primarily involved with the school’s theater department while also concentrating on photography and painting. Facing Nazi persecution, Schawinsky took refuge in Switzerland in 1933 and then moved to Italy to work for Motta, Olivetti, Studio Boggeri and other prominent clients. In 1936 he emigrated to the United States where he taught art and design under Joseph Albers and later worked with Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer.

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Today in History: Rialto Bridge completed in 1591

Today in History: Rialto Bridge completed in 1591

429 years ago today, construction of the famous bridge across Venice’s Grand Canal was completed. At the time, its engineering was considered so bold that few believed the stone bridge to last very long, let alone 400+ years. Today, the Ponte di Rialto continues to be one of the architectural icons of Venice.

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Today is the first day of spring !

Today is the first day of spring!

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Today in History: Lester Beall born in 1903!

Today in History: Lester Beall born in 1903!

American graphic designer Lester Thomas Beall (1903-1969) would have turned 117 today. Beall was one of the leading contributors to the modern movement in American 20th century graphic design. Beall was born in Kansas City and grew up in Chicago. He studied at the University of Chicago where he became interested in typography and Bauhaus design elements. He moved home and office to New York and then Connecticut in the mid-1930s where he began his career as an art director. Among his clients were the International Paper Company, Merrill Lynch, and the New York Hilton. Beall is perhaps best known for his poster series for the United States Government’s Rural Electrification Administration during the 1930s. He also created several posters for the United States Lines in the early 1950s.

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