/tag-search

Tag Results for "Europe" See All Tags

1-185 of 185 Results:  
Cinderella

2700 F St.: Cinderella: San Francisco Ballet Working Rehearsal
Okay, you know the story…it’s the well-loved fairy tale about an unlikely princess. Sounds familiar, right?
Ballet, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Folklore, Europe

WNO The Marriage of Figaro - Amanda Majeski as The Countess - photo by Todd Rosenberg

2700 F St.: Washington National Opera's The Marriage of Figaro
This is a story about one happy couple that just wants to get married and one unhappy couple that’s already married… and not doing so well.
Opera, Composers, Music, Music Legends, Europe

Washington National Opera: Daughter of the Regiment

2700 F St.: Washington National Opera: Daughter of the Regiment
Young and beautiful Marie was found as a baby near a French regiment camp. And today she lives her life as the regiment’s resident mascot, singing songs and boosting morale wherever she goes.
Opera, Europe, Comedy

WNO Opera Look-in: The Marriage of Figaro

Cuesheet: WNO Look-In: The Marriage of Figaro
Theater, music, and dance come together in this introduction to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, one of the world’s most popular operas.
Opera, Backstage, Europe

Somewhere in Quixote

Cuesheet: Somewhere in Quixote
No matter how familiar you are with the story of Don Quixote, prepare to experience it in a whole new way with this Spanish theater company.
Europe, Theater, Folklore

NSO & Leticia Moreno

Cuesheet: Christoph Eschenbach and Violinist Leticia Moreno
Spanish violinist Leticia Moreno joins the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) to explore classical works inspired by Leticia Moreno’s native Spain.
Music, Europe

Arakaendar Choir & Orchestra

Cuesheet: Arakaendar Choir & Orchestra
Meet this young Bolivian choir and orchestra, founded upon the rich history of Baroque musical manuscripts found in the missions of Bolivia.
Music, Europe

Arch8 Dance Company: TETRIS Plus

Cuesheet: Arch8 from the Netherlands: TETRISplus
Balance. Communication. Cooperation. This is what dance is all about, and no one shows it off quite like the Arch8 company from the Netherlands.
Dance, Geometry, Europe, Physical Activity

The Voice of Anne Frank

Cuesheet: The Voice of Anne Frank
Told through dance, music, spoken text, sound effects, and lighting, The Voice of Anne Frank presents a unique view of Anne as a bright and vivacious thirteen-year-old.
Music, Poetry, Theater, Europe, Controversial

The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker

Cuesheet: The Joffrey Ballet: The Nutcracker Working Rehearsal
The Joffrey Ballet brings the magic of the holiday season to life with heroic toy soldiers, sword-fighting mice, and a glittering journey to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Ballet, Choreographers, Composers, Dance, Dance Legends, Backstage, Europe

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Cuesheet: All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
The a cappella voices of Cantus and actors from Theater Latté Da recall the remarkable World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers on Christmas, 1914. All is Calm brings this extraordinary tale to life with words and songs from the soldiers who laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas.
History, Playwrights & Plays, Theater, Europe

Fort McHenry, Baltimore

The Story Behind The Song: The Star-Spangled Banner
In this story, find out how a captured poet penned the song that became the country’s national anthem
History, Europe, Geography, Military, Music, America

Spirit of '76

The Story Behind The Song: Yankee Doodle
“Yankee Doodle” may be a popular kids’ tune today, but it got its start as a song of war.
America, History, Europe, Music, Military

La Traviata

Article: Boy Meets Girl, Girl Meets Tragic End
You haven't experienced stage romance until you've experienced opera. Here's a look at opera in love
Opera, Tragedy, Europe, Music, Theater

Little Dancer

Article: On Stage: Little Dancer
This feature includes background about the musical Little Dancer as well as an interpretive piece for younger audience members about the play’s more sensitive themes
Theater, Ballet, Backstage, Controversial, Dance, Europe, Young Artists

Russia

Collection: Russia
Sputnik and space travel, a soviet-born ballet dancer and choreographer of incredible talent, and a dance called the troika – learn about all this and more in this journey through Russia’s art and history
Asia, Ballet, Europe, Dance, Choreographers

Language Arts

Collection: Language Arts Resources
How do fables and myths explain the unknown and preserve cultures? What makes a good story? How do plays comment on societal issues? Grab a pencil and prepare to create original poems, experience the Civil War through letters, and parse symbolism and metaphor in this exploration of language arts.
America, Europe, Folklore, Language, Literature, Native America, Playwrights & Plays, Poetry

History and Geography

Collection: History and Geography
Travel the historic silk road, explore European castles, and discover the long-lasting influence of ancient cultures on modern society in this journey through the past and around the globe
America, Europe, Folklore, Geography, History, Greece, Military

Drum hands

Collection: World Music Resources
Explore the rich tapestry created by musicians around the world -- from the music of the Arab World and Ancient Greece, to the diverse cultural sounds of China, to the songs that helped spur the Mexican Revolution.
Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Folklore, Greece, India, Japan, Music, Native America, World Cultures, Latin America

Violin hands

Collection: Classical Music Resources
Booming orchestras, teeming concert halls, obsessive composers, and prodigal musicians – classical music is anything but boring. Learn how Beethoven continued to pen symphonies while going deaf, discover the science behind the instrument and the math behind the music, and explore the ways in which music and emotion go hand-in-hand.
Composers, Europe, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings!

Collection: Opera Resources
Get out your opera glasses and prepare to take a look at the history and evolution of an art form over four hundred years old. Learn how singers train and condition their voices, become familiar with some of the stage’s most tragic love affairs, and discover how theatre and music combined can tell epic stories in unforgettable ways.
Choreographers, Composers, Europe, Musicals, Orchestra, Opera, Tragedy, Theater

Multicultural Crayons

Collection: World Cultures Resources
From the weather patterns of the Kapiti plain to the history of the Mexican corrido, travel across the globe to explore world cultures and the art they produce
Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Folklore, Geography, Greece, History, India, Japan, Language, Native America, World Cultures

Cultural Dancers

Take Five: Cultural Connections
Enliven and enrich your cultural heritage month observances through the arts
Music, Dance, Theater, Poetry, Literature, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Native America, World Cultures, India

Still-Life with Bouquet of Flowers and Plums by Rachel Ruysch

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Medieval and Renaissance Art: Botanical Symbolism
For the medieval and the renaissance artists, flowers were part of a rich visual symbolism
Europe, Visual Arts, Nature, Plants

Children from the Janabi Village

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Children of War
This lesson explores the realities and effects of war on children by examining diaries, journals, and letters written by children during times of war
History, Literature, Language, Europe

Bodiam Castle

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Castles & Cornerstones
This lesson will explore the historic importance and function of castles in King Arthur's time and introduce students to a general history of castles and architectural terms
Architecture, Europe, History

King Arthur

Grades 6-8 Lesson: King Arthur: Man or Legend
In this lesson, students will learn about the legend of King Arthur as depicted in stories, poems, and artwork
Europe, Literature, Folklore

Ballet Dancers

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Language of Ballet
This lesson introduces students to the French vocabulary of ballet. They will learn basic ballet vocabulary through both verbal and technological instruction.
Ballet, Europe, Language

Fencers

Grades 6-8 Lesson: Fancy Fencing
Stage-fighting, and especially sword-fighting, is important to the plot of many Shakespearean plays. In theatre, fights are based on precise choreography.
Choreographers, Europe, Playwrights & Plays, Shakespeare, Stunts & Special Effects

Acropolis, Parthenon East Side, Athens, Greece from the Carpenter Collection, ca. 1890-1930

Grades 9-12 Lesson: Unearthing Ancient Greece
Students will discover that what we know of ancient Greece has come to us mainly through the analysis of artifacts recovered in archeological digs
Architecture, Europe, Greece, History, World Cultures

Russian Folk Dancers

Grade 5 Lesson: Discovering Russian Folk Dance
Students will learn the Russian folk dance "Troika." Then, they will work in groups of three (the traditional grouping used in the "Troika") to research Russian culture and history.
Europe, Dance, Folklore

Irish Dancers

Grades 3-4 Lesson: You’re Invited to a Ceili: Exploring Irish Dance
Listen to Irish music, learn about ceilis, which are festive dance celebrations, view the intricate costumes worn by Irish dancers, and listen to an Irish poem.
Dance, Europe, World Cultures, Music, Fashion, Poetry

Miriam Lambert

Video: Miriam Lambert: Goldilocks & the Three Bears
Irish puppeteer Miriam Lambert makes the storybook Goldilocks and the Three Bears come alive.
Music, World Cultures, Europe, Folklore

Balkan Quartet

Video: Balkan Quartet
Specializing in Gypsy music, these versatile musicians from the heart of the Balkans perform music from the region
Music, World Cultures, Europe, Musical Instruments, Orchestra

Alan Stanford

Video: Alan Stanford: The Power of Theater
Alan Stanford & the Cast of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot talk about experiencing the magic of theater by coming to the theater with an “open heart.”
Theater, Backstage, Controversial, Europe, Playwrights & Plays

Modern Dancers

Video: Hip-Hop Meets Modern: Dance is not Dance
What happens when Turkish hip-hop dancers travel to the United States on a modern dance exchange program? Hip-hop dancers discover the transition to modern dance is not an easy one, since the two forms are based on very different styles.
Dance, Hip-Hop, World Cultures, Europe, Young Artists, Physical Activity

War Horse

Multimedia Series: War Horse: Creating the Play
How do you bring a horse to life on stage? Find out with the video and image clips that give you a glimpse of the amazing puppetry that makes audiences forget Joey the horse isn’t a real animal.
Animals, Backstage, Broadway, History, Europe, Puppets

Video Series: In Performance: Babar the Elephant
Malta’s St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity presents the interactive musical tale, The Story of Babar the Elephant.
Europe, Folklore, Literature, Animals

A World of Music

Audio Series: A World of Music
We’re off on a Musical Tour of Europe! The invention of the orchestra hundreds of years ago meant bigger musical possibilities, and composers all across Europe were inspired to try their hand at pushing classical music to new limits
Composers, Controversial, Europe, Folklore, Geography, History, Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven: Listening to Symphony No. 9
Part 4 of the Beethoven Rocks series: Ode to Joy
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Composers, Music Legends, Europe

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven: Listening to Symphony No. 6
Part 3 of the Beethoven Rocks series: The Pastoral
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Composers, Music Legends, Europe, Nature

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven Rocks!
Part 1 of the Beethoven Rocks series: Get to know Classical music's biggest star
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Composers, Music Legends, Europe

Audio Slideshow: Beethoven: Listening to Symphony No. 5
Part 2 of the Beethoven Rocks series: The Riff Heard ‘Round the World
Musical Instruments, Music, Orchestra, History, Europe, Composers, Music Legends

JFK in Berlin

Audio: Cultural Diplomacy
Even while the United States was entering the Cold War with the Soviet Union in 1961, the Kennedy administration strengthened their commitment to cultural diplomacy. This audio story highlights some of the important ways President Kennedy used the arts to help improve the image of the United States around the world.
Presidents, Music, Military, History, America, Europe

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Casting Call
You’re starring in a movie as a French chef. Get into character by describing what’s in your refrigerator. Remember your accent!
Movies & Movie Stars, Theater, World Cultures, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Michelangelo
"A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Michelangelo
"Genius is eternal patience."
Europe, Visual Arts, Education

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Michelangelo
"A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Joan Miro
"I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Claude Monet
"My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece."
Europe, Visual Arts, Nature, Plants

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Henri Matisse
"Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Rene-Francois-Ghislain Magritte
"Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Henri Matisse
"The portrait is one of the most curious art forms. It demands special qualities in the artist, almost total kinship with the model."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Henri Matisse
"Creativity takes courage."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Henri Matisse
"All my efforts go into creating an art that can be understood by everyone."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Friedrich Nietzsche
"Folk music is the original melody of man; it is the musical mirror of the world."
Europe, Literature, Music

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Friedrich Nietzsche
"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once."
Europe, Literature, Dance

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Claes Oldenburg
"Art is a technique of communication. The image is the most complete technique of all communication."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Anna Pavlova
"Master technique and then forget about it and be natural."
Ballet, Europe, Dance, Dance Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Friedrich Nietzsche
"An artist chooses his subjects... that is the way he praises."
Europe, Controversial, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Edvard Munch
"I don't believe in an art that is not born out of man's need to open his heart."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Victor Hugo
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent."
Europe, Literature, Music

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Eugene Ionesco
"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind."
Europe, Innovators & Pioneers, Playwrights & Plays

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Carl Gustav Jung
"All art intuitively apprehends coming changes in the collective unconsciousness."
Europe, Controversial, Innovators & Pioneers

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Hans Hofmann
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
Europe, Education, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Karl Kraus
"Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis."
Europe, Literature, Science

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Klee
"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Vasily Kandinsky
"There is no must in art because art is free."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Klee
"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Martin Kippinberger
"Entertainment and art are not isolated. Entertainment is in art like color in pictures."
Europe, Innovators & Pioneers, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Diana Vreeland
"All creations demand greenery of spirit."
Europe, Fashion, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: William Shakespeare
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
Europe, Literature, Poetry, Playwrights & Plays

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Oscar Wilde
"The stage is not merely the meeting place of all the arts, but is also the return of art to life."
Europe, Controversial, Literature, Comedy, Playwrights & Plays, Theater

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Oscar Wilde
"Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory."
Europe, Controversial, Literature, Comedy, Playwrights & Plays, Music

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Émile Zola
"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Dame Rebecca West
"Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Simone Weil
"Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Oscar Wilde
"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did he would cease to be an artist."
Europe, Controversial, Literature, Comedy, Playwrights & Plays

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Oscar Wilde
"The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it immensely. All art is useless."
Europe, Controversial, Literature, Comedy, Playwrights & Plays

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Mary Wigman
"Strong and convincing art has never risen from theories."
Europe, Choreographers, Dance, Dance Legends, Innovators & Pioneers

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Marcel Proust
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Rembrandt
"Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird?"
Europe, Visual Arts, Nature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
Europe, Visual Arts, Young Artists

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"Nature does many things the way I do, but she hides them!"
Europe, Visual Arts, Nature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Pablo Picasso
"For a long time I limited myself to one color... as a form of discipline."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Santayana
"Music contains a whole gamut of experience, from sensuous elements to ultimate intellectual harmonies."
Europe, Literature, Poetry

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Sand
"Simplicity is the essence of the great, the true, and the beautiful in art."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Robert Schumann
"To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist."
Europe, Composers, Music, Music Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: William Shakespeare
"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt."
Europe, Literature, Poetry, Playwrights & Plays

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Albert Schweitzer
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
Europe, Literature, Music, Animals

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Joshua Reynolds
"A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Norman Rosenthal
"Collecting art is like a drug. It is both intensely pleasurable and highly addictive."
Europe, Art Venues

arts quote

Arts Quotes: George Sand
"Art is not a study of positive reality, it is the seeking for ideal truth."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: John Ruskin
"When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Hans Hofmann
"A work of art is a world in itself, reflecting senses and emotions of the artist’s world."
Europe, Education, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Hans Bos
"When I dance, I cannot judge, I cannot hate, I cannot separate myself from life."
Europe, Literature, Dance

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Constantin Brancusi
"Architecture is inhabited sculpture."
Visual Arts, Architecture, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Vicki Baum
"There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them."
Europe, Dance, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Vicki Baum
"Patience is an integral part of talent."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Hans Christian Andersen
"Where words fail, music speaks."
Europe, Literature, Music

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Frederic Chopin
"Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, except, possibly, two."
Musical Instruments, Music, Music Legends, Composers, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Erik Bruhn
"Dance every performance as if it were your last.'
Dance Legends, Dance, Ballet, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Cézanne
"Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one's sensations."
Nature, Visual Arts, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Jean Arp
"Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb."
Visual Arts, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Bela Bartok
"A nation creates music - the composer only arranges it."
Composers, Music Legends, Music, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Charles Baudelaire
"Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals."
Dance, Europe, Literature, Poetry

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Marcus Aurelius
"Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself."
History, Europe

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Vincent Van Gogh
"Color in a picture is like enthusiasm in life."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love."
Europe, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes."
Europe, Literature, Education

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Vincent Van Gogh
"The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Anatole France
"To know is nothing at all; to imagine is everything."
Europe, Poetry, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Gauguin
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
Europe, Visual Arts, Controversial

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Gauguin
"The flat sound of my wooden clogs on the cobblestones, deep, hollow and powerful, is the note I seek in my painting."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Gauguin
"I shut my eyes in order to see."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Paul Hindemith
"People who make music together cannot be enemies, at least while the music lasts."
Europe, Composers, Musical Instruments, Music, Music Legends

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Hans Hofmann
"The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color."
Europe, Education, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Günter Grass
"Art is so wonderfully irrational, exuberantly pointless, but necessary all the same."
Europe, Literature, Poetry

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Leonardo Da Vinci
"The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color of that which illuminates it. "
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Jacques-Louis David
"To give body and perfect form to your thought, this alone is what it is to be an artist."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Salvador Dali
"Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Edgar Degas
"Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Edgar Degas
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Salvador Dali
"You have to systematically create confusion, it sets creativity free."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Salvador Dali
"When I paint, the sea roars. The others splash about in the bath."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Salvador Dali
"People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Salvador Dali
"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
Europe, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: John Dryden
"Dancing is the poetry of the foot."
Europe, Literature, Dance

Painting by Johannes Vermeer

Arts Days: October 31, 1632: Johannes Vermeer
Thank goodness for recordkeeping. Much of what we know of the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer stems from official documents used to note births, deaths, marriages, and other life milestones. Artistically speaking, however, we learn much about the times in which Vermeer lived by examining his paintings.

Renowned for interior scenes of 17th century life in Holland, Vermeer’s principal subjects were usually women engaged in ordinary activities like pouring milk, reading a letter, or sewing. Captured through soft light, generally provided by an open, left window, Vermeer’s hallmarks were simple forms, muted colors, and restrained brushwork. Vermeer’s work is viewed today as one of the high points of the Golden Age of Dutch Painting.
Europe, Visual Arts

Christian Dior

Arts Days: October 08, 1946: Dior Opens His Doors
Before and during his years of service in the French military, Christian Dior—the man who helped revolutionize women’s fashions—was drawn to sketching hats and clothes. He worked for a couple of French design firms before opening his own shop, backed financially by a textile manufacturer named Marcel Boussac. Dior’s feminine designs—dubbed “The New Look” by one observer—captivated everybody who followed fashion trends.

In Paris and New York, editors of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue began to dress their models in his curvaceous creations. Dior’s dresses made women’s waists appear tiny in contrast to the voluminous skirt beneath. Quite often, the designer used hip padding, corsets, and other technical means to exaggerate and celebrate female curves. Decades later, Dior remains a big name in the fashion industry.
Fashion, Innovators & Pioneers, Europe

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns

Arts Days: October 09, 1835: A Prolific Talent
Composer and organist, conductor and pianist, Saint- Saëns composed numerous works including Carnival of the Animals and Danse macabre. Among his contemporaries, the music he composed and performed was typically regarded as technically flawless.

He was famous for sitting stock-still at his keyboard during performances and playing every note perfectly. That calm demeanor earned him some criticism for his apparent lack of feeling. But to collectively consider the hundreds of pieces of music he composed in his lifetime, Saint- Saëns’ music shows much emotion and beauty.
Composers, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra, Europe

Giuseppe Verdi

Arts Days: October 10, 1813: Viva Verdi
Don't think you know any opera? Bet you do. Several pieces by Giuseppe Verdi have taken such deep root in worldwide arts culture that you've probably heard them—and could even hum them with a little effort. “La donna e mobile,” written by this Italian Romantic composer, is one such recognizable piece from his opera Rigoletto, based on a play by Victor Hugo.

Verdi broke some standard “rules” of opera; for example, his Macbeth was the first Italian opera that did not include a love story, and is considered a truly original piece for that reason. Verdi’s incredible range of operatic works can be heard in La Traviata, Aida, Il Trovatore, and Falstaff. Think opera. Think Verdi.
Composers, Opera, Europe, Music, Music Legends

Cannes Film Festival

Arts Days: September 20, 1946: Stars, Paparazzi, and Cinéma
For 12 days in May, this annual event, set in the luxurious seaside resort of Cannes, France, is a showcase for new movies. While it’s an opportunity to watch films and spot celebrities, the festival began for political reasons. In 1939, Jean Renoir's film The Grand Illusion was passed over at the Venice Film Festival; top honors went to films made by Germany's Ministry of Propaganda and by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's son.

French, British, and American filmmakers withdrew from the competition to protest what they considered an overtly political decision, and the French government agreed to underwrite the cost of a rival film festival that would be free of political bias. At Cannes, films have always been judged on their artistic merits alone.
Art Venues, Europe, Fashion, Movies & Movie Stars, Popular Culture

Fiddler on the Roof

Arts Days: September 22, 1964: Mazel Tov! It’s a Hit!
It was just a simple story of a Russian Jew with five daughters, based on a book by Joseph Stein. But thanks to Jerry Bock’s music, Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics, and Zero Mostel’s unforgettable turn as Tevye the milkman, Fiddler on the Roof became one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals. Tevye tries hard to preserve the traditions of his childhood, but as his daughters grow up, fall in love, and leave the family’s village, he struggles to accept change.

In songs like “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” Tevye’s family’s life is recounted with both hilarity and poignancy. Fiddler would go on to be the first musical to break the 3,000-performance mark on Broadway.
Broadway, Musicals, Europe, Folklore, History, Theater, World Cultures

Moon face looking out of a telescope

Arts Days: September 01, 1902: Sci-Fi’s First Flight
This French silent film, which features a now-iconic image of a smiley-face moon with a spaceship poking it in the eye, is widely considered to be the first science-fiction movie. Lasting only 14 minutes, the movie tells a story of astronomers who travel to the moon and fight with bug-like aliens.

Along the way, they get a close-up view of the Big Dipper constellation (with human faces peering out of each star) and a moon goddess sitting on a crescent moon-shaped swing. Le Voyage dans la Lune, its title in French, was directed by Georges Méliès. A true film pioneer, he experimented with special effects, double exposures, fades, and dissolves. His work was incredibly innovative for the times.
Innovators & Pioneers, Movies & Movie Stars, Europe, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Cave Painting of a Horse

Arts Days: September 12, 1940: The Writing on the Wall
Estimated to be about 16,000 years old, the paintings in a network of caves found by four teenage boys are rare examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic era. Here in a region called Lascaux, hundreds of painted animals are visible on the caves’ walls, ranging from bison to stags to horses.

There are also geometric figures and patterns of dots that some say correlate with constellations. Some of the paintings show a sophisticated grasp of concepts like perspective and depth, too. Art historians say that the paintings indicate some of our oldest ancestors’ ability to express themselves in art.
Folklore, Geography, History, Europe, Visual Arts, World Cultures

Giacomo Puccini

Arts Days: December 22, 1858: For the Love of Opera
Are you surprised to learn that Giacomo Puccini was the latest in a long line of musicians in his family? For a while, he served as a church organist and choirmaster, but then he happened to enjoy a night at the opera: Verdi’s opera, Aida. Puccini was so inspired by what he heard and saw that he decided he, too, would compose operas.

He went on to create some of the world’s best-known ones, from La Boheme to Turandot. Over the next decade or so, Puccini composed what were arguably his three most successful operas in a row—Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and La Boheme. Influenced by composers from Verdi to Richard Wagner, Puccini’s operas contain scores of passionate beauty and intensity.
Composers, Opera, Music Legends, Music, Musicals, Europe

A Christmas Carol

Arts Days: December 19, 1843: From Bah Humbug to Benefactor
Charles Dickens published this novella—longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel—about a cranky old fellow named Ebenezer Scrooge on this day in 1843. Stingy with money, even more so with compassion for the sufferings of his fellow man, Scrooge is visited by several ghosts on Christmas Eve, who show him scenes from his boyhood and the present day, as well as a dark and depressing future if Scrooge continues to treat others badly.

Scrooge undergoes a change of heart, waking up a new man on Christmas Day and doing good deeds for others. The story’s humor and gentle morality lessons delighted readers and critics then and now. Over the decades, A Christmas Carol has been adapted into musicals, films, ballets, and operas—there’s even been a mime version.
Literature, Europe, Folklore

James Joyce

Arts Days: December 29, 1916: An Author's Open Book
James Joyce’s first long work of fiction was also partly autobiographical. It explored the inner thoughts of Stephen Dedalus, a character invented by Joyce who served as his alter ego. Spanning Stephen’s childhood into adulthood, Portrait was partly based on people and events in Joyce’s own life. In the book, Stephen comes to question his faith, family and friends, ultimately detaching himself from everything and everyone in order to focus on writing.

To capture Stephen’s thoughts, Joyce made use of the stream-of-consciousness technique in his writing. The character’s thoughts and observations crash together in a seemingly random order, mirroring the way the human brain actually works. It can be challenging to read Portrait, since it’s not written in a linear, orderly narrative.
Innovators & Pioneers, Literature, Europe

Harmony in Red (La chambre rouge; La Desserte - Harmonie rouge), 1908-1909

Arts Days: December 31, 1869: Master of Color
The great French artist Henri Matisse moved fluidly through five decades of art, exploring several different media along the way, from sketching to a form of collage known as “cut outs.” He was one of the key members of the Fauve movement, whose adherents used unusually bold color combinations to create stylized paintings that pushed back against realism.

Yet later in his career, Matisse hewed more toward traditional types of painting, even as his use of color continued to electrify viewers. In his seventies, he also leapt wholeheartedly into collage, using scissors to cut shapes from paper when holding a brush became too difficult for him. Perhaps the greatest French artist of the 20th century, Henri Matisse made art until the very end.
Visual Arts, Europe

Carollers

Arts Days: December 25, 1818: Shhh!
Two Austrians collaborated on the words and music to “Silent Night,” which has become one of the best-loved Christmas carols, sung in churches and by roving carolers the world over. Father Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics, while an organist named Franz Gruber composed the melody.

On this Christmas night, the two played the song in the Church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, Austria. Surprisingly, while today it’s usually sung at a pace akin to that of a lullaby, the song had a more up-tempo rhythm back then. If you celebrate Christmas with your family, think about offering a round of caroling for your neighbors.
Music, Popular Culture, Europe

Beethoven

Arts Days: December 16, 1770: Music’s Master
Young Ludwig van Beethoven was first given music lessons by his dad, performing his first concert at age seven. He stunned listeners with his technical abilities on the piano and organ, impressing them even more when he produced his first composition at nine. The father of this child who would become one of the greatest classical composers in history hoped his son would follow in the steps of Mozart himself, who died when Beethoven was 21.

Beethoven went on to write symphonies, like No. 9 in D Minor, the first symphony written by a prominent composer to include a choral portion. Though he eventually went completely deaf, Beethoven’s genius was such that he still composed and conducted even when he could not hear a single note. Beethoven was a brilliant improviser, rule-breaker, and master of dramatic music.
Composers, Innovators & Pioneers, Music Legends, Europe, Music, Orchestra

Wax Figures by Marie Tussaud

Arts Days: December 01, 1761: Waxy Lady
Anna Maria Grosholtz—better known as Madame Tussaud—was taught to make life size wax figures by the doctor for whom her mom worked. While the art of creating often eerily lifelike wax versions of people had been around since the Middle Ages, it was Tussaud and her traveling show of wax figures that made viewing such figures a form of “edutainment”—partly a way to learn about famous people of the past and present, partly just plain fun.

While Madame Tussauds’ London museum kicked off the phenomenon—today everybody from Benjamin Franklin to Jennifer Lopez to President Obama is on view at outposts in Shanghai, New York, Amsterdam, and its newest addition, Washington, D.C.
Popular Culture, Visual Arts, Europe

Schindler's List

Arts Days: December 15, 1993: Angel in the Darkness
People who went to see director Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List were surprised to find the movie about the Holocaust was filmed in black and white. But the surprise gave way to deep emotion as the story unfolded. Spielberg wanted to shine a light on the little known story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman active in the Nazi party, who saved as many as 1,100 Jewish people from death in German concentration camps by hiring them to work in his factories.

Actor Liam Neeson brought Schindler's character to life on screen, and the film went on to win seven Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director. The movie—including its final scene, in which real-life people saved by Schindler’s actions, place rocks upon his grave—is deeply moving and has captured the attentions of millions of viewers worldwide.
Movies & Movie Stars, History, Controversial, Europe, Military, Tragedy

Charles Perrault

Arts Days: December 12, 1628: Father of Fairy Tales
Not many people can seriously lay claim to inventing an entire literary genre, but Charles Perrault is one exception. Relatively late in life, at age 67, Monsieur Perrault published new versions of old folktales in a slender book aimed at children. Complete with engaging characters, fantasy-laden plots, and moral lessons, the eight “fairy tales” in the book included “La belle au bois dormant,” otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty, and “Le petit chaperon rouge,” or Little Red Riding Hood.

He also used descriptions of actual places in France to embellish the stories; for example, Sleeping Beauty’s castle was based on the Chateau Usse, a real castle in the western part of France that centuries later would inspire Walt Disney himself as he designed castles for his theme parks.
Innovators & Pioneers, Europe, Literature, Popular Culture, Folklore

John Milton

Arts Days: December 09, 1608: A Man of Letters
John Milton is best known for penning Paradise Lost, a really long poem published in the mid 17th century. How long you ask? So long it filled ten books; a second edition published a few years later filled 12 books. In this epic work, Milton explores man’s fall from grace as told in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. In his version, he incorporates elements from Greek classicism, paganism, and other areas of study.

Milton was a learned man with a broad range of interests, and he wrote about other things, too, like history, travel, marriage, censorship, you name it. Late in life, Milton lost his eyesight completely, but never his rigorous intellect and deep curiosity. He is generally considered the greatest English poet after Shakespeare.
Europe, Poetry, Literature, Controversial

Le Chat Noir

Arts Days: November 18, 1881: Come to the Cabaret
Today you think of these clubs as famous nightspots where celebrities like to hang out in Hollywood or New York. But back in Paris in the late 19th century, they were referred to as cabarets, and Le Chat Noir was perhaps the most legendary. Located in Paris’ fashionable, bohemian Montmartre neighborhood, Le Chat Noir, or “The Black Cat,” was envisioned by owner Rodolphe Salis as part nightclub, part salon.

Seated at crowded tables were well-known Parisian celebrities and their artist associates from around the world. On any given night, you could rub elbows with painter Pablo Picasso, composer Claude Debussy, or perhaps Jane Avril, the can-can dancer whom Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized in several paintings. They and countless others would talk, drink, flirt, and enjoy live performances. The party lasted until 1897, when the place closed up shop.
Art Venues, Europe, Popular Culture, Musicals

Alice's Adventures Underground

Arts Days: November 26, 1864: Down the Rabbit Hole
Reverend Dodgson was asked by ten-year-old Alice Liddell to write down the fantastic story he weaved for her and her sisters as they shared a rowboat ride in 1862. Dodgson complied, though it took him a couple of years to get the work done. He wrote a 15,000-word story filled with magical characters and strange leaps of logic.

Even as he offered the promised pages to his young friend, Dodgson was preparing to publish the book at nearly double its length by writing in fantastic new scenes (including a certain famous tea party). Using the pen name Lewis Carroll, Dodgson went on to publish his book under a new name—the mad-cap Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature, Europe, Cartoons, Comics, & Animation

William Shakespeare

Arts Days: November 01, 1604 and 1611: A Double Bill of Will
Was this William Shakespeare’s lucky day or just a coincidence that two of his best known plays premiered on the first day of the 11th month, seven years apart? Each play was first presented to King James I at the Palace of Whitehall, the decades-old main residence of the kings and queens of England.

It was customary for any new works to first be seen by the monarch and his court before any presentation to the general public. It is likely that for many years after these two debuts, both plays were indeed performed for the general public at playhouses like The Rose and The Globe. The demand for such entertainment was so great that chances are the ink was barely dry on the page when the first productions were mounted.
Shakespeare, Playwrights & Plays, Tragedy, Europe, Theater

Haystacks Summer Evening

Arts Days: November 14, 1840: A Light Impression
Many artists wear the Impressionist label today, but it was a painting by Claude Monet that gave this art movement its name. That moment happened when an art critic looked at Monet’s Impression, Sunrise and called it “impressionist.” Ironically, while the critic meant his remark as dismissive of Monet’s style, the term became associated with a much-loved and respected school of century art.

Many works by Monet are characterized by the hallmarks of Impressionism: soft and changeable light effects, visible brushstrokes that reveal the artist’s emotions and personality, and the use of everyday things and people as subjects—from haystacks to playful children. Monet loved the natural world, and simple things such as flowers, the river Seine, and his personal garden in Giverny, France, inspired him.
Innovators & Pioneers, Europe, Nature, Visual Arts

Grace Kelly

Arts Days: November 12, 1929: Beauty and Grace
From teenage model to Hollywood actress to the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly’s life was the stuff of fairy tales. She acted in TV shows, on stage, and in blockbuster movies, like Rear Window and Dial M for Murder.

Directors like Alfred Hitchcock adored Kelly’s golden hair and flawless features, and often cast her as the beautiful, but unattainable dream girl. But she also exhibited considerable acting talent in films like The Country Girl for which she earned an Academy Award® nomination. When she fell in love with and married Monaco’s Prince Rainier, the world—well, maybe just 30 million people—watched the royal wedding in awe on TV.
Movies & Movie Stars, Popular Culture, America, Television, Europe

The Dance Class painting by Edgar Degas

Arts Days: July 19, 1834: Dancing with Degas
Edgar Degas, one of the most productive 19th century artists and a master at charcoal, oil paint, and pastels, is considered one of the fathers of the Impressionist movement. Thing is, Degas himself disliked this term, preferring to call himself a realist when it came to the subjects he chose and the art he made.

He is best known for his paintings and sculptures of ballerinas, such as The Dance Class. Degas gave us glimpses of dancers waiting in the wings for their cues to go on stage, as well as audiences studying their moves. Mostly, he took his subjects from everyday life, catching a passing moment of motion and emotion.
Europe, Visual Arts

Alexandre Dumas

Arts Days: July 24, 1802: Adventure Hero
The man who wrote The Three Musketeers and other literary classics first dabbled in plays and magazine articles, many of which were well received by theatergoers and readers. In fact, some of Alexandre Dumas’ best-known works, including Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, were serialized in magazines before they were published as novels.

Dumas was a literary superstar at the peak of his career and his name became synonymous with the adventure-packed historical novels at which he excelled. More importantly, no French writer since has been read by more people around the world than he.
Europe, Literature, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Jacques d’Amboise

Arts Days: July 28, 1934: Dancing for Joy
Few have done more to teach children about the joy of dance than this 1995 Kennedy Center Honoree.

D’Amboise was only 16 when he joined George Balanchine’s company, often partnered with Suzanne Farrell. As one of the earliest dancers and interpreters of Balanchine’s style, d’Amboise brought a powerful American energy to ballet.

When he was still a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, Jacques d’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute, a program that teaches thousands of youngsters to dance and express themselves through ballet, jazz, and other forms of dance.
Europe, Dance, Dance Legends, Ballet, Choreographers

Louis Reard in a bikini

Arts Days: July 05, 1946: Less is More
An automobile engineer in his native country of France, Louis Reard also worked in his mother’s lingerie shop. He was competing with others to create the world’s tiniest swimsuit when he stitched together some pieces of cloth—totaling a mere 30 inches. He proudly debuted the “bikini,” which he named after Bikini Atoll, a tropical island in the Pacific.

At first, he had a hard time finding a woman willing to model the daring little number. But he did and then planned a big party to celebrate. At a pool in Paris, Reard’s model donned the bikini, and it was an instant hit, changing the future of swimwear fashion forever.
Fashion, Popular Culture, Europe

Rembrandt

Arts Days: July 15, 1606: Dutch Master
Dutch painter Rembrandt Van Rijn created beautiful paintings, including many naturalistic self-portraits. Even during his twenties, Rembrandt’s skills as a portrait painter were in great demand for his delicate attention to light and shadows, which he used to shape his subjects’ features.

He gained attention for works like the slightly gruesome The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, in which a doctor uses a corpse to show his students how human arm muscles work. Rembrandt sought to paint the most realistic-looking people and places he possibly could, whether they were richly hued paintings of everyday life in Holland or intricate etches of Biblical images.
Europe, Visual Arts

Johann Sebastian Bach

Arts Days: March 21, 1685: Bach Star
One of the greatest classical composers of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote music we identify as belonging to the Baroque period, a century and a half (1600-1750) of European compositions that tend to be elaborate pieces with innovative, complex instrumentation. From the Brandenburg Concertos to the Mass in B Minor, Bach wrote ornate pieces of music for orchestras as well as for single instruments (such as the Sonata for Solo Violin).

He also wrote complex choral pieces like the St. Matthew Passion, which set part of the gospel according to Matthew to music and is meant to be sung by large groups of singers, accompanied by an orchestra. A trained and talented organist, Bach liked to write music that would fill up a huge concert hall or church.
Composers, Europe, Innovators & Pioneers, Music, Music Legends

Harry Houdini

Arts Days: March 24, 1874: Magic Maker
His family immigrated to the U.S. when Harry Houdini (then known as Ehrich Weiss) was just four years old. It wasn’t long before his taste for thrills was cemented; by age nine, he was a trapeze artist. He moved on to simple card tricks, but the magician and “escapologist” was always searching for the next stunt—the trick that would ensure his reputation as the man who routinely cheated death.

Using ingenious props—and sometimes swallowing keys he could spit up on command, or purposely dislocating his shoulders—Houdini upped the ante from, say, escaping from handcuffs to escaping from a straitjacket dangling from a building. Some of his stunts were the result of his superior strength and flexibility. Others made use of illusions or trapdoors. No matter what, his escapades thrilled audiences.
Innovators & Pioneers, Popular Culture, Controversial, Europe

Vincent Van Gogh

Arts Days: March 30, 1853: A Stroke of Genius
The work of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh is almost instantly recognizable with those big swirly brush strokes and short choppy ones, day-to-day subjects like haystacks and sunsets, and something harder to put your finger on: a pulsating kind of energy that almost makes the objects and figures seem to vibrate.

Van Gogh’s kinetic, passionate art was driven, sadly, by a lifetime of misfortune. He struggled with poverty, health problems, and depression; in fact, he’s well known for cutting off a piece of his own ear and giving it to a woman he knew, wrapped in newspaper.

One of the few constants in his life was his brother Theo, who helped him manage what money he did earn for his work and tried to support him emotionally as well. In works like Sunflowers and Starry Night, the creativity of the troubled genius Van Gogh touches us even today.
Europe, Visual Arts

Eiffel Tower

Arts Days: March 31, 1889: Tower of Power
This tower of iron is one of the most striking architectural structures in the world; with just a glance, you think of France. Located in Paris, it’s over 1,000 feet tall, and was the tallest structure ever built until the Chrysler Building was erected in New York City. Gustave Eiffel designed the tower that bears his name, while the chief engineer of his company, a man named Maurice Koechlin, figured out how the thing could actually stay up and be safe for visitors.

The Tower was the main entrance for the Exposition Universelle, a giant world fair held in 1889 that commemorated the century since the French Revolution. It took 300 workers months to attach the 18,000 pieces of iron that went into the Tower. The structure was supposed to be torn down after the Exposition was over, but the French government saw its value as a tourist attraction and a symbol of national pride.
Innovators & Pioneers, Architecture, Europe

The Sistene Chapel

Arts Days: March 06, 1475: Master of Arts
Nothing but making art was important to Michelangelo Buonarroti. As a young apprentice or someone who learns a skill from an expert, Michelangelo found his calling. He chose to study the art of the old masters and learn the technique of painting frescoes, or painting on wet plaster.

When the powerful Medici family of Florence heard the stories about this young genius, Lorenzo de’Medici supported the artist and his work. In the period we now call the Italian Renaissance, (15th–16th centuries), Michelangelo created many of the world’s greatest art masterpieces: sculptures including David and The Pietà, the architectural designs of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and perhaps his most cherished achievement, the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

This pictorial story about the creation of man is comprised of nine paintings and took Michelangelo three years to paint. It is believed to be the greatest work of art ever created by a single person.
Europe, Visual Arts

First photo taken with a camera

Arts Days: March 07, 1765: The Father of Fotos
Considering the impact that cameras and photography have had on the world, it’s a shame Joseph Nicéphore Niépce is not better known to us all. He’s considered one of the inventors of photography, and is said to have snapped the world’s very first photos, including one where a man is leading a horse.

Along the way, he dabbled with various chemicals, like silver chloride, which makes an image visible after it is exposed to light, and the process he invented called heliography. Around 1829, Niépce partnered with Louis Daguerre to try to achieve an improved photographic method; the men worked on the problem together until Niépce died in 1833.

When Daguerre went on to create the Daguerrotype—a kind of photograph printed on a mirror-like surface—the French government bought the rights to it, awarding money to both Daguerre and to the estate of Niépce, in recognition of the late inventor’s work.
Europe, Innovators & Pioneers, Inventions, Visual Arts

Frederick Chopin

Arts Days: March 01, 1810: Mr. Piano Man
Imagine writing complicated pieces of music when you are only seven years old. Someone who can do that—like Frederick Chopin—is called a prodigy, someone who at a young age displays amazing skills in music, art, or something else.

Chopin developed new ways of playing the piano that today are at the heart of what we call “Romantic music”—the term given to expressive, complex music written in Europe in the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.

Chopin also was known for his gifts at improvising where he would make up new combinations of notes in the course of playing something he had written already. Chopin’s last public performance took place in London in November 1848 where he played for fellow Polish refugees.
Composers, Musical Instruments, Music, Music Legends, Europe

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Arts Days: February 25, 1841: A Lasting Impression
Renoir was an artist fascinated by light: how the sun looked shining on water, how a candle’s flickering changed the expression of someone sitting nearby, how shadows stretched long across the ground in the autumn.

Exploring these concepts, Renoir became one of the early members along with Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley of the Impressionist school, a style of 19th century art known for its exploration of light effects, broad brushstrokes, and ordinary subjects including people on the beach, flower gardens, and other scenes of everyday life.

Later in his career Renoir sought to achieve a more crisp style of painting. It’s thought this change was influenced by a trip he took to Italy in 1881 to study the great works of the Italian Renaissance, painted by artists like Raphael.
Europe, Visual Arts

Fashion

Arts Days: February 11, 1934: Mary Had a Little Skirt
On this very fashionable day, Ms. Quant captured the hearts, and legs, of women. Fashion designer Mary Quant is credited with inventing the miniskirt, one of the clothing articles most closely associated with the swinging 60s.

Ever practical, this designer thought that the skirt would make it easier for women to run after a bus. Quant opened her own boutique in a fashionable section of London, selling clothes she designed herself, including a funky little white collar you could attach to any dress to spiff it up.

But it’s the mini with which she’s forever associated, and which stylish women around the world still wear today.
Innovators & Pioneers, Fashion, Popular Culture, Europe

Jules Verne

Arts Days: February 08, 1828: A League of His Own
Would you believe that the submarine hadn’t even been invented when Jules Verne wrote Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, kicking off the sci-fi genre with a splash?

Even as a child, Verne was a visionary, writing adventure stories that previewed today’s modern conveniences and technological wonders including tall skyscrapers, gas-powered cars, helicopters, and even television.

But sometimes his imagination and curiosity got him into deep trouble. At 12, he snuck his way onto a ship bound for India, but luckily got caught before the ship left. Let’s just say that father Pierre was none too happy. Little Jules responded, "I shall from now on only travel in my imagination." And so he did.

While his early stories, like the one about exploring Africa in a hot-air balloon, were rejected by publishers, Verne stuck with it. Eventually that story, with a few changes, appeared in print in 1863 as “Five Weeks in a Balloon.” From then on, Verne wrote new works every year until he died.
Movies & Movie Stars, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Innovators & Pioneers, Literature, Europe

Johann Strauss II

Arts Days: February 09, 1867: Step, Slide, Step
Austria’s Johann Strauss, the Younger, would be absolutely amazed to know the extent to which his work “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” has endured as one of the best-known pieces of classical music.

At the time this 19th century successful composer and conductor, and son of Johann Strauss, The Elder, was known for his light dance music and operettas. But it was this waltz in particular, with its distinct melody and dance rhythms, that became the focus of every concert hall’s dance floor first in Vienna, and later in Europe.

In 1872, Strauss brought his Viennese waltz to America’s shores where the music and dance captivated the country. On this particular day, Blue Danube was performed at a concert of the Vienna Men’s Choral Association.

Strauss is credited with composing 500 waltzes, earning him the title of “Waltz King.”
Composers, Dance, Music, Orchestra, Europe

Molière

Arts Days: January 15, 1622: The Prince of French Farce
French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known by his stage name Molière, is considered one of the greatest masters of Western comedy.

He studied acting and writing at the Collège de Clermont, a prestigious school in the heart of Paris. After graduating, he worked as an actor and playwright, dedicated to exploring new comedic ideas.

Molière wrote farces that exposed the hypocrisies and follies of French society. His fresh comedic style caught attention and praise from the French aristocracy, including King Louis XIV, who dubbed Molière's acting troupe "Troupe du Roi" (The King’s Troupe) and commissioned him to be the official author of court entertainments.
Comedy, Innovators & Pioneers, Playwrights & Plays, Europe

Circus

Arts Days: January 09, 1768: Send in the Clowns
Though acrobats, clowns, trapeze artists, and trained animals all existed before the modern circus, they’d never been under the same roof until Englishman Philip Astley, a former cavalry sergeant major, discovered his ability to perform stunts while standing atop his horse's back.

Realizing his talent’s potential entertainment value, he drew a ring in the ground and invited the public to witness his daring act. His display proved to be popular and Astley readily hired other trick riders, as well as clowns, and musicians to join his show. He built a roof over the ring, which he named Astley's Amphitheatre. Over the next thirty years, Astley took his show on the road and established 18 other circuses in major European cities.
Inventions, Art Venues, Innovators & Pioneers, Stunts & Special Effects, Animals, Europe, Popular Culture, Theater

Anne Frank

Arts Days: June 12, 1942: History in Her Own Words
Anne Frank’s diary, kept while her family was in hiding from the Nazis during World War II, is one of the most heartbreaking narratives to emerge from the Holocaust. Her journal is by turns funny, sad, and hopeful.

She received the diary on this day, her 13th birthday, and immediately began recording her innermost thoughts, as well as the astonishing story of her family’s hidden apartment in a building in Amsterdam. Through the unbearable tension of nearly two years, when the hidden occupants had to stay utterly quiet so the workers below would not grow suspicious, Anne Frank’s diary was a rare source of comfort for her.

She and her family were discovered in August 1944; all but her father perished in Nazi concentration camps.
History, Literature, Europe, Playwrights & Plays, Theater

Strauss

Arts Days: June 11, 1864: A Pioneer of the Modern Movement
This composer of Romantic and early-modern works understood the workings of an orchestra like few others have before or since.

As a young man, he used to frequent rehearsals of the Munich Court Orchestra and take lessons in music theory with some of the conductors. Strauss’ training and own innate talent for writing complex orchestral pieces led him in new directions as he got older; he started writing “tone poems,” pieces of music inspired by and written about a painting, novel, or some other non-musical source (his first tone poem was Don Juan). In addition, at the turn of the 19th century, Strauss began composing operas. He conducted many orchestras and also explored dissonance, combining chords in ways that sometimes startled listeners.
Composers, Europe, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

Johannes Brahms

Arts Days: May 07, 1833 and 1840: A Couple of Romantics
The famous lilting melody we call “Brahms’s Lullaby” is named for its composer Johannes Brahms. Among his other works were his German Requiem for orchestra and chorus, numerous pieces for string quartet, and several symphonies. Classical music scholars tell us that Brahms was a perfectionist, working and re-working a musical piece. Yet with all his stirring works, it’s Brahms’s delicate lullaby that many people associate with him.

As for Tchaikovsky, he was a kingpin among composers of the Romantic era, creating sentimental melodies and ballet music (such as that for The Nutcracker), the opera Eugene Onegin, and symphonies. He taught music and served as a critic as well as a composer, and he was very well-regarded among fellow musicians, fans, and even the Tsar of Russia, who arranged a special pension for him.
Composers, Europe, Music, Music Legends, Orchestra

Salvador Dali

Arts Days: May 11, 1904: The Eccentric Dreamer
The school of artwork we call Surrealism took a radical leap forward when Salvador Dali teamed up with fellow Surrealists in the late 1920s. The Surrealists were rebelling against what they saw as predictable, traditional art, and Dali—who had already been kicked out of art school and was famous for his eccentric behavior and attire—fit right in.

His artworks—including The Persistence of Memory, with its clocks draped over trees, ledges, and what appears to be a piece of bone with a face not unlike Dali’s own— are filled with quirky images, startling contrasts, and symbolism (meaning that one object stood for something else—an idea, a memory, a concept). But some of his images are surprisingly sentimental: People he loved, like Lucia, a woman who took care of him when he was a child, appear frequently in his art.
Europe, Visual Arts, Innovators & Pioneers

Joan Miró

Arts Days: April 20, 1893: Señor of Surreal
The playful works of the Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró are admired and appreciated around the world today, but when he first created them, they shocked viewers. No one had ever seen serious paintings filled with colorful, cartoon-like blobs, some of which looked like animals or eyes or socks floating across the canvas.

Miró, who early in his career painted landscapes and still-lifes of recognizable objects, didn’t care about what people thought about his style of painting. What he cared about was rejecting what he saw as people’s narrow assumptions of what art was…and was not. He was part of a group of artists called the Surrealists, working in the 1920s that was creating art filled with startling, funny, or just plain odd images.
Europe, Visual Arts, Innovators & Pioneers

Augustus Julliard

Arts Days: April 19, 1836: Schooled in the Arts
Augustus Juilliard was born on a ship while his family made the crossing to America from their native France. Raised in Ohio, Juilliard moved to New York City when he was 30, amassing great wealth through his work in the textile industry. Juilliard went on to use his fortune to support a range of cultural and social causes, from the American Museum of Natural History to New York hospitals.

Juilliard is said to have loved music, in particular opera music. In his will, he left money toward the creation of a music school, which today we call The Juilliard School. Juilliard is admired around the world for its rigor in turning out young dancers, musicians, actors, and singers. Those who are admitted into the school have to have exceptional grades and proven talent in the performing arts.
Art Venues, Europe, Education, Music, Music Legends

Beethoven

Arts Days: April 27, 1810: Elise Who?
We´ll never know who the great German composer and piano virtuoso Ludwig van Beethoven had in mind when he wrote this delicate piano composition that is instantly recognizable after just a few notes. While it’s known as For Elise in English, its formal name is Bagatelle in A minor (a bagatelle is a short, light piece of music usually written for piano). Für Elise was actually jotted down right on the paper Beethoven used.

Some scholars think the reference indicates Beethoven wrote it for one of his girlfriends, but others say the informal name is the result of a transcription goof, and in fact the piece was intended to be Für Therese (a woman Beethoven had really wanted to marry but never did). At any rate, Für Elise is a charming work.
Math, Music Legends, Composers, Orchestra, Europe

Raphael

Arts Days: April 06, 1483: Renaissance Man
Raffaello Sanzio is considered one of the finest painters of the Italian Renaissance, which flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries. And so, Raphael needs only one name. His paintings, including The Madonna of the Meadow and The School of Athens (one of the series of paintings in the Vatican’s Stanze di Rafaello, or “Raphael’s rooms”) are filled with trademarks of his signature techniques, from their rich, luminous colors to the graceful placement of his human figures.

Important apprenticeships, combined with his own abundant talent, set the stage for Raphael’s thriving career painting commissioned pieces for churches and royal palaces. There’s also no question he paid attention to what Leonardo da Vinci was doing. But in the end, Raphael’s style—its nod to classic Greek art, the soft light that pervades many of the images—came to be all his own.
Europe, Visual Arts

Hans Christian Andersen

Arts Days: April 02, 1805: Father Goose
You may have had fairy tales read to you when you were a little kid, but did you know they were written more than a hundred years ago—in Denmark? Generations of children around the world know and love Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales from “The Ugly Duckling” to “The Princess and the Pea.”

Even though he was Danish, some of the stories he wrote have inspired figures of speech common in the English language, like “the emperor has no clothes,” from the tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” And more than one of his stories, like “The Little Mermaid,” have been turned into a feature film movie. Somehow, Andersen’s stories feel ageless, not tied to a particular time or place, which may be one reason why they continue to enchant young listeners today, no matter where they happen to live.
Europe, Folklore, Literature

Samuel Beckett

Arts Days: April 13, 1906: Post-Modern Poster Boy
Irish playwright and poet Samuel Beckett is considered the first Post-modernist writer. He explored some pretty bleak subjects in works like Waiting for Godot and Krapp’s Last Tape including loneliness, hopelessness, and isolation. His work attracted considerable attention in his day—and even still—for often tossing all conventions of character development and plot, even punctuation, straight out the window.

Some of his works attempted to capture the inner thoughts and feelings of his characters second by second. Beckett combined words and ideas in such innovative ways that he earned the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. But because Beckett was such a private person, the fame that accompanied this honor was a double-edged sword.
Controversial, Playwrights & Plays, Europe, Theater

Leonardo Da Vinci

Arts Days: April 15, 1452: The Da Vinci Mode
Though some assume his last name was “da Vinci,” no one really knows the last name of perhaps the greatest all-around creative genius who ever lived. The left-handed Leonardo was so very good at so many things: painting (the portrait of Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and The Adoration of the Magi ), solving math problems, playing music, and technological inventiveness—he envisioned an early helicopter and other flying machines.

He learned about these subjects while apprenticing with various artists, doctors, and others, but his own curiosity helped him apply all he learned in entirely new ways. His interests fed off of one another. For example, his human anatomy sketches are stunning in their detail and accuracy, and that understanding of how bodies moved helped him to be a better painter. Leonardo also brought his deep understanding of geometry to his art, arranging figures in ways thought to be pleasing to the eye of the spectator. His contributions to art and science are impossible to measure.
Europe, Inventions, Innovators & Pioneers, Visual Arts

Vigeland

Arts Days: April 11, 1869: A Park of One’s Own
Sculptor Gustav Vigeland learned to carve wood when he was just a child, a skill that would serve him well as he moved on to working with different substances, like stone. At the end of the 19th century, he toured Italy and France where he visited the workshop of another great sculptor, Auguste Rodin.

Perhaps his greatest work is Vigeland Park, which came about when he persuaded the city of Oslo to give him a building in which to live and work. In exchange, he would give Oslo all of his subsequent creations. Today, on 80 acres of land, you can visit Vigeland Park, where hundreds of granite and bronze artworks stand, from whimsical statues of dancing babies to the Monolith, a 46-foot high totem depicting dozens of intertwined bodies rising up into the sky.
Europe, Visual Arts

show: 25 | 50 | 75 | show all

Filter Your Results

Arts Subject

Select All | Deselect All

Grade Band

Select All | Deselect All

© 1996-2017 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  

ArtsEdge is an education program of

The Kennedy Center 

with the support of

Department of Education



ARTSEDGE, part of the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, is generously funded by David and Alice Rubenstein.

Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee
for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

The contents of this Web site were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not
necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal government.
Unless otherwise stated, ArtsEdge materials may be copied, modified and otherwise utilized for non-commercial educational purposes
provided that ArtsEdge and any authors listed in the materials are credited and provided that you permit others to use them in the same manner.

Change Background:

Connect with us!    EMAIL US | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes | MORE!

© 1996-2017 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts  
    Privacy Policy
| Terms and Conditions

Close

You are now leaving the ArtsEdge website. Thank you for visiting!

If you are not automatically transferred, please click the link below:
http://absoluteshakespeare.com

ArtsEdge and The Kennedy Center are in no way responsible for the content of the destination site, its ongoing availability, links to other site or the legality or accuracy of information on the site or its resources.

Cancel

Close