reblogging Ben Katchor:
“A Novel and Original Invention, by which 46,656 words or sentences can be represented with six colors, intended as A Medium of Communication between all Nations, and Applicable to any Language; also adapted to sound and night signals, by which communications may be made at all-seasons, without regard to weather.”
“Archaeologists found the marked stone fragment as they sifted through spear points and other material excavated at Blombos cave in South Africa. It has taken seven years of tests to conclude that a human made the lines with an ochre crayon 73,000 years ago.
“The simple red marks adorn a flake the size of two thumbnails which appears to have broken off a grindstone cobble used to turn lumps of ochre into paint powder. The lines end so abruptly at the fragment’s edges that researchers believe the cross-hatches were originally part of a larger design drawn on the cobble.
“This is first known drawing in human history,” said Francesco d’Errico, a researcher on the team at the University of Bordeaux. “What does it mean? I don’t know. What I do know is that what can look very abstract to us could mean something to the people in the traditional society who produced it.”
“The Codex Mendoza is an Aztec codex, created about twenty years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico with the intent that it be seen by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain. It contains a history of the Aztec rulers and their conquests, a list of the tribute paid by the conquered, and a description of daily Aztec life, in traditional Aztec pictograms with Spanish explanations and commentary. It is named after Antonio de Mendoza, then the viceroy of New Spain, who may have commissioned it. After creation in Mexico City, it was sent by ship to Spain. The fleet, however, was attacked by French privateers, and the codex, along with the rest of the booty, was taken to France. There it came into the possession of André Thévet, cosmographer to King Henry II of France. Thévet wrote his name in five places on the codex, twice with the date 1553. It was later bought by the Englishman Richard Hakluyt for 20 French francs. Some time after 1616 it was passed to Samuel Purchase, then to his son, and then to John Selden. The codex was deposited into the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in 1659, 5 years after Selden’s death, where it remained in obscurity until 1831, when it was rediscovered by Viscount Kingsborough and brought to the attention of scholars.”
German painter Jeanne Mammen was born in Berlin in 1890, however she spent her early years living in Paris. Here Mammen’s formative years were immersed in a love of French literature and the arts of the age. The artist’s privileged upbringing enabled her to study painting and drawing at various top academies in Paris, Brussels and Rome. However, with the outbreak of World War I, Mammen’s family had their assets confiscated as they were categorised as a foreign enemy, leading to impoverished conditions for the artist. Mammen, however, also benefited from the experience, as she was able to associate with a variety of people from various backgrounds, an eclectic world once hidden from the limited niceties of her middle class social circle. This, in turn, would have a major influence on her later artwork.
After moving back to Berlin, in 1921 Mammen began a professional career in art, first as…
View original post 392 more words