Tag Archives: Man Ray

Almanac – April 23

1564 – William Shakespeare born. English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.

 His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, two epitaphs on a man named John Combe, one epitaph on Elias James, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

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1907 – Lee Miller born. American photographer. She was a successful fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris, with the intention of apprenticing herself to the surrealist artist and photographer Man Ray. Although, at first, he insisted that he did not take students, Miller soon became his photographic assistant, as well as his lover and muse.

While she was in Paris, she began her own photographic studio, often taking over Man Ray’s fashion assignments to enable him to concentrate on his painting.In fact, many of the photographs taken during this period and credited to Man Ray were actually taken by Miller.

Together with Man Ray, she rediscovered the photographic technique of solarisation. She was an active participant in the surrealist movement, with her witty and humorous images.

 During the Second World War, she became an acclaimed war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau.

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1965 – George Adamski died.  Polish-born American citizen who became widely known in ufology circles, and to some degree in popular culture, after he claimed to have photographed ships from other planets, met with friendly Nordic alien Space Brothers, and to have taken flights with them.

The first of the so-called contactees of the 1950s, he was called a “philosopher, teacher, student and saucer researcher“, though his claims were met with skepticism.

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1991 – Johnny Thunders died. American  guitarist, singer and songwriter. He came to prominence in the early 1970s as a member of the New York Dolls,  later played with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist.

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Almanac – November 18

2347 BC – Some say this was the day Noah’s Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. Some also say that Noah was then  600 years old.

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1803 – The Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution, was fought, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.

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1922 – Marcel Proust died. French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past). It was published in seven parts between 1913 and 1927.

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1926 – George Bernard Shaw refused to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, “I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize”.

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1936 – Don Cherry born. African-American jazz trumpetist whose career began with a long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman.

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1952 – Paul Eluard died.  French poet and one of the founders of the Surrealist movement. During World War II, he was involved in the French Resistance, during which time he wrote Liberty (1942), Les sept poèmes d’amour en guerre (1944) and En avril 1944: Paris respirait encore! (1945). He later embraced communism, and when he  died,  from a heart attack, his funeral was organized by the Communist Party.

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1953 – Alan Moore born. English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell. Frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has also been described as “one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years”.

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1976 – Man Ray died. American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called “rayographs“.

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1978 – In Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple cult to a mass murder-suicide that claimed 918 lives in all, 909 of them in Jonestown itself, including over 270 children.

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Almanac – August 27

551 BC – Birthdate given for Confucius

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1784 – First balloon ascent in Britain, by James Tytler over Edinburgh.

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1890 – Man Ray born. American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements.

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1896 – War broke out between the UK and Zanzibar. Happily, it didn’t become a prolonged affair – war was declared at 09:02, peace was declared at 09:40, making this 38-minute long war the shortest on record.

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1913 – Russian pilot Lieutenant Peter Nesterov became the first person to perform the loop-the-loop.

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1937 – Alice Coltrane born. American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer. Wife of John Coltrane.

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1967 – Brian Epstein died.  English music entrepreneur, best known for being the manager of The Beatles. He died of an overdose of Carbitral, a form of barbiturate or sleeping pill.

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1975 – Emperor Haile Selassie died. Revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate, among the Rastafari.

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