Curator of Curiosities

Cabinet of curiosities, wunderkammer: A theater of the world; containing objects whose categorical boundaries have yet to be defined.

Thomas Cromwell stood on the scaffold of Tower Hill.

On a warm July day, he declared to the crowd his intention to die “in the traditional faith.” Cromwell knelt and placed his head on the stone, and the executioner began his work. The executioner, it seems, was having a bad day. Though he had executed Thomas More with a single swing of the axe, for some reason he could not muster that same strength for Cromwell. The executioner made such a scene that sixteenth-century chronicler Edward Hall thought it important to record the grisly event: “[Cromwell] so paciently suffered the stroke of the axe, by a ragged and Boocherly miser, whiche very ungoodly perfourmed the Office.”

"A Short History of the Executioner," The Appendix

newyorker:

Andrea DenHoed speaks with the obsessive collector behind “Letters of Note”: http://nyr.kr/1hEzNTq

“The idea behind the Letters of Note project—that correspondence holds a rare communicative and aesthetic power—also happens to be well calibrated for the Internet. It hits on a juncture of Pinterest-style object nostalgia, an appetite for emotive but bite-size reading, and a mild voyeurism.”

Letters from Letters of Note, written by (from left to right) Annie Oakley, Elvis Presley, and Jack the Ripper. Courtesy Chronicle Books.

newyorker:

Andrea DenHoed speaks with the obsessive collector behind “Letters of Note”: http://nyr.kr/1hEzNTq

“The idea behind the Letters of Note project—that correspondence holds a rare communicative and aesthetic power—also happens to be well calibrated for the Internet. It hits on a juncture of Pinterest-style object nostalgia, an appetite for emotive but bite-size reading, and a mild voyeurism.”

Letters from Letters of Note, written by (from left to right) Annie Oakley, Elvis Presley, and Jack the Ripper. Courtesy Chronicle Books.

(Source: newyorker.com)

Richard Tennant Cooper, Syphilis, 1912 

via Wellcome Images 

Richard Tennant Cooper, Syphilis, 1912 

via Wellcome Images 

magictransistor:

Cabaret Voltaire [Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, Jean Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck]; Zurich, Switzerland, 1916.

(via rosswolfe)

"It’s a curious thing to think of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) sitting alone, closely studying photographic portraits of the afflicted and insane. But in the late 1860s, that’s exactly what he began doing: he sifted through portraits of kleptomaniacs, nymphomaniacs, sufferers of severe self-importance, hysteria, and general mania. The portraits, nearly forty of them, were a sort of gift from neurologist James Crichton-Browne (1840-1938), who, as director the West Riding Lunatic Asylum at Wakefield, was a notable figure in neuropsychiatric photography." The Naturalist and the Neurologist: On Charles Darwin and James Crichton-Browne 

47 infant deaths occur every day because of the way society in the United States is structured, resulting in our health status being that of a middle-income country, not a rich country. There is growing evidence that the factor most responsible for the relatively poor health in the United States is the vast and rising inequality in wealth and income that we not only tolerate, but resist changing.

—Stephen Bezruchka, http://bit.ly/1pQxYB7 (via bostonreview)