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  1. Fine art has long served propagandistic purposes. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes, for example, glorify the Catholic Church, and his David was conscripted into conveying civic pride. The...
  2. The red cue ball in this billiards set from 1951 represents the People’s Republic of China (PRC); the other balls symbolize problems that the government wanted to address. The green ball in the third...
  3. Moscow’s massive Manege, a neoclassical landmark built in 1817 for the five-year anniversary of Russia’s victory over Napoléon Bonaparte’s troops, was intended to shelter an entire infantry regiment...
  4. Eernest Shackleton failed in his attempt to become the first man to reach the South Pole, but he was responsible for the first book being printed on Antarctica. In 1907, before embarking on what...
  5. Interior decorator and antiques dealer Keith Skeel considers the decorative objects that he owns his “friends.” But, sounding like a New Englander instead of the Lon­doner he is, Skeel says that he...
  6. Its Owner George Gruhn has owned and operated Gruhn Guitars in downtown Nash­ville, Tenn., since 1970, selling vintage guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, and other stringed instruments. In...
  7. Three years ago, Larry Charles learned how well he had mastered trompe l’oeil when he brought one of his works to a frame shop near his hometown of Peoria, Ariz. The style of painting takes its name...
  8. When the subject of Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) comes up, most of us think of paintings of oversize cartoons—such as Drowning Girl (1963), with its young woman exclaiming, “I don’t care!...
  9. Its Owner Edward Horswell is the director of London’s Sladmore Gallery, which specializes in sculptures from the late 19th and 20th centuries and has handled many of the animal depictions that...
  10. Eve’s surrender to a certain craving in the Garden of Eden caused a good deal of misery in the ensuing millennia, some believe. But at least that early act of rebellion inspired great works of art...

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