Portrait: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, German-American architect and last director of Bauhaus

22 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Portrait Reading Time:  23 minutes

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1934) by Hugo Erfurt

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1934) by Hugo Erfurt

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect. He was commonly referred to as Mies, his surname. Along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award was created in 1987.   read more…

Portrait: Ludwig von Mises, Austrian School economist, historian, logician, and sociologist

25 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  21 minutes

© Krapulat/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Krapulat/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian School economist, historian, logician, and sociologist. Mises wrote and lectured extensively on the societal contributions of classical liberalism. He is best known for his work on praxeology studies comparing communism and capitalism. He is considered one of the most influential economic and political thinkers of the 20th century. Mises emigrated from Austria to the United States in 1940. Since the mid-20th century, libertarian movements have been strongly influenced by Mises’s writings. Mises’ student Friedrich Hayek viewed Mises as one of the major figures in the revival of classical liberalism in the post-war era. Hayek’s work “The Transmission of the Ideals of Freedom” (1951) pays high tribute to the influence of Mises in the 20th century libertarian movement. Mises’s Private Seminar was a leading group of economists. Many of its alumni, including Friedrich Hayek and Oskar Morgenstern, emigrated from Austria to the United States and Great Britain. Mises has been described as having approximately seventy close students in Austria.   read more…

Portrait: Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and Academic skeptic

28 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  6 minutes

Bust of Cicero, Palazzo Nuovo, Musei Capitolini, Rome © Freud/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bust of Cicero, Palazzo Nuovo, Musei Capitolini, Rome © Freud/cc-by-sa-3.0

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher, and Academic skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during the political crises that led to the establishment of the Roman Empire. His extensive writings include treatises on rhetoric, philosophy and politics, and he is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and served as consul in 63 BC.   read more…

Portrait: Richard Wagner, composer, theatre director, polemicist, conductor

23 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  6 minutes

Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wagner bust in Bayreuth © Schubbay/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works were later known, “music dramas”). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).   read more…

Portrait: Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman

23 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  6 minutes

Ernest Hemingway at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, 1939 © Lloyd Arnold - www.phoodie.info

Ernest Hemingway at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, 1939 © Lloyd Arnold – www.phoodie.info

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and he was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature. He published seven novels, six short-story collections, and two nonfiction works. Three of his novels, four short-story collections, and three nonfiction works were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.   read more…

Portrait: Angela Merkel, physicist and first female chancellor of Germany

26 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  13 minutes

© א (Aleph)/cc-by-sa-2.5

© א (Aleph)/cc-by-sa-2.5

Angela Dorothea Merkel is a German politician and scientist who served as the chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021. A member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she previously served as leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2005 and as Leader of the CDU from 2000 to 2018. Merkel was the first female chancellor of Germany. During her tenure as Chancellor, Merkel was frequently referred to as the de facto leader of the European Union (EU) and the most powerful woman in the world.   read more…

Portrait: Salvador Dalí, world renown Spanish surrealist

22 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  9 minutes

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress - Roger Higgins

Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou in 1965 © Library of Congress – Roger Higgins

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí of Púbol was a Spanish surrealist artist renowned for his technical skill, precise draftsmanship, and the striking and bizarre images in his work. Born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain, Dalí received his formal education in fine arts in Madrid. Influenced by Impressionism and the Renaissance masters from a young age, he became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements. He moved closer to Surrealism in the late 1920s and joined the Surrealist group in 1929, soon becoming one of its leading exponents. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931, and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings. Dalí lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940 where he achieved commercial success. He returned to Spain in 1948 where he announced his return to the Catholic faith and developed his “nuclear mysticism” style, based on his interest in classicism, mysticism, and recent scientific developments.   read more…

Portrait: Franz Marc, one of the key figures of German Expressionism

24 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  5 minutes

Franz Marc, 1910

Franz Marc, 1910

Franz Moritz Wilhelm Marc (8 February 1880 – 4 March 1916) was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of German Expressionism. He was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a journal whose name later became synonymous with the circle of artists collaborating in it.   read more…

Portrait: Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric, anti-apartheid and human rights activist

27 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  17 minutes

Desmond Tutu at the German Evangelical Church Assembly 2007 © Elke Wetzig/cc-by-sa-3.0

Desmond Tutu at the German Evangelical Church Assembly 2007 © Elke Wetzig/cc-by-sa-3.0

Desmond Mpilo Tutu OMSG CH (born 7 October 1931) is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically, he sought to fuse ideas from black theology with African theology.   read more…

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