Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z= Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

A writer in her own right, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was also the wife of F Scott Fitzgerald. Born in Alabama in 1900, she wrote her first successful novel in 1920, ‘This Side of Paradise.’

Zelda and her friend Tallulah Bankhead were the talk of Montgomery during their high school years. She danced the Charleston and made no pretense about liking boys. As a teen she aspired to be a ballerina. At 27, she become obsessed with the ballet and practiced up to eight hours a day.

Sadly, from 1930 until her death she visited health farm and sanatoriums where she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. During a stay at the Phipps Clinic she wrote an entire novel in six weeks. She sent ‘Save Me the Waltz’ to Fitzgerald’s publisher. Fitzgerald was upset that the book paralleled their lives, although his writing did the same. In fact, he copied portions of Zelda’s diaries directly into his work.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y = Yehudi Menuhin

Although he was born in the United States, Yehudi Menuhin lived most if his life in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Yehudi first recorded at the age of 13 and at the time of his last recording he was 83 years old. His recording include classical, jazz and experimenntal music

He was a talented violinist and conductor who went on to found the International Music School, Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists and Live Music Now.

Learn more about Yehudi Menuhin http://www.menuhin.org/

Listen to Menuhin play Ave Maria followed by the Flight of the Bumble Bee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDNG9JzWiXY

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X = Xerxes

Xerxes was crowned King of Persia after the death of his father Darius. He was the first son born after Darius had ascended the throne.

As was common in Persia with the change of rulers, Xerxes was immediately challenged by revolts within his kingdom. He began with interventions in Egypt and Babylon followed by a full invasion of Greece.

Xerxes completed the unfinished building project left by Darius which includes the Gate of all nations and Hall of a Hundred Columns at Persepolis and the Susa Gate and palace.

Friday, April 26, 2013

W = Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde

Oscar Wilde was the son of Sir William Robert Wills Wilde MD and Lady Jane Francesca Agnes Elgee Wilde, a writer. The Wilde home was known for the intellectuals and nationalists who frequented Lady Jane’s parlor. In this stimulating environment young Oscar learned French and German.

He attended Oxford where he became involved with the philosophy aestheticism. Later, he wrote articles and toured America lecturing about the Aesthetic Movement.  

Ultimately, he became one of the best known playwrights and personalities of the Victorian Era.

Read more of the works of Oscar Wilde at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde_bibliography

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V = Victoria Saxe-Coburg- Saalfeld

The longest reigning British monarch was born May 24, 1819 and was fifth in line for the throne. When all of her uncles died childless, she became the heir presumptive.

She met her cousin Prince Albert Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She ascended to the throne just after her eighteenth birthday. Not long after she became Queen Victoria, she proposed to Albert. It is recorded that they were truly in love with each other. They had nine children. When Albert died, her depression was so profound that she ceased all public appearances.

During her years of seclusion, the Queen became particularly attached to her Balmoral Castle servant John Brown. Mr. Brown’s influence on the Queen was greatly resented by her children.  At his death in 1883, the Queen was greatly saddened. She wrote that Mr. Brown’s death was the second time she was ‘deprived of all she so needs.’

The Diamond Jubilee celebrated 60 years of her reign. Festivities included a procession, banquets, review of the troops and a message to the nation. Toward the end of her life, the Queen had returned to popularity with her people.

Details about Her Royal Highness can be found at: http://www.queen-victorias-scrapbook.org/

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U = Ulysses S Grant

Hiram Ulysses Simpson Grant was born in Ohio. He was nominated for West Point at 17 years of age.  He served in the military for the largest portion of his young adult life. Attempts at business were met with failure.

Grant’s life was difficult and followed the economic turns of the time. He worked hard but few things were successful. With the beginning of the Civil War, he returned to a full time military occupation.

History records that Grant was a successful General and continued with his success into two successful terms as President. As President, he passionately set about changing the culture of the South and was instrumental in limiting association such as the Ku Klux Klan which sought a return to slave-state.

For more about the president memorialized on the fifty dollar bill, go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/ulyssessgrant

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T = JRR Tolien

The son of English parents, Arthur Tolkien and Mabel Suffield, John Ronald Reuel and his brother Hilary were South African by birth. After the early death of his father, a bank clerk, Mabel returned with her sons to her childhood home of West Midland in England.

Not long after Mabel’s conversion to Catholicism, she was diagnosed with diabetes and died. John Ronald and Hilary were boarded with two different families until they became adults.

Even through this tumultuous upbringing, JRR Tolkien demonstrated his linguistic skills mastering Latin and Greek, as well as Gothic and Finnish. In his spare time he made up his own language and shared it with his friends and co-members of the Tea Club, Barrovian Society.

Completing his education, he served in World War I. After the war he worked various jobs until he eventually became a professor at Oxford. His academic career was unremarkable by Oxford standards. However, his social group was quite remarkable. The Inklings members included Own Barfield, CS Lewis and Charles Williams.

To read more about JRR Tolkien visit: http://www.tolkiensociety.org/

Monday, April 22, 2013

S = Samuel Gompers

Born in London to a poor family, Samuel Gompers was just 10 when he was apprenticed to a cigar maker. When he was 13, his family immigrated to New York. By 14 he joined the Cigar makers’ Local Union. His evenings were devoted to activities such as debate, public speaking and parliamentary procedure.

Of his work as a cigar maker, Samuel Gompers said that he ‘loved the freedom of that work, for I had earned the mind-freedom that accompanied skill as a craftsman. I was eager to learn from discussion and reading.

He met another cigar maker, Sophia Julian and they married. Gompers was 17. He and his wife had twelve children, six who survived to adulthood.

A believer is social reform, he believed the best way to improve quality of work and the condition of society was for the workers to collectively bargain by way of unions.  He was elected president of the Cigar Makers International Union.

In 1886, he was elected president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and remained president for 40 years. His efforts helped to establish an eight hour work day and was instrumental in organizing labor to respond to President Woodrow Wilson’s needs during World War I.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R = Rachel Carson

Marine biologist, conservationist, writer and editor, Rachel Carson pioneered in government service during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Her service to science and the environment has lasting impact into the 21st century.

Rachel Carson was the daughter of a successful insurance salesman. Her childhood was spent exploring the 65 acre family farm and reading Herman Melville and Robert Louis Stevenson. She attended college in the 1920s changing her major from English to Biology.

Her pioneering scientific work focused attention on pesticides and the negative and cumulative impact on the environment. Her work directly brought about the ban on DDT.

She served as the editor of the Fish and Wildlife Service publications and supervised the writing staff by 1945. She wrote articles for Reader’s digest and the New York Times as well as penning  the bestseller ‘Under the Sea Wind’ and ‘Silent Spring’.

Her work inspired others to found the Environmental Protection Agency. Her research and writing has continued to find its way into current publications including the Scientist of the Food and Drug Administration, and giving the base information for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

More about Rachel Carson: http://www.rachelcarson.org/

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q = Phineas Quimby

Phineas Quimby described himself as a mind-healer. He also has been called a spiritualist, mesmerist and philosopher. His work led to the establishment of the New Thought Movement.

Quimby was mesmerized by Charles Poyen, a French mesmerist who toured America in the 1830s. He felt that he could become a mesmerist himself and followed Poyen until he had learned how to hypnotize.

Partnering with Lucius Burkmar, who was easily hypnotized, the pair set out on a demonstration tour. Quimby was disappointed when mobs formed to chase him from towns because the townspeople thought his show was too much like witchcraft.

Mesmerism was known as a form of faith healing. Quimby was featured as a healer in several scientific papers on the subject. One of his students, Mary Baker Eddy used Quimby’s philosophy that disease was rooted in a mental cause. This thought was instrumental in the founding of Christian Science.

Interested in more about Phineas Quimby? http://www.nndb.com/people/269/000203657/

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P = Edith Piaf

Edith Giovanna Gassion better known as Edith Piaf became world famous after the end of World War II. Her popular melancholy singing style reflected her own tragic life.

The daughter of a street acrobat and a café singer, Edith was raised by her grandmother a brothel madam. She joined her father as a performer at 14. At 16 she fell in love and had her daughter. The child primarily lived with her father and succumbed to meningitis at the age of two.

She was discovered as a singer in 1935 and sang for troops throughout the war. She was known to associate with some rough characters, so when her promoter was murdered she was among the suspects.
During this period she was dubbed the ‘Little Sparrow’, in French, Piaf. With her new name, she was able to leave her checkered past behind.  Edith began writing the lyrics to many of her songs.

Edith Piaf fell madly in love with boxer Marcel Cerdan, a married man. Their love affair was a scandal until he died in a plane crash in 1949 on his way to be with her. A car crash in 1951 left her addicted to morphine. After rehabilitation she met and married aJacque Pills. They divorced in 1956. She married Theo Sarapo who was her signer partner and twenty years her junior in 1962, another scandal.

Her voice was her gift to the world. Listen to: La vie en rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0feNVUwQA8U

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O = Annie Oakley

Phoebe Ann Moses was an American sharpshooter better known as Annie Oakley. Her skill with a rifle brought her fame and a star billing in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

As a teenager, Annie shot game for food for her family and to sell to local restaurants. A shooter named Frances Butler put up a bet that he could out shoot anyone in town. He lost to a 15-year old girl, Annie. Not long after the two were married.

Annie Oakley performed around the world for audiences and royalty alike. She demonstrated her skill for Queen Victorian and Kaiser Wilhelm. Chief Sitting Bull called her ‘Little Sure Shot.‘

Annie was an outspoken advocate for women. She petitioned President McKinley for women to be able join the military. She personally taught over 15,000 women to shoot, promoting shooting sports as physical and mental exercise as well as providing the ability to defend themselves.

At 62, Annie still had it when in 1922 she participated in a shooting contest. She hit the100 clay targets in a row.

For more about Annie Oakley: http://www.historynet.com/annie-oakley

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N = Napoleon III

As President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte became Napoleon III when during his term as duly elect president, the parliament gave him enough power to seize all power in a coup d’etat. He followed closely in his uncle’s, Napeoleon Boneparte, footsteps.

The Bonaparte family was relatively new to their elevated role. Certainly the tumultuous background of French emperors, other royal families were hesitant to offer princesses to Napoleon III. He decided to marry for love. He love the Countess Teba. By all accounts they had a loving relationship.

One heir, Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial, was produced from the marriage of Emperor Napoleon III and the Empress the consort of the French, Dona Maria Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox-Portocarrero de Guzman y Kirkpatrick.

Napoleon III declared the Empire means peace in 1852 but by 1854 France was embroiled in the Crimean War against Russia. France’s successful participation solidified their relationship with Britain.

Through the early 1860s, Napoleon III reached into Asia using French missionaries to consolidate their philosophy which led to establishment of the colonial system in the region. But the French were not only moving through Asia, Napoleon III also dabbled in the US Civil War and sent troops to Mexico establishing Maximilian I of Mexico.

The end of his reign came during the Franco-Prussian War when in 1870 Napoleon III was captured following the Battle of Sedan. He and his family were exiled to England and died in 1873. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

M = Martha Washington

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the first child of Virginia Planter John Dandridge and Frances Jones. Blessed with robust health, she lived longer than her seven siblings. She was educated at home in the feminine arts which included sewing, music and literature. 

At 18, she accepted the proposal of Daniel Parke Custis, a man 20 years her senior. As his wife, she gave birth to four children and learned to manage his substantial estate. Her husband died suddenly, leaving Martha with four young children and substantial wealth. She was 25 years old.

Courted by General George Washington, who owned nearby plantation Mount Vernon, Martha agreed to marry again. They were both 27 years old.

Of her four children, one survived to adulthood. John Custis served as General Washington’s secretary. He died of fever during the Revolutionary war. She raised John’s children as her own.

During the war, Martha Washington served as hostess to the officers and their wives. She was a very attentive wife. However, she was not pleased with George Washington’s acceptance of the presidency and did not attend the inauguration.

Martha and George Washington had vast holdings of which she managed her dower estate. Combined, George and Martha had over 250 slaves. She emancipated many of them not long after George’s death.

Learn more about the first first-lady, Lady Washington at: http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=1

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L = Louisa May Alcott

Best known for her book ‘Little Women’ Louisa May Alcott, wrote 32 books and numerous magazine articles. The second of four daughters of transcendentalist Amos Alcott, Louisa grew up listening to her father’s friends Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau share their ideas about life and nature.

While many family friends were wealthy, the Alcott family struggled with poverty. Louisa and two of her sisters had to work to help support the family.  The sisters were primarily schooled by their father with only her youngest sister being able to attend school.

Her most famous books, Little Women, Little Men and Jo’s Boys, written over a twenty year period were based on her family with parallels that allow the reader into Alcott’s life. Her main character Jo was based on herself.  She wrote about many of her life experiences including the marriage of her older sister and the death of her younger sister in her work.

Little women is a literary favorite that lends itself well to the big screen. Each film version focuses on different elements of the book. It’s a fun project to read the books then watch all the movies and compare them: Little Women 1933 with Katharine Hepburn as Jo, Little Women 1949 in Technicolor with June Allyson as Jo, and Little Women 1994 with Winona Ryder as Jo.

Friday, April 12, 2013

K = Katharine Hepburn

Beautiful and brainy, Katharine Hepburn was a strong personality and a four time Academy award winning actress.

The daughter of wealthy parents, Katharine was the second of six children. She accompanied her mother in campaigning for women’s right to vote. She didn’t begin her acting career until she attended Bryn Mawr College. After graduating with a degree in history, she spent four years working on Broadway before she was noticed by Hollywood producers.

Her unconventional lifestyle in the 1940s as mistress to her co-star Spencer Tracy led to her reputation as independent woman. She was named top female Hollywood legend by the American Film Institute in 1999.

Kate Hepburn appeared in 44 films and eight tv movies. Many of her films are now considered classics including Little Women, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, African Queen, Morning Glory, On Golden Pond, Rainmaker and Philadelphia Story, among others. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J = Andrew Jackson

He’s more than just the picture on the 20 dollar bill. The seventh president of the United States participated in many of the events that established our country.

Born in 1767, his father died the week before he was born. He was just thirteen years old when he joined the militia during the Revolutionary war. He and his brother were captured by the British. They suffered near starvation and physical abuse at the hands of British officers. By the end of the Revolution, Jackson’s brothers and mother had died.  As a result Jackson was permanently scarred physical and intensely hated the British.

By the age of 21, Jackson had a prosperous legal career and was appointed Solicitor of the Western District. In the next 10 years, he was a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention, elected US Representative, and elected US Senator. And in 1804, he was appointed judge to the Tennessee Supreme Court.  He served in the War of 1812 beginning as a colonel and being elected major general.
In 1818, Jackson, one of three land speculators in West Tennessee, had negotiated the sale of Chickasaw land. Although he’s better known for the war he fought against the Creek War. He led US and Indian Allies to defeat the Red Stick alliance in 1814.

In 1817, he interrupted President Monroe’s orders to ‘terminate the conflict’ as the go ahead to seize Florida from Spain. So it wasn’t a surprise when he was elected again to be a US Senator.
He lost his first run for presidency to John Quincy Adams in a contested race which left Jackson poised for a future election characterized as a ‘man of the people.’

Andrew Jackson became president in 1829. He founded the tradition of rotation of posts which he believed would limit corruption. He abolished the national bank. He paid off the National Debt in 1835 which was the last time the US was completely debt free.

His administration participated and promoted controversial policies which are considered low points in US History including the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the forced move of more than 45,000 American Indians from their home land to relocation lands out West. And personally he participated, was wounded but killed Charles Dickinson in a duel.

These are only some of the exciting events that spanned his 78 years. An opinionated yet persuasive man, Andrew Jackson remains one of the most interesting figures in early 19th century US History.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I = Isabella of Castile

Isabella was the daughter of John II of Castile and granddaughter of Henry III of Castile. She survived her half-brother’s rule to become heir and rule the region with her husband Ferdinand.

Her early home life was tumultuous when her father died. She and her brother were sent into seclusion. Her half-brother Henry IV had a change of heart and brought his siblings to live with him. She eventually succeeded him.

Her union with Ferdinand V was fruitful with five of her direct offspring living to adulthood and becoming Isabella, Queen of Portugal; John, Prince of Asturias; Joanna of Castile; Maria, Queen of Portugal and Catherine, Queen of England.

Ferdinand V and Isabella were the 15th century power couple bringing resources together to stabilize Spain and explore the world via Columbus and other Spanish explorers.

As a Catholic, she was considered extremely devout. Her works include expulsion of the Jews from Spain. With the Alhambra Decree which required all Jews to leave within three months and to not take any gold, silver, money or horses with them upon their exit. With the influx of money she was able to easily fund the 1492 expedition to the New World. 

To learn more about Queen Isabella visit the website: http://www.queenisabella.org/

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H = Hermes

The son of Zeus and Maia, Hermes is the god of transitions. He moves between Olympus and the mundane world.

Invoked as a protector, his devotees included athletes, travelers, herdsmen and thieves. The conductor of souls to the after world, Hermes enjoyed the respect as a messenger and emissary of the gods.

Hermes' female admirers were many evidenced by scores of children. Some of his children became well-known: Pan, Eros, Cephalus, and Palaestra.  

Devotees of God Hermes believe he is a teacher of secret wisdom which can be learned only through religious ecstasy. He also directs dreams to dreamers. He’s identified by his winged sandals, winged cap and his herald’s staff.  

Interested in Greek Gods? Read more at: http://www.greek-gods.info/

Monday, April 8, 2013

G = George Carlin

From the Hippie Dippy Weatherman to Social Critic, George Carlin set the bar high for comedians who have something to day. His cutting edge routine: ‘Seven words you can never say on television’ was the focus of a Supreme Court decision finding the difference between indecent versus obscene.

His comedy credits include appearances on Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, and Saturday Night Live. He created beloved character Rufus in the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Mr. Conductor on the children’s show, Shiny Time Station.

Carlin wrote books, made albums and won awards. But more than that he helped us look at ourselves and laugh.

Watch George Carlin: American Dream  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q

Visit the official web site: http://www.georgecarlin.com/

Saturday, April 6, 2013

F = Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl MD, PhD survived three years in a Nazi concentration camp moving on to write 39 books and inspire people around the world. The Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist worked in the camps to help other inmates overcome their shock and grief to live through the experience.

Dr. Frankl was originally detained with his parents and wife, none of whom survived. Of his immediate family only his sister who had immigrated to Australia survived World War II. After his liberation from the camp in 1945, he went on to publish the best-selling book: From Concentration Camp to Existentialism in 1946; later the book would be titled: Man’s Search for Meaning.

Watch an interview with Viktor Frankl explaining the power of choice:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EIxGrIc_6g 

Friday, April 5, 2013

E - Eleanor of Aquitaine

The first child and daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine, Eleanor was schooled in reading, writing, music and literature. She spoke French and Latin. She was also an accomplished hawker, hunter and horse-back rider. She and her sister were the legitimate heirs to the Duke’s lands.

A woman with lands was a desirable bride in the 12th century. Her first marriage was arranged to her cousin King Louis VII of France. Producing only a daughter for the King of France, Eleanor was granted an annulment, after which she wed Henry II of England with whom she had five sons and three daughters.

In her 82 years, Eleanor became the Queen of France, participated in the Second Crusade, became the Queen of England, as Dowager of England she became Regent during her son, King Richard’s absence during the Third Crusade.

Her exciting life forever influenced the history of Europe and the World. 

Read more about Eleanor:  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D = Davy Crockett

Tennessee Congressman, Davy Crockett was a man of action. Ultimately giving his life for his beliefs, Crockett is among the best examples of leadership to have served in the US House of Representatives.

The Crockett family is first recorded in France. Davy’s ancestors immigrated to Ireland, then a generation or so later immigrated to New York in 1708. The family settled in Tennessee where David was born fifth of nine children to John Crockett & Rebecca Hawkins.

Young Davy ran away from home learning survival and hunting skills from mountain men he met during his travels. He returned to his family only to join the Tennessee Militia during the Creek War.

His political career began as a member of a grievance committee in 1821. He ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1824 which he lost. Crockett was determined to represent the people of Tennessee in Washington, so he ran in 1827 and won.

Disillusioned with political life he came to support the Texas Revolution. In 1836, Crockett and others signed an oath to the provisional Texas government. On March 6, 1836, he died defending the Alamo.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C = Charlie Chaplin

The filmmaker Charlie Chaplin developed some of the most iconic movies ever made. His work is studied worldwide. His style and characters remain reference points for the film industry.

After joining D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks in 1919 to create United Artists, Charlie Chaplin funded his own movies and received the rewards of his creative genius.

In the beginning as a filmmaker, he started movies with little more than an idea. He used the film process to flesh out ideas, and develop stunts as the story line progressed. He worked from inspiration. When he was not inspired, he took days off until the next and right idea came to him. His process of filming sequentially created plot problems that needed to be overcome later.

His artistry was not limited to comedic acting and film; he was an accomplished musician who formed the Charles Chaplin Music Corporation. He won an Oscar for best score for Limelight

For more about Charlie Chaplin, visit: http://www.charliechaplin.com/

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B = Bette Davis

The daughter of a Massachusetts lawyer, Ruth Elizabeth Davis moved to Hollywood at the age of 22. Changing her name to Bette Davis, she went on to an active career spanning sixty years.  

One of the hardest working actresses in Hollywood, Bette Davis developed a reputation as being a director’s dream because she was always prepared and a co-performers nightmare if you were unprepared. She was demanding of herself and others on the movie sets and in life.

As a result of her work ethic, Bette Davis was the first woman nominated for 10 Academy Awards winning two Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938) with the 10th in 1962 for What ever happened to Baby Jane?, and was the first woman president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

More about Bette Davis at: http://www.bettedavis.com/ 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A = Amelia Earhart

Mystery still surrounds the famous flier but what was truly amazing was her life.

Amelia Earhart was the daughter of a lawyer who worked for the railroad and the granddaughter of a federal judge. She and her sister were schooled at home by their mother and a governess until she entered the seventh grade.

Throughout her childhood, the Earhart family experienced separation with subsequent reunions as a result of her father’s employment status. Amelia developed independence not common in women of her status. She collected news clippings of successful women who triumphed in male-dominated fields.

After Charles Lindbergh’s flight in 1927, Amelia Earhart was asked to participate as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Of course, she accepted the proposal for the 1928 flight. Upon her arrival in Southampton, she was greeted by the Mayor Mrs. Foster Welch. It seemed that Amelia was surrounded by strong women.

Having previously met, George Putnam of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Amelia wrote and promoted several books when she returned. It was not surprising when Putnam divorced his wife in 1928 to marry Earhart in 1929.

With her increasing notoriety, Earhart became the spokeswoman for clothing and luggage lines sold at Macy’s. She was invited to meetings with US Presidents and used her fame to promote aviation, especially women’s flight endurance racing.

Interested in reading more about Amelia Earhart? Go to http://www.ameliaearhart.com/