Because they’re pretty, and because it’s almost Independence Day, we present you marbled papers from our collections in shades of red, white and blue. For more fun with marbling see our new Pinterest board.
Top to bottom:
Miscellaneous moods in verse; one hundred and one poems with illustrations, 1914. Elihu Vedder papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
For the past three weeks, we’ve been following an incredible livestream of the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, filmed from a submersible operated by researchers aboard the Okeanos Explorer. The expedition, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ended this week. Using the sub’s high-def camera, the scientists captured footage of parts of the ocean floor never before seen by humans, including ancient shipwrecks, unidentified species, and rare geology.
We’ll have much more coverage of this expedition next week, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, enjoy these animated GIFs of deep-ocean creatures that wound up in the sub’s LED beams—many of them likely experiencing bright light for the first time.
Holy. Moley. These are awesome.
Society Adventures: A Clandestine Catacombs Affair with Phillippe Petit
Last week, the New York Obscura Society and Riverhead Books invited 40 guests to join us on a mystery excursion to an undisclosed location. A small crowd braved the night’s heavy downpour to gather at Madison Square Park in the early evening hours, where a charter bus was ready to whisk them away to a top secret destination, with a very special guest awaiting their arrival.
The rain and fog obscured our route to the extent that when we arrived at Green-Wood Cemetery's towering gates our location was still a complete puzzle for many of our passengers. The bus slowly made its way through the windy cemetery roads to our final destination: the Green-Wood catacombs.
Aglow with candles and lanterns, and with streams of rain finding their way through the burial chamber’s 19th century skylights, showering into great pools of dark water on the floor of the various vaults, the hillside catacombs were at their very best: moody, atmospheric, and eerily beautiful.
Guests filed down the illuminated passageway, already a bit in awe, but following our guidance to make their way to the very back of the catacombs, at last the reason for our secret excursion was revealed. At a small table the infamous highwire-walker Philippe Petit awaited. He greeted his audience warmly before delving into a whimsical, intimate performance of close magic, conversing with us about his personal creative process and sharing excerpts from his new book, Creativity: The Perfect Crime.