Old news just in.

Little diamonds.

We've reached into history's mist and pulled them out for your perusal.

The Victoria Regia; or the Great Water Lily of America, a gigantic water lily, was first discovered along the Amazon River and taken to Britain for cultivation. This so-called “vegetable wonder” was a spectacular flower. Nineteenth century commentators described with amazement the...

Time travel tourism.

You can still go there.

These Photochrome images of Switzerland are by Photocrome Zurich, made shortly after they invented the process in the 1880s. There were 3 variations of the Photocrome processes at the time; Fotochrom, & Aäc Photocrome & the original, PhotoChrome. The Photocrome process was an old school process for colourizing black-and-white negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lo-fi lithographic printing plates made of stone. The process is a photographic variant of chromolithography (color lithography). Creatively choosing...
Physiognomy is the practice of assessing someone’s character and personality based solely on their appearance, especially the face. In other words judging a book by its cover. In his Gallerie Physionomique of 1836, the prolific caricaturist, Charles-Joseph Traviès de Villers (known as C.J. Traviès), practiced this shamelessly un-PC exercise on the denizens of 1830s Paris in the form of character portraits. Traviès was ruthless, but it’s so evident that he drew these people with love, insight and understanding....

All kinds of blue.

To colour match your decor, add indigo accents or use as the catalyst for a new colour scheme.

Behold. Anonimo.

The unintentionally surreal and strangely engaging art of an anonymous ("anonimo") turn of the century Italian Zoological wallchart maker.

Time travel tourism.

You can still go there.

Whilst these woodcut prints (below) by Watanabe Seitei for the art magazine, Bijutsu Sekai (The World of Art) seem surprisingly simple and contemporary, the artist’s background is complex and ancient. In 1851 when the artist now known as Watanabe Shōtei (AKA Watanabe Seitei) was born he was named Yoshikawa Yoshimata and Tokyo didn’t yet exist. Tokyo was then a city called Edo and samurai still walked its streets. He descended from a family of rice brokers and was apprenticed to...
Irrespective of him being one of the greatest interpreters of the American landscape, England should claim Thomas Moran (1837-1926). He was born there, in Bolton, Lancashire. He came to the states as a child, attended the Hudson River School in New York and as a fledgling artist, shared a New York studio with his older brother, the noted marine artist Edward Moran. A talented illustrator and exquisite colorist, Moran was hired as an illustrator at Scribner’s Monthly who...

Cast your eyes on wonderful things.

"I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.” - the Egyptologist, Howard Carter talking about the moment he first looked inside the Tomb of Tutankhamun.

Irrational Geographic.

Backdated & belatedly curated.

Between 1805 and 1808, the Amsterdam artist Christiaan Andriessen kept a diary; a visual diary with over 700 drawings and watercolors depicting the the goings on in his life, with his friends, family and events in the city. Christiaan came from a family who encouraged his artistic pursuits; his father was the Dutch decorative painter, graphic artist and teacher, Jurriaan Andriessen (1742-1819). Jurriaan was also a meticulous diary keeper and the Rijksmuseum holds 20 years of his diaries. Perhaps...

Art. Leaked from ancient labs.

Seriously awesome art by serious scientists.

People are strange.

When you're a stranger.

Authentic outliers & outsiders.

Putting the "also rans" first.

Abraham Hendriksz van Beijeren or Abraham van Beyeren was born in The Hague somewhere around 1620. He died in March 1690 in Overschie, Rotterdam. During his 70 years he was little known or recognised for his dark, Baroque still lifes. Van Beyeren specialised in an ornate style of still life known as Pronkstilleven, (Dutch for ‘ostentatious’, ‘ornate’ or ‘sumptuous’). This sumptuous style (and it is so very sumptuous) originated in Antwerp in the 1640s from where its ostentatiousness spread over the Dutch […]...

Nudes of the 1800s.

New ephemera. Just in.

Breitner sought social realism in his work. He was one of the first artists to use photos as studies for specific paintings, not just of street scenes but in the studio as well. He integrated this perspective into his studio portraits by making a point of employing working class models. One of these models would become the “girl in the kimono”, immortalised in a series of 13 Japonisme inspired paintings. The “girl in the kimono” was a milliner’s shopgirl named […]...
John Martin painted various apocolypses. Over and over and over. He was an Apocolyptian painter. Perhaps, it was a kind of escapism. It makes a kind of sense; a man born in a claustrophobic one bedroom cottage in Northumberland, England, who grew up to paint vast open expanses. It could be the other way around. He felt safe when closed in, safe from the hell of a threatening world outside. The source of calamity however most likely eminated from blood. […]...
This art form takes time and planning ahead. Way ahead. Simply take your loved ones to a local photo studio, select your favourite image, have it printed out in sepia. Now cut it out ever so carefully. Now paint your choice of background in oils on a wooden board, glue on your photo and hand colour it to blend it right in. Make their cheeks a little bit rosy and perhaps as a final touch consider adding a little lock […]...

Art & life.

Strawberries & cream.

Armchair tourism.

On July 30, 1937, an 81 year old photographer named Reuben R. Sallows was driving a truck, packed with photography apparatus, south on Highway 21 near Kintail in Ontario, Canada. He was on his way to photograph a local summer camp, when one of his tyres blew out. The road’s loose gravel meant that Sallow’s truck flipped. It landed in into a roadside ditch, pinning him into the ground. “Mr. Sallows was conscious when pulled from beneath his old car […]...
Monuments of Persian architecture: historical study and recording of Muslim brick buildings in Asia Minor and Persia by Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre. Sarre was a German Orientalist, archaeologist and art historian who, during amassed an impressive collection of Islamic art during his lifetime. His father was from a Huguenot family, his mother from the Heckmann industrialist family. Sarre studied art history in Leipzig. He travelled for archaeological research thanks to his aunt Elise Wentzel-Heckmann (1833-1914) to Anatolia, Persia and Central Asia, specializing in Islamic art. Together with Ernst Herzfeld (1879-1948) he excavated […]...

Here's to the crazy ones.

The few in the multitudes that stand up and stand out.

Renowned for his “brilliant mountaineering skill on ice and rock, his truly admirable perseverance, his inexhaustible patience in bearing hardships”, Edward Theodore Compton, a.k.a. “E. T.” Compton, (1849 –1921) also painted the mountains...
Invented 140 years ago in 1880s Zurich, Photochrom, a.k.a. Fotochrom, Photochrome or Aäc process, is an old school process for colourizing black-and-white negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates. The process is a photographic variant of chromolithography (color lithography). Creatively choosing colour & then using a mechanical process to apply that colour to a black & white photo rather than doing it by hand. Colouring-in a monotone world. The printer is the Detroit Publishing Co. […]...

Miscellaneous. A pot pourri of pearls purloined from the past.

Random bite-sized chunks of extreme retro-ness plucked from the time's dust and polished for your perusal.

Caspar David Friedrich was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is best known for his mid-period allegorical landscapes which typically feature contemplative...

Remote fragments from the void.

Scattered elements. What stories lie in the gaps between? You fill in the blanks.

Preserved in the National Library of Russia is a 1898 album detailing the history of a school in the province of Zabaykalsky Krai, the country’s Far East. It’s so Far East it’s almost Inner Mongolia. Within the album are a number of photographs describing the buildings, grounds, and workshops of the Emperor Nicholas II Vocational School in Chita.  Heres what we know about Chita and the school in the photos.  Like most of Far Eastern Russia, the tiny town of […]...
If you go to the very outer edge of nowhere, turn right and keep walking you may eventually get to Kamchatka. The indigenous Koryaks, call it “The Land of Fire and Ice”. It’s a 777 mile long peninsular at the farthest end of far eastern Russia, where the land mass reverses direction like a barb. Perhaps the land didn’t want to venure any further east, and who can blame it? Here, arctic winds from Siberia combine with the coldest current […]...

1910s - 1920s Russia. Three artists recorded one disappearing Siberian culture. Their art is all that remains.

The government surveys that capture so much more than they intended.

"Photographers unknown" give us a wonderfully randomised & totally unique scattergun view of the world. Anonymous deserves some belated kudos.

Design.

Obscuriousities.

Plucked quickly from within the fog of time for you to scroll slowly thru'.