Tag Archives: People / Icons / Muses

Forbidden and Filthy Love Letters of Yore

Forbidden and Filthy Love Letters of Yore
The Love Letter by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

We don’t mean to put a damper on Valentine’s Day, but the chances of most of us receiving an actual love letter this year are slim to none. These days, text messaging and multiple social media platforms have seen to it that emojis come before real emotions, but today we’d like to pay tribute to hand-written romance as it becomes increasingly rare. With any luck, it might just inspire some of us to put pen to paper. From the forbidden to the filthy, these are best of a lost art…

James Joyce’s “Filthy Letters”

James Joyce, author of the epic novel, Ulysses, was the kind of man who, in 1920s Paris, would get drunk, start fights, and then hide behind Ernest Hemingway … Read the rest

Who’s Afraid of Adolf Wölfli?

Who’s Afraid of Adolf Wölfli?

Some artists leave us tangled legacies– reputations tied up in creative theft, family feuds and unresolved estates. Others, like Adolf Wölfli, leave us a veritable Pandora’s Box for consideration. At a glance, Wölfli’s work oozes the sentiments of Psychedelic art; its kaleidoscopic swirls of colour look fresh off the Haight Ashbury, circa 1967. In truth, they’re the relics of a man orphaned in the 1800s, whose life was bookended by the abuse he both received and committed, and whose days were spent incarcerated at a Swiss mental hospital with schizophrenia.… Read the rest

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America’s Magazines a Century Ago

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America’s Magazines a Century Ago

One of the first things you’ll start to notice about Joe Christian Leyendecker’s work is that his women were never quite as good-looking as his men, who were devastatingly handsome. He gave us the elegance of Gatsby 20 years before F. Scott Fitzgerald had even invented him. Take a moment to observe the dashing man on the stairs, who couldn’t be showing less interest in the girl standing below him in the provocative pink slip dress.… Read the rest

Can We Talk About Dali’s Amazing Sell-Out Era?

Can We Talk About Dali’s Amazing Sell-Out Era?

“Then the Alka Seltzer shoots into the stomach!” are words you might not expect to hear from Salvador Dali from the comfort of your own living room. Yet, for anyone with a television in the 1960s and ’70s, the Surrealist legend also became a staple of the small screen, sharing his abounding, rehearsed excitement for ads about chocolate, and ink wells; airline companies and  cures for indigestion. Naturally, critics and creatives lost it.… Read the rest

The Transgender French Spy History Forgot

The Transgender French Spy History Forgot

The Chevalier d’Eon knew how to turn heads. She was charming to boot, and an unmatched swordfighter; an impeccable spy for the French government, and capable of dazzling the Empress of Russia. Above all, she found the courage to publically affirm her identity as a transgender woman ­— an especially intimidating task in 18th century.

Note:Read the rest

She Taught Amelia Earhart to Fly

She Taught Amelia Earhart to Fly

Without Neta Snook, there may never have been an Amelia Earhart. “The Lone Aviatrix” of Iowa had been shattering the proverbial glass ceiling with her plane long before the Earhart took to the skies, and she did it in a plane she assembled in her parents’ backyard. In other words, Snook was the kind of woman who saw what she wanted, and didn’t just ask for it — she built it with her own two hands.

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The Diva Who Grew Her Own Exotic Kingdom

The Diva Who Grew Her Own Exotic Kingdom

Madame Ganna Walska

“Don’t touch. And don’t eat what you touch unless you want to die” are the first words you’ll hear upon entering Lotusland, the exotic, 37-acre kingdom of plants tucked away in the quiet town of Montecito, California. Its roots run three owners and 135 years deep, but it’s the touch of its final, failed opera singer patroness, Madame Ganna Walska, that makes the legacy behind its pink walls so magical…

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Lunch at the Forgotten Rothschild Party Palace

Lunch at the Forgotten Rothschild Party Palace

© MessyNessyChic

I stood looking up at the gates, hands on my hips, wondering what forgotten chateau I’d stumbled upon this time. We’d taken a detour to avoid the traffic back into Paris and suddenly pulled over into the ditch by the side of the road at my absolute insistence. What I didn’t know then, peeping through the iron bars, was that I was standing at the back entrance of the largest and most luxurious 19th-century château in France.Read the rest