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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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Before Techies, There Were Hippies: Haight-Ashbury In 1967

haight ashbury 1967 intersection

The intersection of Haight and Ashbury, San Francisco in 1967. Source: Mashable

As American air raids wreaked havoc on Vietnamese soil in 1967, in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood it was the Summer of Love.

A series of natural and political events would transpire before Haight-Ashbury would become the epicenter of the “Free Love” mentality. It was one of the only areas spared from the fires sparked by the 1906 earthquakes, which meant that the neighborhood retained its charming Victorian architecture, if not its staunch sensibilities. Nevertheless, after the middle class left in the 1950s to relocate to the suburbs, Haight-Ashbury subsequently fell into disrepair.

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“Freedom” In China: 26 Years After The Tiananmen Square Massacre

Tiananmen Square Massacre

Source: Mashable

Twenty six years ago, thousands of Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square and opened fire on unarmed protesters. As many as one million demonstrators–mostly university-age liberals–had gathered there in the weeks prior, seeking both political and economic reforms. While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had silenced previous demonstrations, the violent retaking of the Square was so brutal that it earned the name the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

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Housewives Before WW2: Women On The Cusp Of Transformation

american housewife 1941 plate hanging

Hanging a china plate as decoration while Tony plays. Source: Mashable

We’ve written before on the ways war has inspired countless technical innovations that we take for granted every day, but haven’t focused too much on the ways it has transformed the home and its accompanying gender roles. In this arena, one surprising “accomplishment” of World War II was the way it catalyzed the average American woman’s move from the home and to the marketplace, where she found remunerative work–and where she more often than not stayed.

Just two months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, LIFE Magazine ran a piece by photographer William C. Shrout covering the duties of the typical, middle class American mother and housewife, a figure whose June Cleaver associations are becoming more mythical with each passing decade.

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