Overdue Attention for Overlooked Women Old Masters
Several significant exhibitions of Old Masters have been announced, and while large shows of Renaissance and Baroque paintings aren’t anything new, this recent spate is solely focused on women painters of the eras. From Washington DC’s National Museum of Women in the Arts to London’s National Gallery and Madrid’s Museo Nacional del Prado, shows dedicated to artists including Sofonisba Anguissola, Lavinia Fontana, Judith Leyster, Rachel Ruysch, Maria Schalcken and others are being put together because art institutions finally recognize their immense appeal. It’s not (as many may assume) that there was a lack of artworks by women—in fact, in the case of the DC show Women Artists of the Dutch Golden Age, the museum has an “abundance of works by women of the period.” As curator curator Virginia Treanor says, she hopes her show (and presumably others) dismiss “the myth of exceptionalism which I think is doing a disservice to many of these artists.” Read more at Artsy.
Nest LivingHome Toolkit Drastically Reduces Costs of Housing Construction
Starting at $57,900, Plant Prefab and architecture firm Brooks & Scarpa offer modular unit designs that can be assembled with prefabricated, customizable parts—from shelters that house hundreds of people to standalone units that run off the grid. These designs, named Nest LivingHome Toolkits, seek to combat the housing crisis in many US cities by employing innovative design in situations that usually require costly construction sites and $250k down payments. “If it works, we can do it again,” says Tara Barauskas, executive director of Community Corporation of Santa Monica, the first organization to use the kit. “The idea is that it’s scalable, and what I liked most about the Nest concept is that it offers options for different types of sites. So ideally, it could become a template that could be reapplied.” Read more at Fast Company.
The Louvre + HTC VIVE Arts Render the Mona Lisa in 3D
Incorporating infrared, x-ray and refractive data, HTC VIVE Arts has transformed the Mona Lisa into a 3D figure set inside a dedicated virtual reality experience at the Louvre. Entitled “Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass,” the immersive artwork attempts to show what the iconic, mysterious figure would look like in motion—and also give participants time to see the details of the painting without the clamor of other viewers. The VR event, a first of its kind for the museum, can be found in a special viewing room inside the Louvre, which includes 11 Vive Cosmos headsets. It’s presented in conjunction with the museum’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibition—the largest ever. An extended version of “Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass” can also be downloaded through Viveport for anyone who can’t make it to Paris. Read more at designboom.
The Elusive Scent Of Autumn
As autumn unfolds, its splendors permeate everyday life: foliage falls on city streets and in forests, and the scent of pumpkin and spices burns in lobbies and living rooms all over. But one naturally occurring aroma eludes some noses and pleases those that can smell it: the katsura, or “caramel tree.” Native to Japan and China (and, at one point, possibly North America), the Cercidiphyllum japonicum smells of burned sugar when its hue changes from a rich purple to a wet yellow. The chemical responsible for the scent, maltol, can also be found in breads, warmed butter, cocoa, and coffee, researchers say. Unfortunately, though, as our senses of smell are as individually coded as our face and body type, not everyone notices this fragrance. Read more at The New York Times.
NASA Unveils Two “Galaxy of Horrors” Posters
Just in time for Halloween, NASA has shared two posters featuring the distant exoplanets, HD 189733 b (Rains of Terror) and PSR B1257+12 c (Zombie Worlds). For this series, meant to showcase places “only sophisticated telescopes” can reach, the space agency borrows storylines from famed sci-fi films and pairs them with hypothetical real-life journeys. HD 189733 b is characterized as being “the killer you never see coming.” The other, PSR B1257+12 c is an “undead star” that holds a “horrifying grip” on a trio of planets. While the posters are playful and timely, they also feature plenty of navigable graphics. Plus, each print is available for download (in varying sizes) for free. See more at NASA’s site.
The Teenage Inventor of a Blind Spot Solution
14-year-old Alaina Gassler’s “Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blind Spots” project, which took first prize for STEM excellence at the Broadcam MASTERS competition, eliminates blocks in vision created by obstructive interiors. In essence, Gassler has eliminated a driver’s blind spot. Using a webcam, projector, and 3D-printed materials, Gassler configured a camera to capture the area blocked by the a-pillar and the projector to display the feed onto the interior panel (which needed to be treated with a reflective coat). Gassler also had to design—and subsequently 3D-print—a piece that assisted the projector in maintaining focus at such close range. A very impressive invention, especially considering she doesn’t even drive yet. Read more at Mashable.
Sneakersnstuff Celebrates 20th Anniversary With adidas Collaboration
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, sneaker boutique Sneakersnstuff (SNS) is collaborating with adidas Consortium on four pairs of sneakers that embody the past and the present. Two pairs of adidas ZX4000 4D don custom vibrant hues—dubbed the “The Sunrise” and “The Sunset”—while classic Stan Smiths are adorned with portraits of Sneakersnstuff’s two founders. Lastly, a set of slides covered in slogans from both brands completes the collection. Interested buyers can enter the raffle on the SNS app for the opportunity to purchase the sneakers when they’re released globally on 9 November. A limited number of the collab sneakers will also be available at SNS stores in Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, London and New York on 2 and 3 November. Read more at SNS’ site.