Crate of Curios part 30

The tragic fate of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the work of the Hungarian Cold War artist Gyorgy Kovasznai, classification of human emotions and more.

Moody April is coming to an end, which in this case is festive as it happens to be the Orthodox Easter. Lockdown measures are slowly beginning to be relaxed and the week after the next will hopefully see us sipping coffee in outdoors cafes instead of from takeaway cups on park benches. Until then we’ll enjoy the 20+C weather and the socially distanced celebrations of the Great Week — and of course, this week’s Crate of Curios, that I’ll proceed to open right away.

  1. Masks have been all the rage for the last one and half years, but let’s not forget that masks have been around for much longer and for much more varied reasons than health. Empress Elisabeth of Austria (more widely known as Sissi) wore an elaborate mourning mask after the scandalous death of her son Crown Prince Rudolph. A multi-faceted monarch with a tragic life story, Sissi was one of the earliest collectors of photographs (at the time when the technique was still at its infancy), she had an anchor tattoo on her shoulder and her character in the Hollywood movie trilogy mapped out actress Romy Schneider’s film career.

2. When we think of slums, we tend to think of Charles Dickens novels and Victorian apple-cheeked urchins, but the days of decrepit living quarters are much-much closer — these photos of Liverpool and other Northern cities were taken by Nick Hedges nearly a decade after the Beatles had their first hit single in the UK in 1962.

3. Expressionism and avant-garde had a hard time behind the iron curtain during the Cold War — Gyorgy Kovasznai ‘s story is unfortunately not unique. His work, however, is.

4. Human emotions can be classified in different ways, but these feeling wheels based on the six basic emotions are a visually brilliant way of presenting the variety.

5. If, like me, you enjoy having something to listen to in the background while working or doing chores, History Cache is a wonderful narrative history podcast that’ll keep you well-entertained. However, forget about the work of chores when you get to the five-part series about blues musician Leadbelly or Shackleton’s voyage to cross Antarctica on foot — you won’t get anything done anyway.

6. And to finish off for this time, a little very relatable comic from Hannah Hillam.

And that’s it for this time. Happy reading and until next week!

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You can read the first 10 Crates over at my blog.
The Crate is now also available on Medium.