It's that time again...

Happy New Year!
Herewith, a highly subjective list of the most notable events of 1910

May 20th – Funeral for Britain's King Edward VII— technically ending what was later termed the Edwardian Era, however years up to 1914 or even 1919 are often included

June 9th – A passenger on SS Arawatta throws bottle with note overboard. Bottle is found June 6, 1983.

June 19th – Father's Day celebrated for 1st time (Spokane, Wash) 

June 20th – Krazy Kat debuts in the New York Journal comic strip "The Dingbat Family" by George Herriman

July 4th – African-American boxer Jack Johnson defeats James J. Jeffries, "the Great White Hope," in a heavyweight boxing match, sparking race riots across the United States.

August 9th – Alva Fisher patents the electric washing machine

September 1st – The Vatican introduces a compulsory oath against modernism, to be taken by all priests upon ordination. [note: I realize "modernism" here means something specifically relating to the Catholic Church but I have to say it doesnt seem far-fetched to me at all that the Vatican would be requiring an oath against Les Demoiselles d'Avignon or the Prairie Style.]

November 27thPennsylvania Station, designed by McKim, Mead & White, opens as world's largest railway terminal.
[It is demolished 53 years later, in one of the most infamous and benighted planning decisions, ever.]

December 3rd – Neon lights displayed publicly for the first time at the Paris Auto Show in the Grand Palais


corvus corax

This is one of my favorite Van Goghs, everything in this world vibrates. The sky and wheat goad the birds into joining the kinetic intensity. I do not see this as a troubled picture necessarily although I think it was the last he painted before he died.

From top: Raven, Crow, Robin, Jay from Studer's Ornithology 1881; Common American Crow, JJ Audubon, early 1840s; Hill and Ploughed Field near Dresden, Caspar David Friedrich, 1824-25; Magpie and Snow near Honfleur, Claude Monet, 1868; Wheat field under theatening skies, Van Gogh, 1890; The Raven, illustration by Gustave Doré, 1884

 photo by Edward Rhys

 photo of rooks by Messent

Ravens, rooks, jackdaws, crows, magpies, choughs, jays, Corvids all, and my favorite type of bird— although in Park Slope Brooklyn I mainly see just the crows (corvus corax). Historically crows represented longevity, and marital fidelity, they were augurs of the future, or straight out harbingers of death. Whether known as a witch's familiar, chthonic messengers or petty thieves they are intelligent, wiley, playful. Like starlings, another favorite, I feel like I see the dinosaur in them.

I just read-- well browsed through-- a slim book of history, myth and lore about crows. Its part of an unusual Animals Series by British publisher Reaktion Books that includes such winning editions as Fly, Oyster and Rat. If Crow (by the magnificently named Boria Sax) is any indication of the series' quality, the rest should be wonderfully diverting. Thoroughly researched, far-reaching and densely referenced, the book remained eminently readable without slipping into slangy informality. Even better, there is no hint of catering to children, cute-mongers, or to the New Agey/Wiccan Bohemian Complex which it would undoubtedly be forced to do if it were an American publication. (Thank god for the British or I'd complain about everything.)


crafty wishes

The computer goes in for servicing and my whole routine goes out the window. 
All is right now so I hope to catch up with posts as well. 
Happy Holidays!

* * *
Below: Artists' homemade Christmas cards from Smithsonian.com

Dan Flavin, 1962
Kay Page, 1962 
(this one reveals more tension than intended— the artist committed suicide that January)

Frederick Hammersley, no date


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