DeviantArt user Sn00glez
DeviantArt user Sn00glez

11 Fan Art Tributes to Teddy Roosevelt

DeviantArt user Sn00glez
DeviantArt user Sn00glez

If you couldn’t tell from our numerous articles about him and our adorable “I love my Teddy” baby jumper, we're big fans of America’s 26th president. And we aren’t alone. In fact, there are hundreds of artists out there with their own tributes to Mr. Roosevelt. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. The Battle of the Century

Easily the most famous of all Theodore Roosevelt fan art, Jason ODIN Heuser’s take on the Rough Rider shows him taking on Bigfoot with a machine gun as he holds the American flag. You’ve never actually seen Bigfoot, have you? Well then, this might just be why.

If you enjoy seeing American historical figures taking on absurd villains, you ought to check out more of Heuser’s work, which includes Nixon fighting a saber tooth, Jackson vs. aliens, and Jefferson fighting a gorilla.

2. A Real Rough Rider

You hardly have to worry about carrying a big stick when you’re already riding a raptor. DeviantArt user cat-gray-and-me78 is probably right in his belief that if raptors were around while Theodore was alive, he would have found a way to domesticate them.

3. Master of the Teddy Bears

You already knew that the teddy bear was named after Roosevelt, who once refused to shoot a bear that was cornered and tied to a tree because it was unsportsmanlike, but you might not know that he had no such qualms about wrestling a whole gang of toy bears. OK, maybe I just made that story up after seeing this artwork by Andres Felipe Jaramillo, but it could happen.

4. Unbearably Manly

While it’s true that Roosevelt thought it unsportsmanlike to shoot a bear that was already tied up, he was certainly big on hunting, and was happy to go up against bears that hadn’t been worn down yet. Even so, I think DeviantArt user Asahi-Kami’s depiction of him fighting a live bear beside a campfire might be a little exaggerated –Theodore would at least arm himself with a big stick.

5. The Bear Necessities

There are quite a few cute fan art designs imagining Roosevelt as an adorable teddy bear, but this clay figurine by DeviantArt user The Muzick Girl really captures his fabulous mustache, lovable facial expression, and fantastic sense of style.

6. Animated and Adorable

For those who prefer to see the 26th president in his human form while modeled in clay, DeviantArt user beeliu’s is an adorably cartoonish take on the Rough Rider. Her creation was sculpted as a reference model for a school project that involved creating a PSA for the National Wildlife Refuge. With a model as great as this one, I’m willing to bet the animation was great.

7. Radical Roosevelt

The idea of Theodore Roosevelt riding a skateboard might seem silly to many of us, but when you consider that he was a huge fan of early American football (at a time when 18 people died playing the sport in just one season), it’s obvious that he supported extreme sports. So maybe, just maybe, he would be a supporter of skateboarding as well, and thanks to Isaiah Bela, we now know he would look pretty cool doing it too.

8. It’s Good to Be the King

Overall, Americans would have a hard time accepting a monarchy, but given how beloved Theodore was during his time in office, it’s possible they might have supported King Roosevelt—especially if he carried around a teddy bear with him to remind people of his sensitive side like he is doing in this portrait by Jaimie Choi.

9. Teddy Night

There is a Doctor Who episode where TARDIS was painted into Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but we all know The Doctor is an imaginary character. Roosevelt, on the other hand, is very real. And if someone builds a time machine and takes Roosevelt to meet Van Gogh, this revised version of Starry Night could one day hang in the most prestigious museums in the world. In the meantime, we’ll just have to admire DeviantArt user Sn00glez’s take on the concept.

10. Spuddy Roosevelt

Some people will pay thousands of dollars for a grilled cheese that has a blurred image of the Virgin Mary, but to me, this Teddy Roosevelt potato by Phillip Obermarck is far more valuable—if only for those stylish rimmed glasses.

11. Can’t Smash This

It’s hard to think of a more all-American jack-o-lantern than this one, carved by pumpkin artist Alex Kish. And while it might be a little hard to recognize with the lights on, the glowing face of Roosevelt is sure to ward off any potential pumpkin smashers on Halloween.

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George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo
This Crafty Bicycle Can Knit a Scarf in 5 Minutes
George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo
George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo

Knitting can be a time-consuming, meticulous task, but it doesn’t need to be. At least not if you’re George Barratt-Jones. As The Morning News spotted, the Dutch designer recently created a human-powered automated knitting machine that can make a scarf while you wait for your train to arrive.

The Cyclo-Knitter is essentially a bicycle-powered loom. As you pedal a stationary bike, the spinning front wheel powers a knitting machine placed on top of a wooden tower. The freshly knitted fabric descends from the top of the tower as the machine works, lowering your brand-new scarf.

Cyclo Knitter by George Barratt-Jones from George Barratt-Jones on Vimeo.

“Imagine it’s the midst of winter,” Barratt-Jones, who founded an online skill-sharing platform called Kraftz, writes of the product on Imgur. “You are cold and bored waiting for your train at the station. This pedal powered machine gets you warm by moving, you are making something while you wait, and in the end, you are left with a free scarf!”

Seems like a pretty good use of your commute down-time, right?

If you're a fan of more traditional knitting methods, check out these knitting projects that can put your needles to work, no bicycle required.

[h/t The Morning News]

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THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images
6 Works of Art That Were Hiding in Plain Sight
An ancient angel mosaic on a wall of the Church of the Nativity
An ancient angel mosaic on a wall of the Church of the Nativity
THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this year, an 1820 facsimile of the Declaration of Independence turned up in Texas. Despite once being owned by James Madison, it had been shuffled among the papers of a family who eventually forgot about its provenance and came to consider it "worthless," at least until its recent authentication. As one of only 200 facsimiles created by printer William Stone, it was a rare document, but what made headlines was a curious footnote in the document’s journey: It had been hidden behind wallpaper during the Civil War as protection.

There’s something tantalizing about a precious object concealed by wallpaper or painted over; it suggests treasures might be hiding anywhere—maybe in our own homes. Here are a few stories of art that's been lost, and found, on the same wall, hidden beneath wallpaper, paint, and plaster.

1. ANGEL MOSAIC // PALESTINE

Conservators who began restoring the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2013 after centuries of neglect were prepared to clean its mosaics from years of soot and grime. They weren’t expecting to find new ones.

Using a thermographic camera, one restoration worker noticed a shape in the plaster walls. When the team started chipping off the material, they found the brilliant glow of mother-of-pearl tiles. Soon an 8-foot-tall angel was revealed, dressed in a flowing white robe, its golden wings and halo as luminescent as when they were installed in the Crusades era. It’s believed that the angel was covered up following an 1830s earthquake, perhaps to hide damage. Now the lost seraph (above) has rejoined the procession of radiant mosaic angels who are walking to the nativity along the church’s historic walls.

2. MEDIEVAL MURALS // WALES

Mediaeval wall paintings, Llancarfan church, Wales
Chris Samuel, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

During the Reformation, the murals in Catholic churches of the British Isles were often covered with plaster, turning them into more austere Protestant spaces. In covering them so entirely, this art was sometimes inadvertently protected from centuries of decay. In 2010, conservators announced an incredible find in the 800-year-old Church of St Cadoc at Llancarfan in Wales.

Church staff had long been intrigued by a thin red line of paint on the wall. After conservators began the painstaking work of removing 21 layers of limewash, a dramatic painting of St. George slaying a dragon appeared. The discoveries continued with scenes of other popular medieval motifs, such as the Seven Deadly Sins, a royal family, and "Death and the Gallant," in which a rotting corpse with a worm creeping in its rib cage leads an elegantly dressed man to his mortal end. The murals are now on view for all to enjoy.

3. BRETON GIRL SPINNING // FRANCE

Paul Gauguin, "Breton Girl Spinning"
Paul Gauguin, Wikimedia // Public Domain

Now at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, French artist Paul Gauguin's 1889 Breton Girl Spinning is an enigmatic fresco of a young girl dancing at a small tree. In one hand, she is spinning wool; in the distance, above the water and shapes of ships, a huge angel with a sword is flying. In part because of this angelic figure, the painting is sometimes called Joan of Arc.

The work was painted right on the plaster dining room wall of La Buvette de la Plage, an inn in Brittany, France. After being forgotten under layers of wallpaper, it and two other murals (one by Gauguin and one by his student Meijer de Haan) were rediscovered in 1924 during some redecorating.

4. MAYA MURALS // GUATEMALA

While updating their kitchen around 2007, Lucas Asicona Ramirez and his family in the Guatemalan village of Chajul discovered some old interior design—Maya murals, hidden for centuries beneath the plaster.

The roughly 300-year-old artworks in the colonial-era home featured figures in both Maya and Spanish attire, representing a moment of European arrival. One may be holding a human heart, or possibly a mask used in a dance. Ramirez hopes to turn the room into a museum, but needs more funding. Other households in Chajul also have historic murals in their homes, and some are striving to conserve these memories of their ancestors even while local preservation resources are limited.

5. WILLIAM MORRIS RED HOUSE MURALS // ENGLAND

The 19th century British artist and writer William Morris is celebrated for his textiles, writing, wallpaper, and other work in the Arts and Crafts movement. The house in Bexleyheath, Kent, that architect Philip Webb designed for him and his wife Jane in 1859 was intended not just as a home, but an incubator for art. The "Red House" became a hub for like-minded artists, and Morris founded “The Firm”—which produced decorative objects such as stained glass and furniture—there in 1861 alongside several other artists. However, the Red House community was short-lived, and financial difficulties forced the family to move out in 1865, never to return.

When the National Trust acquired the house in 2003, they found that the group had left behind some of their artistic experiments. Behind a wardrobe, under layers of paint and wallpaper, the trust made a most extraordinary find: a full wall of almost life-size biblical figures. Researchers believe they were collaboratively painted by Morris, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his wife Elizabeth Siddal, and Ford Madox Brown, all of whom were major artists in the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

6. AMÉRICA TROPICAL // UNITED STATES

Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros had just been expelled from Mexico for his leftist activities when he arrived in Los Angeles in 1932. Local boosters commissioned him to create a mural on the theme of "Tropical America" on the touristy Olvera Street, which was an idealized vision of a Mexican market, but he had no interest in portraying some folkloric fantasy. “For me, 'America Tropical' was a land of natives, of Indians, Creoles, of African-American men, all of them invariably persecuted and harassed by their respective governments,” he said in a 1971 documentary.

His América Tropical: Oprimida y Destrozada por los Imperialismos, or Tropical America: Oppressed and Destroyed by Imperialism, was a moody landscape with gnarled trees clawing at a Maya temple. At the center, an indigenous man is crucified, with an American eagle ominously descending over his head. Innovative techniques such as airbrushing gave the tableau a visceral edge.

The 18-by-82-foot act of subversion was soon whitewashed. Still, many people did not forget it, especially as Siqueiros became recognized as one of the most influential of the early 1900s Mexican muralists. Eight decades after it was painted, the city of Los Angeles, along with the Getty Conservation Institute, began a restoration. The whitewash had protected its details from sun and rain and finally, in 2012, its defiant scene was again revealed to the public. It is now the oldest mural in L.A., and the only one by Siqueiros in its original location.

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