The 27th of April is Moehanga Day in the United Kingdom
On 27 April 1806 Great Britain was discovered by Moehanga Ngāpuhi. Of course, various indigenous, white-skinned tribes already inhabited the British Isles for thousands of years, but Moehanga was the first Māori to discover Britain. The British natives were in awe of Moehanga’s tattoos and they insisted he meet their chieftain King George III.
When Moehanga arrived on the island he saw families living in primitive, damp and unsanitary conditions and a brutal society that punished almost any act of disobedience—from theft to living with Gypsies—with death. The Britons were a warlike people, renowned and feared for their prowess at fighting other European tribes and even raiding and conquering lands and taking slaves on distant continents.
Today Britain is a thriving multi-cultural nation, producing a range of quality exports whilst preserving its rich heritage and traditions.
On this day in 2001, Carrizo Plain (CA), Sonoran Desert (AZ), Pompeys Pillar (MT), Upper Missouri River Breaks (MT) and Kasha-Katuwe (NM) National Monuments were designated by Presidential Proclamation.
Pictured here, the #milkyway over North Maricopa Wilderness in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.
421 years ago on this day (18.03), Warsaw became the capital of Poland. King Zgymunt III Waza moved the capital from Kraków to Warsaw. 44 years after moving the capital, a column commemorating him was erected in Warsaw’s Royal Castle Square.
Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance period, was born on this day in 1475. Above is his incredible red chalk drawing of an Ideal Head c. 1516, and below a set of studies for the Sistine Ceiling and the Tomb of Pope Julius II c.1511–1513.
Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) was born on this day in 1545. The Bodleian is the main research library of the University of Oxford. One of the oldest libraries in Europe, it first opened to scholars in 1602.
Science fiction writer Octavia Butler died 10 years ago today at the
age of 58 and left her papers to The Huntington. We’re celebrating her
today by sharing a variety of items from her collection throughout the
Pictured here are some of Butler’s handwritten notes on writing and what it means to be a writer.
English Romanticist landscape painter JMW Turner is thought to have been born on this day in 1775.
His painting of The High Street, Oxford (1810) was acquired in 2015 with your incredible help. Local people and museum visitors sent in over £60,000, helping the Museum reach its fundraising target in just four weeks.
The High Street, Oxford is Turner’s only full size townscape in oils. Unique in Turner’s output, and in the history of English art, it represents one of the most beautiful streets in Europe, a street which has materially changed little since Turner painted it. Although Turner painted many townscapes in watercolour, Turner never again attempted such a picture in oils.
Acknowledged as one of the greatest landscape artists of all time, Turner painted over thirty finished watercolours of Oxford views, by far the most numerous group devoted to a single place in his entire output. He was familiar with the architecture of the city, having visited relations in the village of Sunningwell (five miles southwest of Oxford) during his childhood. In 1799, he received his most prestigious commission to date, to provide two designs for the University’s annual calendar, the Oxford Almanack. The success of these two watercolours led to commissions for a further eight, published between 1799 and 1810. They show a deliberately wide variety of street scenes, colleges and interiors.
It was, no doubt, the quality of these pictures that led Oxford printseller, James Wyatt, to commission the view of the High Street.
Below is a photograph showing the High Street as it is today.