Machine Embroidered Jacket, ca. 1890s

Owned by Jessie Mason Webb

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Andy Freeberg


In the art museums of Russia, women sit in the galleries and guard the collections. When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over. In conversation they told me how much they like being among Russia’s great art. A woman in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery Museum said she often returns there on her day off to sit in front of a painting that reminds her of her childhood home. Another guard travels three hours each day to work, since at home she would just sit on her porch and complain about her illnesses, “as old women do.” She would rather be at the museum enjoying the people watching, surrounded by the history of her country.

1. Stroganov Palace, Russian State Museum

2.Matisse Still Life, Hermitage Museum

3.Konchalovsky’s Family Portrait, State Tretyakov Gallery

4. Veronese’s Adoration of the Shepherds, Hermitage Museum

5. Rublev and Daniil’s The Deesis Tier, State Tretyakov Gallery

6. Michelangelo’s Moses and the Dying Slave, Pushkin Museum

7.Malevich’s Self Portrait, Russian State Museum

8. Nesterov’s Blessed St Sergius of Radonezh, Russian State Museum

9. Petrov-Vodkin’s Bathing of a Red Horse, State Tretyakov Gallery

10. Kugach’s Before the Dance, State Tretyakov Gallery

I’m so sorry

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Photography by: Gladys Ng

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Scientists have developed a material so dark, you can’t even see it — Here’s how it will be used

British company Surrey NanoSystems has developed Vantablack, a material that absorbs all but 0.035% of visual light. It is so dark that the human eye is incapable of seeing it accurately, making contours and folds in the material imperceptible. According to the firm’s CTO Ben Jensen, “You expect to see the hills and all you can see … it’s like black, like a hole, like there’s nothing there. It just looks so strange.”

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Germany in ruins, 1945.

Dazu brauchte Hitler 12 Jahre zeit. "For this Hitler needed 12 years"

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Marlene Dietrich  kissing an American soldier as he arrives home from World War II in New York, 1945.


"I’m now playing a part as Sherlock Holmes where I’m wearing almost exactly what I wore at Eton, the tucked-under tie, the black frock coat, I’m almost dressed the same. It’s very strange, extraordinary." – Jeremy Brett (Danny Danziger, The Independent, 1992)

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Teens, 1966

Three teenagers hitchhiking on the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, California.


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Russian courtiers dressed in traditional and historical Russian costume for the Romanov Anniversary Ball in 1903



Luo Changwei - Da Qin Island (2012)

"Da Qin Island was first set up by Chinese officials in 1924 as a colony to separate leprosy patients from the general population, but in 2011, the last 40 patients were transferred back to rehabilitation facilities in mainland China.

Before the move, Changwei traveled to the isolated island for several months to document the patients and their way of life.

The images reveal a marginalized group still coping with life on the outside. Da Qin Island was, and perhaps still is, a place frozen in time and hidden from most of the world, yet Changwei’s narrative also includes the beauty of the locale, albeit one whose wondrous beaches act more as a barrier than a place to bask in the sun.”

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by Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916)

I really love the atmosphere in these paintings.

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