English painter, illustrator, designer & Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones was born on this day in 1833. 

See two of his paintings on display in our newly refurbished 19th-century art galleries, as well as the grand wardrobe he painted and then gave to William Morris as a wedding present on his marriage to Jane Burden in 1859.

Above is an 1886 design for stained glass in the Church of St Michael and All Saints, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, and below is an 1858 pen and ink drawing ‘The Knight’s Farewell’.

View more works by Burne-Jones in the collection, and order prints and canvases, at: http://ow.ly/1RUA303b8Ax


By Jean Marie Carey

The 28th of August is the Feast Day of St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), from whom several Roman Catholic and Anglican orders take their name. He died on this day in 430 in Hippo Regius, Numidia, now Annaba, Algeria, and is the patron saint of theologians and brewers. The story of Augustine’s upbringing and conversion is well-known through his autobiographical Confessions (397-400). In that work, Augustine recounts his birth in 354 to his pagan father Patricius, and Catholic mother Monica – later St. Monica – in the city of Tagaste, Numidia, now Souk Ahras, Algeria.

Augustine traveled to Carthage as a teenager, and even after his father’s conversion to Catholicsim in 371, followed his own religious explorations as a Manichean and later a Platonist. Augustine became a professor of the liberal arts and befriended his contemporary, St. Jerome. The restless intellectual eventually was baptized by St. Ambrose on Easter in 387.

Augustine’s body was removed from its original resting place to Cagliari, Sardinia, and then to Pavia. His body arrived in Pavia around 720. In 1327, Pope John XXII issued a bull appointing the Augustinians guardians of the tomb. Bonifacio Bottigella, the Bishop of Lodi, commissioned the monumental tomb to house Augustine’s relics. It is decorated with 95 statues and 50 bas-reliefs; the decoration illustrates theological, cardinal, and monastic virtues, as well as scenes from the life of the saint.

Reference: Mary R. Reichardt. “St. Augustine.” Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.

Tomb of Saint Augustine, c. 1350. San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, Pavia. Photo: Scala Archives.

Jacopo Tintoretto. The Miracle of Saint Augustine, 1549. Museo Civico di Vicenza, Vicenza. Image: Scala Archives.

Masolino da Panicale and assistants, c. 1428-1430, San Clemente, Rome, Italy. Chapel of St. Catherine; view showing the vault with the four evangelists and four doctors of the church (Gregory, Jerome, Augustine, and Ambrose). Photo: Scala Archives.

Francesco Botticini. Saint Monica Creates the Order of the Augustinian Nuns, 1471. Detail of predella showing St. Monica praying for the conversion of Augustine (left) and Augustine leaving for Rome (right). Bini Chapel, Santo Spirito, Florence, Italy. Photo: Scala Archives.

Ary Scheffer. Saint Augustine and His Mother Saint Monica, 1855. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France. RF 241140-12-14/42.

Further Reading: Bernard Bangley. Butler’s Lives of the Saints: Concise, Modernized Edition. Brewster, Mass: Paraclete Press, 2005.

Margaret A. Tabor. The Saints in Art: With Their Attributes and Symbols Alphabetically Arranged. (Kindle Edition). Amazon Digital Services: Seattle, 2016.  

Rosa Giorgi. Saints in Art. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.

Glamorous actress Hedy Lamarr was not just another pretty face - she was also a trailblazing inventor. Fascinated by science and eager to find a way to help the Allies during World War II, she devised a way to make radio signals “jump” between frequencies – a technique known as “frequency-hopping” – in order to prevent the signals from being jammed. With her partner, George Antheil, they received a patent for this technology on this day in 1942. Today, variants of Hedy Lamarr’s breakthrough invention are used in communication technologies like Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi. She is pictured here in 1938. (Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) #LIFElegends #OTD #TBT

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The Beatles at Shea Stadium, August 15, 1965

Now, ladies and gentlemen, honored by their country, decorated by their Queen, loved here in America, here are The Beatles!

“What I remember most about the concert was that we were so far away from the audience. … And screaming had become the thing to do. … Everybody screamed. If you look at the footage, you can see how we reacted to the place. It was very big and very strange.” - Ringo Starr

“It would have been better still if we could have heard what we were playing. I wasn’t sure what key I was in in two numbers. It was ridiculous!” - John Lennon

“Now it’s quite commonplace for people to play Shea Stadium or Giants Stadium and all those big places, but this was the first time… Once you go on stage and you know you’ve filled a place that size, it’s magic; just walls of people.” - Paul McCartney

“Over 55,000 people saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium. We took $304,000 - the greatest gross ever in the history of show business!” - Sid Bernstein

Happy Birthday to George Bellows, born on this day in 1882.  

George Bellows painted portraits, seascapes, and scenes of urban life. Among his most celebrated works are six paintings from 1907 to 1908 that depict prizefighting as the sport then existed in New York: a backroom activity relegated to private clubs. By 1924, when Bellows painted “Ringside Seats,” boxing had become a public, if still brutal, contest. This painting presents the sporting arena as a scene of complex psychological and physical action.

“That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.” Dorothy Parker
Author, satirist, and all around word wizard Dorothy Parker was born #onthisday in 1893. Parker was a member of “The Vicious Circle” or the Algonquin Round Table, a group of thirty writers, editors, actors, and publicists that met on a regular basis at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. The group began lunching together in June 1919 and continued for about eight years. They contributed to hit Broadway plays, bestselling books, and popular newspaper columns. Beyond being formidable artists, the group was also very much into games, including a game in which a word was supplied and the player had to create a sentence using it. This is allegedly the birth of Parker’s famous “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think” line. Other notable members of the round table include: George and Beatrice Kaufman, two time Pulitzer prize winner Margaret Leech Pulitzer, Herman Mankiewicz, Harpo Marx, Robert E. Sherwood, and Alexander Woollcott.
Photograph Information:
Byron Company (New York, N.Y.)
Hotel Algonquin.
DATE:ca. 1907


By Jean Marie Carey

Architect Luigi Cagnola died 14 August 1833 in Como. Born in Milan in 1762, Cagnola was a prodigy who attended Collegio Pio Clementino in Rome as a teenager and earned a law degree from the University of Padua by the time he was 20 years old. Cagnola had a particular interest in the restoration of historic buildings, carefully conforming his repairs to the style of the original architecture.

Milan’s first Arco della Pace (1806) near Porta Orientale was temporary, erected by Cagnola to celebrate the marriage of the Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais to Amalia of Bavaria. It was so admired that it was rebuilt in marble on the Strada del Sempione in 1807. Several of Cagnola’s most successful works were produced in the last 20 years of his life, including the Campanile at Urgnano and his own villa at Inverigo, near Como.

Reference: Gianni Mezzanotte. “Cagnola, Luigi.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T012996>.

Arco della Pace, Milan, 1807. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Sant'Ambrogio Basilica, Milan. Originating in the15th century, the basilica was restored in 1812 by Cagnola. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Porta Ticinese, Milan, dating from the 12th Century; restored by Cagnola c. 1810. Photo from Lombardia Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Neoclassical temple at Giardini della Guastalla, Milan. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Benedetto Cacciatori, Monument to Luigi Cagnola, Palace of Brera, Milan.  Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Campanile at Urgnano, c. 1825. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Further Reading: Michela Rossi, Sylvie Duvernoy, and Giampiero Mele. Milano. Maths in the City: A Mathematical Tour of Milanese Architecture. Rimini: Maggioli, 2012. 

Jack Basehart and Ralph Toledano. Italian Splendor: Castles, Palaces, and Villas. New York: Rizzoli, 1990 (Reissued 2015).

Happy Birthday to our founding donor, Joseph H. Hirshhorn was born on this day in 1899!

Hirshhorn was well-known as a collector of nineteenth and twentieth-century sculpture. He acquired major works by pioneers such as Auguste Rodin and Constantin Brancusi, as well as innovative contemporaries, including Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, and Alberto Giacometti. 

Explore more of his collection in this timeline: http://hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/hirshhorn-timeline/