About: Jan Bender

I'm a library assistant for special collections at the Getty Research Institute, and also write and illustrate semi-professionally. Some of my fiction will soon be published by the Conlan Press.

Posts by Jan

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Research

Treasures from the Vault: Harry Smith and Patterns in the Wind

Paper airplane made from a flyer for The Event from the Cafe Au Go-Go, 1967
Paper airplane made from a flyer for "The Event from the Cafe Au Go-Go" published by Verve Folkways and the Infinite Poster, Inc., 1967. Harry Smith papers. The Getty Research Institute, 2013.M.4, box 273

What drove artist Harry Smith to collect paper airplanes on the streets of New York? More»

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      #ThyCaptionBe: Don’t Be So Crabby

      You captioned this detail. And we’re revealing the full story now.

      Jaws reference or some rather nasty surf and turf? It’s actually a depiction of the astrological symbol for Cancer.

      Here’s the full story:

      This peasant might be tired from working in the hot sun, but this is no time to go for a swim to cool off! 

      We all know there’s a risk of encountering creepy crawlers when out gardening, but that giant sinister lobster lurking in the water is actually a crab – the astrological symbol for Cancer. 

      Medieval prayer books often include a yearly calendar at the beginning of the text listing important feast days. Each month is usually accompanied by illuminations of seasonal activities and zodiacal signs, such as this one for the month of June.

      #ThyCaptionBe is a celebration of modern interpretations of medieval aesthetics. You guess what the heck is going on, then we myth-bust.


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