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The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition Has Returned (And We’re Excited)

Summer Exhibition 2015

A preview of the 2015 Summer Exhibition. Source: Telegraph

At the Summer Exhibition, thousands of pieces of art drape the walls, carefully pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. Various rooms house art of all mediums—sculptures, paintings, media and statues—each with a different theme. As a tradition, “restorative” beef stew is served during the hanging, and unlike most exhibitions, people are able to purchase the art that they admire.

Painting Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881

Painted by William Powell Frith, “A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881” depicts a group of high-class Victorians taking a private tour of the 1881 Summer Exhibition. Source: Wikipedia

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Etheldreda Laing’s Autochrome Garden Of Eden

Etheldreda Laing Janet

Janet Laing at around 16 years of age c. 1914. Source: Getty

At the turn of the 20th century, photography was on the cusp of major transformation. The French Lumière brothers introduced the Autochrome process in 1907, and as the below images show, Etheldreda Laing was one of its early masters.

Laing had a strong attraction to photography, and having been enthralled by the hobby since the late 1890s. When Laing and her husband Major Charles Miskin Laing moved to Bury Knowle House in the Oxford district of Headington in 1899, she had a darkroom added to the property so she could develop her own images.

Upon the Lumières’ introduction of the Autochrome color process in 1907, Laing showed an immediate and avid interest. Beginning in 1908 and nearing her 40s, Laing took scores of pictures of her daughters Janet and Iris–primarily in the lush and colorful gardens of their Oxford home. The images may have been taken just after the Victorian age ended, but they elicit all the delicate grace of the era.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXIV

Realistic Masks Homer Simpson

A participant of the traditional dirty pig festival wearing a Homer Simpson mask wallows in a slough near Hergisdorf, Germany, on May 25, 2015. Source: The Atlantic

Arresting Masks From Around The World

Scary Mask Devil Krampus

A man dressed as a devil performs during a Krampus show in the southern Bohemian town of Kaplice on December 13, 2014. Each year people in traditional costumes and masks parade through the streets to perform an old ritual to disperse the ghosts of winter. Source: The Atlantic

Come Halloween, masks are products of commerce and pop culture, used for both horror and humor. But apart from Halloween–and especially in many countries beyond our borders–masks remain rooted in tradition and folkways, used for both celebration and protest. In Burundi, a mask made from a giant leaf protests presidential term limits. In Spain, bull horns and a burlap sack epitomize the revelry of Carnival. In America, Batman leads the charge for wage increases. See the masks–sad, scary, surprising and strange–of China, Bohemia, Slovenia and more at The Atlantic.

Tony Abbott Mask G20

A protester, wearing a mask depicting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and dressed as a surf lifesaver calls for global equality among nations among other protesters outside the venue site of the annual G20 leaders summit in Brisbane, on November 14, 2014. Source: The Atlantic

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