Thursday, May 31, 2007

This Day in History Tower Clock Big Ben

Tower Clock Big Ben, Taken by Adrian Pingstone.
The Clock Tower, from Westminster Bridge . Taken by Adrian Pingstone in November 2004 and released to the public domain. High Resolution Image Source: english wikipedia, original upload 28 November 2004 by en:User:Arpingstone.
This image has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, Arpingstone at the English Wikipedia project. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: Arpingstone grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions.
Tower Clock Big Ben.
ARC Identifier: 195565, WWII: Europe; London, England; "Big Ben with barbed wire entanglement". Franklin D. Roosevelt Library (NLFDR), 4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538-1999 PHONE: 845-486-7770, FAX: 845-486-1147, EMAIL: . Type of Archival Materials: Photographs and other Graphic Materials
Description: Item from Collection FDR-PHOCO: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs, 1882 - 1962

Part of: Series: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Public Domain Photographs, 1882 - 1962. Access Restrictions: Unrestricted, Use Restrictions: Unrestricted. Variant Control Number(s): NAIL Control Number: NLR-PHOCO-A-7420(1226)

Copy 1, Copy Status: Preservation-Reproduction-Reference, Storage Facility: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library (Hyde Park, NY) Media. Media Type: Photographic Print. Index Terms Subjects Represented in the Archival Material World War, 1939-1945

The Clock Tower (Big Ben) owes its existence to a fire in 1834 that destroyed most of Parliament. A commission was set up to choose a new building design from 97 submissions and a clock tower dominated Charles Barry's winning plan. The clock swung into action in May 31, 1859. The Clock Tower (Big Ben)

Technorati tags: and or and or and or or and

Al Parker: 1965

*The Norman Rockwell Museum is about to showcase Al Parker's work in a major retrospective. Go to the Rockwell Museum's site for more information.

Adding and Editing Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) Files in the Mobility Pack

With the JSR-226 support included in the Netbeans Mobility Pack for CLDC/MIDP 5.5, you can now use Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files to add vector-based graphics to your mobile applications. SVG files are compact and give you a way to provide high-quality graphics on resource-limited handheld devices. SVG also supports scripting and animation, so it is ideal for interactive, data-driven, personalized graphics.
This article shows you how the GUI-based Visual Mobile Designer within the Mobility Pack software enables you to create menus, splash screens, wait screens, and animations using drag-and-drop components from its palette menu.
What are SVG and JSR-266?
Java Specification Request (JSR)-226 specifies the API for rendering scalable, two-dimensional vector graphics. Instead of encoding the contents of each pixel, as raster-based image formats like GIF and JPG do, vector graphics contain only the drawing instructions for each pixel. This gives vector images several advantages:
They are scalable, so the image quality remains the same on displays of different sizes and resolutions. You can also stretch, flip, or reverse an image without losing quality.
They support scripting and animations, so they are ideal for interactive, data-driven graphics.
They are compact. Vector-based images can be as much as ten times smaller than an identical image in GIF or JPEG format. This important advantage makes it possible to create graphically rich applications for handheld devices with limited resources.
They allow users to interact with image content.
They are searchable, allowing users to search for text within the image. For example, users can search a map for specific street names, or search a list of restaurant menus for their favorite dish.
The Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) specification is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification for describing two-dimensional graphics and graphical applications in XML. The SVG specification describes images with vector shapes, text, and embedded raster graphics. A full-featured subset, or profile, of SVG aimed toward mobile devices is called "SVG-Tiny." JSR-226 adopts version 1.1 of the SVG-Tiny profile as the official file format for J2ME vector graphics.
You can find more about JSR-226 by reading the article, Getting Started with Mobile 2D Graphics for J2ME.

Photoshop Vector Brush Set

17 Vector brushes.Can be used for Photoshop 7 and higher. Author

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

View from the top

Watercolor on paper.

Father's Day, Dad You're a Knock-out

Father's Day, Dad You're a Knock-out Mike Donovan & fatherTITLE: Mike Donovan & father. CALL NUMBER: LC-B2- 2925-11 [P&P], REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-ggbain-14965 (digital file from original negative), No known restrictions on publication. MEDIUM: 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.
Digital ID: ggbain 14965 Source: digital file from original neg. Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ggbain-14965 (digital file from original negative) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (94 kilobytes)

CREATED, PUBLISHED: [no date recorded on caption card], NOTES: Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or caption cards. Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress). Temp. note: Batch three loaded.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (digital file from original neg.) ggbain 14965 , CARD #: ggb2005014969

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ggbain-14965]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Professor Mike Donovan: IN A CAREER that spanned from 1866 to 1891, middleweight "Professor" Mike Donovan fought with gloves or without and often took on opponents who were 20- to 30-pounds heavier. He was known as "The Professor" because he was an advocate of the science of boxing and he would later become one of the foremost teachers of the sport.

or and

Adobe Lightroom

Professional digital photography has been a reality for a while now but the big-name developers have been slow to catch up. With different software like iViewMedia Pro or Photo Mechanic filling in the missing pieces of file organizing and metadata editing workflow and different apps providing the ability to do quality RAW conversion, it's a relatively new thing to have one program that does it all and does it well
With Apple's Aperture and now Adobe's Lightroom, it seems the big boys are finally ready to fight over who is going to be at the center of the digital creative arena. But Adobe isn't playing copycat here—and I think their release of a public beta was an attempt to send that message. It was pretty clear when the beta was released that this is not just a slapped-together product—Adobe's had this in the works for a while.

Masking in Adobe Illustrator! Basics Tutorial

The video tutorial below will introduce you to basic vector masking technique in Adobe Illustrator. 

More vector drawing tutorials from TutVid, here.

Learn all about masking and create two effects.

Just because...

...they're beautiful and for all you poppy lovers out there,
I'll be making a-poppy-a-day till sunday.
Click on this one to see it BIGGER.

Al Parker: 1958

*The Norman Rockwell Museum is about to showcase Al Parker's work in a major retrospective. Go to the Rockwell Museum's site for more information.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On The Fly

Map: Angling in Troubled Waters

'Angling in Troubled Waters', 1899 by Fred Rose
see this CatholicGauze post for details [via]

Russian pile of books - Radakov

1920 print by Aleksei Radakov
(Maybe I've posted this image before? Oh well.)

Russian airship fight

'Painting depicts aerial battle with airplanes and airships.
Text underneath describes modern aerial warfare' - 1914 lithograph.
Both from the Hoover Institution Russian Empire and Soviet Poster Collection.

Russian History titlepage

Giles Fletcher 'The history of Russia' titlepage [2nd Ed. 1643]
"This is the history of Russia before the founding of St. Petersburg ... Published originally as 'Of the Russe Common Wealth', 1591, this is the second edition of the first English book about Russia. Well more than a century before Sankt Pieter Burkh was a gleam in Peter's eye or Peter a gleam in his parents' eyes, Englishman Giles Fletcher was dispatched to Russia on a diplomatic mission to attempt to gain trade concessions for English merchants of the Muscovy Company. The indignities to which he was subjected by Russian authorities were detailed in his account written on the road home. Queen Elizabeth heard the story and registered a complaint upon which the merchants of the Company had the book suppressed, fearing the damage it could do to English/Russian trade relations. In some subsequent editions the offensive passages were removed."

Albertus Sebus - wunderkammer image of animals

Albertus Seba, 'Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri' 1734-1765.
"Anteaters for the Tsar! If this New World native, the anteater, could write an account of how he made it to the Kunstkammer in Sankt Pieter Burkh in the early 18th century, it would be a best-seller. Peter the Great had begun to purchase natural history collections (birds, fishes, insects, monsters, anatomical preparations) during his pre-Petersburgian travels in the West, with an eye to the development of medicine in Russia. Albertus Seba was a wealthy Dutch apothecary, merchant and traveler whose collection of natural history objects was the largest of its kind in his day. His collection would form the nucleus of the Russian national collections in St. Petersburg after purchase by Peter."
Both of the above images come from the excellent 'Frosted Windows - 300 Years of St Petersburg Through Western Eyes' exhibition site at the University of Kansas Spencer Research Library.

*Speaking of Russia: a large eclectic set of late 19th/early 20th century adverts via Ben Hayattaken.

Illuminated Haggadah

'Highly decorated text, including border decoration of a centaur
shooting at an owl and a hunter with his dog catching rabbits.'

Jewish Haggadah 14th century - Exodus

'The exodus from Rameses: Egyptians watch from windows as the
Israelites march out armed, encouraged by Moses and Aaron to
the left. Below: Pharaoh's army arrives at the Red Sea.'

Jewish Haggadah

'Dining rooms and kitchens. In the kitchen a sheep in slaughtered
while a large fish is turned on a spit. A young couple eat in one
dining room while an older gentleman is served in another.'

13th century illuminated Jewish Haggadah

'The Parting of the Red Sea: Moses leads the Israelites across
the Red Sea, Egyptian soldiers drown in the waves.'

For no particular reason, I've always had this notion that Jewish manuscript and textual tradition was generally bereft of significant illustrations or illumination work and I guess it's fair to say that, although I've come across examples from time to time, I haven't exactly pursued the genre with any gusto. So I was happy to find these beautiful pages from a mid-13th century Haggadah from Catalonia at the University of Manchester's Rylands Library (there are no more pages online).
"The Haggadah--a compilation of biblical passages, prayers, hymns, and rabbinic literature--was probably assembled sometime during the Second Temple period in Palestine and was meant to be read during the Passover Seder, a ceremony held in Jewish homes to commemorate the Israelite redemption from Egypt in biblical times. The earliest extant version, however, appeared in a 10th century prayerbook in Babylonia. The Haggadah became a beloved and cherished text for Jews all over the world and nowhere is this high regard more evident than in the illustrations lavished on it by generations of Jewish artists from mediaeval times to the present. These illuminations represent Biblical scenes as well as scenes from rabbinic legends. Many illuminated Haggadot, most of which were produced in Europe in the middle ages, depict the preparations for the holiday and the celebration of the Seder itself thus giving us a visual image of Jewish life in earlier times."

The quote comes from 'The Passover Haggadah in the Yale University Libraries Collection' - a great exhibition site with example pages from many different manuscript and printed book forms. Thanks to D for passing on the link (months ago) - which prompted my searching out the Hebrew MS 6 at Rylands Library.

Nebraskan colonial gothic mansion

The residence of Dr. V.H. Coffman, at the corner of St. Mary's Ave. &
Sheridan St., Omaha, Nebraska IN: 'The official state atlas of Nebraska', 1885.

winged cricket

eclipse sketches

'Greatest number of eclipses in one year'
IN: 'Smith's illustrated astronomy' by Asa Smith, 1850.

Birds eyeview San Francisco

'Birds eye view of the city of San Francisco and surrounding country'.
Lithographic print by George H. Goddard, 1868. 'view looking east over ocean
beach to the city, with the East Bay and Sierra; Golden Gate at the lower left'

1800s world map and information broadsheet

'World At One View' - broadside, 1854.

Interestingly, among the information headings in this broadside (just readable if you click and enlarge the image) is 'Great Libraries', arranged according to book numbers (better zoom views from the Rumsey site). I wondered why the Library of Congress wasn't included on the list and went off to read up on its history. I discovered that 2/3 of its 55,000 books were destroyed by a fire in 1851. The broadside was first published in 1852, prior to the collection being restored. It may just be a coincidence or perhaps the broadside publisher was a supporter of the Smithsonian Institution, the only other rival at the time to become the official national library. Read about the history at, where else, the Library of Congress.

A very significant and welcome addition to the David Rumsey Map Collection site lately was the Directory page. Now you can easily browse (by who, what, when or where) the thousands of images in the collection - not all of them are cartographic - in thumbnail views and launch a desired image into a zoomable Insightbrowser interface, a piece of web architecture I've finally decided I like. The above 5 images come from here, including the cricket which is a teeny tiny detail from a now forgotten page/book.

etching symbolism

'The Triumph of Dionysus' by Pierre Brebiette (~1630-1640)

The National Gallery of Art in Washington have a small informative website, 'Fabulous Journeys and Faraway Places - Travels on Paper, 1450-1700' supporting a recently opened exhibition.

ratcatcher etching

'The Rat Catcher' (~1610-1635), an etching by Johan van Vliet .
Found in the Samek Art Gallery at Pennsylvania's Bucknell University (Insightbrowser)
See also: Antique rat and mouse trap gallery.

Hulgue - calligraphic beast


By sheer coincidence I went to check up the other day on an illustration project I'd known about for some time that was in part inspired by the calligraphy work of Hassan Musa (zoomorphic calligraphy) to find that an RPG book ('Reign') by Greg Stolze was just published on Lulu featuring the illustration work of Daniel Solis. See here and here. (Flickr set).

Acapulco view - Vingboons

Acapulco by Johannes Vingboons, 17th century.
(spliced screencaps from the Dutch exibition site, Vitrine)

New Amsterdam (New York) - Vingboons

'View of Nieuw Amsterdam or New York' by Johannes Vingboons, 1664.
New Amsterdam had approximately 1500 residents in 1664 when it was transferred from Dutch to British stewardship, becoming New York in the process. (from the Memory of the Netherlands site)

history of Jews in Switzerland

My notes say: 'History of Jews in Switzerland', from
somewhere in the Center for Jewish History digital collections.

Luca Cambiaso 16th century surreal drawing

This very intriguing - almost cubist/surreal - drawing is by the Ligurian artist, Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585) and I seem to remember reading that there are several hundred other sketches by him in existence. The image was snagged from a site posted in conjunction with a current exhibition at Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo Rosso in Genoa. I recall there are multiple pages and at least the first page is in english.

Ottoman script - Karahisar

16th century Turkish ottoman calligraphy

These two 16th century Ottoman-Turk calligraphy images are from the
album of Ahmed Karahisar, somewhere within the Museum With No Frontiers.

Irish satire 19th century

'A Family Party taking an Airing'
(anonymous, 1800)

Irish satire by Mecham

'Away with him! The wild mob's million feet will kick you from your place'
by William Mecham (aka Tom Merry), 1886.

The University of Dublin Trinity College Nicholas K Robinson Collection of Caricature have the most annoying and pervasive watermarks and the above images took ages to approximately restore to the artists' original display. There are more than 300 images covering 1773-1900. Many appear to be British (Rowlandson, Cruikshank & co) but there are definitely some Irish prints here.

Frascati birdseyeview

Frascati detail

Frescati birdseyeview detail

Engraved by Matthäus Greuter and printed by mapmaker Joan Blaeu in ~1620, the top image (details underneath) depicts the famed villas of the Papal nobility in the town of Frascati, just south of Rome [wikipedia have a list/links to articles/photographs of each villa]. The first free public school in Europe was opened in Frascati at about the time this engraving was made, just by the by.

Frascati theatre - Faldi

Frascati water feature

Palazzo Roma - Falda

The first two baroque garden etchings above are also in Frascati ('the great water theater of the Villa Aldobrandini' and 'View of the fountain of the theater of the Villa Aldobrandini Belvedere at Frascati at the summit near the top of the mount') by Giovanni Battista Falda IN: 'The Fountains of the Villas of Frascati, or Tusculum, With Their Views', 1691. [See: Metropolitan Museum of Art: another Falda water fountain image]
The final undated image is also by GB Falda of the garden design for Prince Pamphilio's Palazzo Roma {see also Venturini image at ebay - I *think* it's the same place.}.

All the Frascati and GB Falda images were obtained from the Catena Digital Archive of Historic Gardens and Landscapes (a consortium of predominantly New York libraries).

Other things...

This Day in History Reagan Gorbachev Moscow Summit

Courtesy Ronald Reagan LibraryIMAGES FROM THE REAGAN LIBRARY ARCHIVES (Selected by the Reagan Library Audiovisual Staff)

These photographs were selected through a combination of criteria: popularity, historical significance and composition. No scanned image has been cropped but please note that the on-screen color and quality may vary from an actual print. The over 600 selected images represented here are only a small portion of the over 1.5 million photographs available.
All the photographs are in the public domain and may be credited "Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library."

C47345-10, President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev in Red Square during the Moscow Summit. 5/31/88.

Generally speaking, works created by U.S. Government employees are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" from the U.S. Copyright Office.

1988: May 29-June 2 U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Michail Gorbachev meet in Moscow, during which are signed:
  • Agreement on Notifications of Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile Launches between the United States and the USSR;
  • Cooperation and Exchange Program between the United States and the USSR for 1989-1991;
  • Incidents at Sea Agreement between the United States and the USSR;
  • Transport Agreement between the United States and the USSR;
  • Fisheries Agreement between the United States and the USSR.
Timeline of Russian-American Relations
18-20th Centuries Embassy of The United State Moscow, Russia

President Ronald Reagan travels to Moscow to begin the fourth summit meeting held in the past three years with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Though the summit produced no major announcements or breakthroughs, it served to illuminate both the successes and the failures achieved by the two men in terms of U.S.-Soviet relations. 1988 : Reagan arrives in Moscow for summit talks

Leave a comment, make a request, Let this small sampling be a guide to better quality, more plentiful, public domain, royalty free, copyright free, high resolution, images, stock photos, jpeg, jpg, free for commercial use, clip art, clipart, clip-art. more at and or and or and or or and

Poppy love

They call it poppy love...
Watercolor, ink & collage on paper.

Al Parker: 1948

Unfortunately some former owner of the magazine cut some small photos from the reverse of the left-hand page. But it didn't totally ruin the piece so... here it is!

*The Norman Rockwell Museum is about to showcase Al Parker's work in a major retrospective. Go to the Rockwell Museum's site for more information.

Something New ?

Unleash your creativity with Serif's powerful drawing and graphics software - at no cost! You'll be amazed how easy it is to create high quality graphics and animations without having to spend hours designing or pay for expensive training.
The amazing DrawPlus 4 is the user-friendly program that will enable you to achieve outstanding designs in no time at all. Create attention-grabbing text, decorative page elements and logos, as well as full-page illustrations, with little or no previous design experience.
File Size: 19mb
License: Free
Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
Publisher: Serif Europe Limited
Date Added: 8th February 2007 Download

Monday, May 28, 2007

Father's Day Eskimo father and child

Eskimo father and childTITLE: Eskimo father and child, CALL NUMBER: LOT 11453-3, no. 28 [P&P] No known restrictions on reproduction. REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-DIG-ppmsc-02326 (digital file from original) No known restrictions on publication.

MEDIUM: 1 photographic print. CREATED, PUBLISHED: [between ca. 1900 and ca. 1930]
Digital ID: ppmsc 02326 Source: digital file from original Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsc-02326 (digital file from original) Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (108 kilobytes) Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (15 megabytes)

Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 are now in the public domain.

NOTES: Title transcribed from caption accompanying item. Forms part of: Frank and Frances Carpenter collection (Library of Congress). Gift; Mrs. W. Chapin Huntington; 1951.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. DIGITAL ID: (digital file from original) ppmsc 02326 CARD #: 99615074

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-DIG-ppmsc-02326]

MARC Record Line 540 - No known restrictions on publication.

Leave a comment, make a request, Let this small sampling be a guide to better quality, more plentiful, public domain, royalty free, copyright free, high resolution, images, stock photos, jpeg, jpg, free for commercial use, clip art, clipart, clip-art.

or and

Poppy collage

Watercolor & collage on paper
(7 x 8 1/2 inches).

Adobe Illustrator CS3

Adobe Illustrator CS3 is the best vector drawing program on the market. This statement would be more impressive if Adobe hadn't purchased and read the last rites to Illustrator's only serious competition, Macromedia FreeHand. Luckily, however, Adobe's virtual monopoly hasn't led the company to grow complacent. In the CS3 version of Illustrator, it has focused on improving integration with another acquisition, Flash (70 percent of Flash users also use Illustrator, according to Adobe), and on providing a number of small improvements that add up to a big difference in the program's usability. Nothing here quite approaches the status of "killer feature" the way CS2's Live Trace capabilities did, but CS3 is still a worthy upgrade to Illustrator

Rip Yr Heart Out

Bloody red! Great wallpaper! Artist comments: "They tried to do it to Indiana Jones too." you can visit his gallery: