CLOSE
Original image

Sir John Lavery's "Spring"

Original image

Spring.jpg

Sir John Lavery, who painted "Spring," was a prominent Irish artist in the late 19th and early 20th century. Both he and his wife, Hazel, were well-known throughout Ireland, England, and America for his artwork, their A-list friends, and their work with the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.

1. When John Lavery was only 3 years old, his father drowned at sea while emigrating to America. Shortly thereafter, Lavery's mother also passed away. He was raised by relatives on a farm; today, the farm is the location of a restaurant that features John Lavery paintings and memorabilia.

2. Lavery was commissioned in 1888 to paint the state visit of Queen Victoria to the Glasgow International Exhibition. He managed to get a sitting with the queen herself, and his career as a society painter was launched. In the ensuing years, he painted portraits of George Bernard Shaw, J.M. Barrie, Winston Churchill, Lord Asquith (the British prime minister) and his family, and Michael Collins, among others. During a brief stay in Hollywood, he painted a self-portrait with Shirley Temple.

3. Lavery's first wife, Kathleen McDermott, died of tuberculosis shortly after giving birth to their daughter Eileen, just two years into their marriage. Eight years later, he married Hazel Martyn, who had been married for a few short months in 1903 before her husband passed away. Hazel was considered not just "one of the most beautiful young women in Chicago," but "the most beautiful girl in the Midwest." During the Laverys' tempestuous marriage, which produced one daughter, Alice, Hazel was reportedly involved with Kevin O'Higgins and Michael Collins. After both O'Higgins' and Collins' murders, Hazel apparently reacted as a widow. She wore widow's weeds after Collins' death and even tried to throw herself into his grave during the funeral.

4. Despite his wife's rumored infidelities, Lavery was devoted to Hazel and featured her in more than 400 of his paintings. Her face became famous throughout Ireland, as she was Lavery's model for the allegorical figure of Ireland that appeared on Irish banknotes from 1928 to 1975 (and then as a watermark on the banknotes until the Euro was introduced in 2002).

5. During World War I, Lavery was appointed as an official artist, but he was unable to travel to the Western Front due to poor health. In 1918, he painted the surrender of the German fleet at Rosyth, standing alongside his friend and neighbor, Winston Churchill. Lavery was knighted after the war.

6. Over three short years, Lavery was involved in two serious car crashes. The first, in 1915, occurred late at night in London, when the taxi Lavery and his wife were traveling in skidded on the wet pavement and crashed into a lamppost. The driver was thrown from the vehicle; Lavery and Hazel hit the window and suffered severe cuts which took surgeons two hours to repair. The second occurred during a Zeppelin bombing raid, shortly after Lavery's appointment as an official artist for the first world war, and Lavery's injuries further curtailed his duties.

7. In 1921, the Laverys' home at Cromwell Place in South Kensington was lent to the Irish delegation during negotiations for the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was during this time that Hazel Lavery became well-acquainted with Michael Collins, who was leading the Irish delegation.

8. Lavery penned his autobiography, The Life of a Painter, in 1940, at age 84. He died the following year.

A larger version of "Spring" is available here.

'Feel Art Again' appears every Tuesday and Thursday.

Original image
Opening Ceremony
fun
arrow
These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
Original image
Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

501069-OpeningCeremony2.jpg

Opening Ceremony

To this:

501069-OpeningCeremony3.jpg

Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

Original image
iStock
fun
arrow
This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
Original image
iStock

If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES