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Before war photographers, there were actual war artists armed with pencils, pens, ink and paper. And we can’t stop staring at their incredible drawings.
These images, drawn from the May edition of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 24, and W.W. Norton’s “Civil War Sketch Book,” on sale May 14, represent some of the finest made by a corps of young Civil War artists known as “Specials” — so called because their work was rushed to newspapers and magazines special delivery — who recorded the bulk of the firsthand images of our nation’s bloodiest conflict.
Critics say “Return of the Jedi” was the worst original Star Wars film. But these newly released concept storyboards from artist David Russell show what could have been different. Like that seriously freakish Emperor.
The story of the “color line” in baseball could be seen as the black experience in post-Civil War America writ small. Black baseball clubs first came to prominence after the Civil War, and the first all-black professional team, the Cuban Giants (so named by the owner to attract more white spectators), formed in 1885. The Negro Leagues soon followed, and by the 1920s, “blackball,” as it was called, had its own World Series, not to mention financial success. The slow, difficult and painful integration of professional baseball, which began shortly after World War II and continued into the 1960s, is symbolized for most Americans by the signing of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers. But the cause — and the sport — had a great many less-sung heroes. An exhibition of 60 vintage baseball cards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (from which these images are drawn) tells their story, and should help tide fans over until the season starts again.
These gorgeous illustrations are from the world’s most expensive book, John James Audubon’s “The Birds of America,” a copy of which is up for auction at Christie’s tomorrow. Another copy of the book sold for $11.5 million last year. Christie’s believes only 120 still exist.
This portrait of Lady Gaga, sketched by fellow superstar Tony Bennett, just fetched $30,000 on eBay.
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