Scope & Horror

Existential Dread

I am trying something new this week, in hopes to eventually move into a weekly post. While I am getting set up and trying to come up with a workable format, I am posting this first one in pieces.

For the week of July 22-July 28:


The Artists

Artwork by Edward Hopper (b. July 22, 1882). From left to right, sketch for Nightime on the E Train (1918); paintings Early Sunday Morning (1930) Manhattan Bridge Loop (1928), Drug Store (1927).


Artwork, top: illustrator Virgil Finlay (b.July 23, 1914). I can’t post enough of his illustrations, they are all great so you can click here to see more.  Painter and sculptor Alex Katz (b.July 24, 1927), Ada (1957).

Animator Ruthie Tompson was born in Portland, Maine (July 22, 1910). She worked for Walt Disney, and, as far as I can tell, she is still alive at the age of 108.

Maxfield Parrish (b.July 25, 1870). Purchased prints of his painting Daybreak have outsold The Last SupperApparently, Michael Jackson and then-wife Lisa Marie Presley recreated this portrait, posing semi-nude in the music video for “You Are Not Alone.” Hopefully, I am not alone in completely suppressing this memory. Let’s all keep doing so.



From left to right: Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha (b.July 24, 1860). This is part of a design on a 100 koran note from 1920. Painter Jane Frank (b. July 25, 1918), uncredited photo, Aerial View No. 1 (1968), and Crags and Crevices (1961). Painter Eugene Martin (b.July 24, 1938), Self Portrait (1990), and Paranoia Stroll (2003). Marcel Duchamp (b.July 28, 1887). Portrait by Irving Penn, (1948) and A Propos de Jeune Soeur (1911) by Duchamp.

For tonight: 

No descending staircases nude. Unless you are getting ready to recreate Daybreak. 


Still to come: The Writers, The Scientists, The Entertainers, The Events, and more about your week.



An Arctic Icarus

General Discomfort

In an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole by hydrogen balloon, engineer and aeronaut S. A. Andrée, accompanied by engineer Knut Frænkel, and photographer Nils Strindberg took off from Spitsbergen, Norway on July 11, 1897. They flew for 65 hours, but a series of unfortunate events including flying directionless into heavy storms, they crash-landed onto pack ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

They had flown about 495 km, and spent the next three months attempting to head back over frozen terrain, eventually landing on the deserted Arctic island of Kvitøya sometime in October. The three of them died there and their whereabouts were a mystery until 1930 when their bodies (and Strindberg’s photo plates) were found by chance. It is said that Andree ignored many potential flaws in his plan, including that the balloon had come from Paris directly after being made, had never been tested, and was showing serious signs of leaking. He also ignored concerns that his devised method of steering the balloon with a series of weighted ropes might not be as effective as he claimed (which turned out to be true).

Two Horse, One Horse, No Horse 

The Lumière brothers demonstrated their invention of the cinématographe, the all-in-one camera, developer, and projector, to scientists July 11, 1895


Harry Kellar’s “Levitation of Princess Karnac” poster, Strobridge Lithography Co., 1893.

Boris Grigoriev ______ ___________ __________ Tutt'Art@ (8) (1).jpg

Night Scene, Paris 1913. Boris Grigoriev

Their first film is 46 seconds and is called Sortie de l’Usine Lumière de Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory in Lyon). This video shows all three versions, released about a year apart, in 1895, 1896, and 1897 respectively. Each version is often referred to by the number of horses seen in the shot.

Magician Harry Kellar was born July 11, 1849.  Apparently, he was known as the “Dean of Magic,” and specialized in illusions that involved the use of apparatuses. Also, he talked Harry Houdini out of attempting to catch a bullet. Also if you click on that link, there is a picture of the two of them that makes Kellar look an awful lot like Houdini’s ventriloquist dummy.

Illustrator H.M. Brock was born July 11, 1875; followed by astronomer and author of Astronomy for Young Folks Isabel Martin Lewis in 1881; Russian painter Boris Grigoriev, in 1886; and writer E.B. White, in 1899. I trust you own The Elements of Style, yes?


from The Elements of StyleStrunk & White, 1918

Writer Alexander Afanasyev was born July 11, 1826. He published 8 volumes of Russian fairytales and folktales.

Chester Gilette murdered Grace Brown on July 11, 1906, inspiring Theodore Dreiser‘s An American Tragedy. Also on July 11; Big Ben rang for the first time in 1859, and Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in 1804. Remember back before there was a musical, and we all knew about those two was from the milk commercial?

Okay, I have to wrap this up, it isn’t even July 11th anymore.

Affirmation for your morning: It’s a wise dog that scratches its own fleas.

Hair of the dog that bit you: sheepdog

Number of horses in the shot: 1

Tasks: settle a kitten war, or two, or three and watch a trip to the moon