Have you met Da Vinci’s little devil?

“Giacomo came to live with me on the feast of St. Mary Magdalene 1490, aged 10 years” from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci It was a warm July day when the door creaked open at the Corte Vecchia, the old medieval castle turned art studio. Situated across the street from Milan’s cathedral, it was once home to the notorious Visconti family. Despite its proximity to all things holy, the castle…

When Dirt Ruled: The Banning of the Bath

  It’s a good thing there aren’t any scratch and sniff history books. Sure, the smell of Martha Washington’s cookies or the hanging gardens of Babylon would make nice pages, but the number of historical olfactory transgressions probably outnumber everything pleasant. Of course the Ancient Romans had public baths to keep everyone smelling like roses, and although they introduced the practice to much of Europe dark days eventually fell…

AMAZING DISCOVERY: Children Grow In Gardens

  It’s 1837 and Friedrich Froebel is planting a garden in Germany. He’s been working on it for several years, sowing, weeding, and fertilizing. Only it is just now beginning to bloom. There are no daisies, or tomatoes, or even pumpkins in Friedrich’s garden. This garden is an “experimental social experience.”¹  You see, its children he’s trying to grow an his garden is kindergarten. Friedrich…

The Smart Girls Guide to the Impressionist

  Like everything else in life art has a story. When you look at a drawing, painting, or sculpture it’s only a tiny peek into a whole complex world. Like a flower poking through the dirt, it’s merely the tip of something deeper. It’s love, hate, struggle, envy—all wrapped up in paint and canvas. Just dig a little and you’ll uncover the roots. So let&#8217…

Romancing the Joe, How Coffee Got It’s Nickname

It’s a lazy summer day and your on a tropical beach with the man of your dreams. “I love you,” he says as a warm breeze sweeps down from the sand dunes and tumbles through his sun bleached hair. “Marry me.” You start to say yes, but your voice comes out sounding like a fog horn. Lover-boy pops like a pin-pricked balloon, the sand dunes turn into…