Accidental Mysteries

John Foster
The Remarkable Mr. Deeds
Work from an anonymous artist who self-identified only as ‘a patient at the State Lunatic Asylum in Nevada, Missouri around 1905.’


John Foster
An Archive of Czech Film Posters
Real life #TBT: a publicly accessible database with over 6,000 original, vintage posters from all periods of cinema.


John Foster
A Visual History of Lunchboxes
Back to school time with a visual history of lunchboxes.


John Foster
Looking Down: An Interview with Photographer Bryon Darby
Photos of grids and airplanes.


John Foster
Strange Ink
Works by untrained artists who found inspiration to produce unique works despite a host of impediments.


John Foster
Tuning In
Early television call signs


John Foster
A Krampus Christmas
The devil who stole Christmas


John Foster
Welcome to the Asylum
A selection of images that came from the days when ‘asylum’ was a noun, not a verb.


John Foster
Architectural Exuberance Along the Bus Route
Bus stops in the Soviet Union


John Foster
Signs of Labor
In honor of this week’s national celebration of Labor Day, a selection of images that personify the hard work and dedication of the American worker.


John Foster
Postcards from the Trenches
Hand-painted postcards from WWI sent home in 1915 and 1916 by a 23-year old German soldier named Otto Schubert.


John Foster
Dog Days of Summer
The Romans called this early August period dies caniculares, which meant “dog star days” after Sirius, the Dog Star. Herewith, some pictorial respite from the heat.


John Foster
Made for Walking
The intricate art of the cowboy boot


John Foster
Sculpture en plein air
Art and nature converge in an Illinois sculpture park



John Foster
Play Ball!
A Graphic Designer Taps Into America’s Pastime



John Foster
Embellishing the Past
Artist Julie Cockburn’s embroidered photos


John Foster
Petting Zoo
Pets … declawed!


John Foster
Gene Merritt
A Fascination with Celebrity


John Foster
Beauty in Brutality
The Magnificent Carved Eggs of Gil Batle


John Foster
Los Ambulantes
The Itinerant Photographers of Guatemala


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
This collection of underground music and culture events flyers come from the personal online collection of Chicago collector Marc Fischer.


John Foster
Rebel Yell
Rare Posters and Placards from the 1930s Socialist Arts Collective


John Foster
Identities Revealed
The Found I.D. Photos of Gulu Real Art Studio


John Foster
Outside the Lines
The 24th Outsider Art Fair


John Foster
Fusing Cultures
Painted Bookplates by Traditional Rajasthani Miniaturists



John Foster
Nathan Pearce
A yearning for place


John Foster
Favorite 2015 John Foster Collections
Visual collections that inspired you.


John Foster
Jim Power
Mosaic Man of the East Village


John Foster
Lee Godie
Homeless genius


John Foster
Artful Letters
Envelopes from the golden age of correspondence


John Foster
Variations on a Rectangle
Thirty years of graphic design from Pentagram’s DJ Stout


John Foster
The Valley of 10,000 Smokes
A photographer’s snowy sublimes


John Foster
As Above, So Below
Art of the American Fraternal Society, 1850–1930


John Foster
In the bag
The accidental art of Japanese sake bags


John Foster
Living Pictures
The photographic art of Arthur Mole and John Thomas



John Foster
Mechanical Mysteries
Drawing widgets in the sixties


John Foster
Stalking Brick City
The Newark street photography of Cesar Melgar



John Foster
The Thin Line
Mann(ish)



John Foster
Quest for Fire
Vintage Swedish Matchboxes


John Foster
Lilliputian Entropy
Carrie Becker’s small rooms


John Foster
All About the Box
Mid-century toy robots


John Foster
Love for Sale
The Graphic Art of Valmor Products



John Foster
Cancelled!
Call me franked.


John Foster
To Catch a Fish
The Art of Handmade Fishing Lures


John Foster
Deft doodling
The inner life of illustrators


John Foster
Ingrained
Redefining Hand Crafted Furniture



John Foster
Body of Knowledge
A historical overview of anatomical drawing


John Foster
Flower Power
The Hibiscus Scrapbook



John Foster
Leon Lewandowski
A lost street photographer comes to public eye after sixty years in storage



John Foster
Reflections in a Golden Eye
The optics- and vision-centered work of Harris Diamant


John Foster
Focusing on the Masters
A new approach to portraiture: John Foster on the Miaz Brothers


John Foster
Rabanus Maurus: Poems of the Cross
Mathematical and geometric visual poems from a Benedictine abbot.


John Foster
Dangerous Beauty
Stunning photographs of the Portuguese Man-of War.


John Foster
Book Review: The True Gospel Preached Here
Margaret’s Grocery: part grocery, part church. And the subject of a new photo documentary book.



John Foster
A Sampler of Rocks
Rocks are the stuff of castles, homes, weapons, making fire, creating wealth and beauty.


John Foster
A Mississippi Delta Road Trip
Photographing the South on a week long journey.


John Foster
Shadwell Shams: A Tale of Two Forgers
“There’s a sucker born every minute.”



John Foster
Whirlwinds, Snowdrops, and Big Bangs: Vintage Fireworks Labels
Happy 4th of July!



John Foster
Magic and Mystery in the Art of Katrien De Blauwer
Katrien De Blauwer's work is infused with psychological overtones — like viewing two or three frames from a film noir movie, only reassembled into something even more mysterious.


John Foster
The Aviary: New Photographs by Sara Angelucci
Artist Sara Angelucci's new project, Aviary, is comprised of fantastic images.


John Foster
Interview with Artist Henrik Drescher
Henrik Drescher is what I call a natural. Making images is simply an extension of his being… like breathing.


John Foster
Exploring Art Environments
SPACES is a nonprofit 501c3 public benefit organization incorporated in 1978 for the purposes of identifying, documenting and advocating for the preservation of large-scale art environments.


John Foster
Our Shared Past
Jefree Shalev and his girlfriend selected 175 film stills from his parents’ past life and dispersed these intimate family images with the Florida art community. The result is an exhibition called ‘Our Shared Past’.


John Foster
Why Won’t My Doll Sell on eBay?
From Chatty Cathy to Pee-Wee Herman, to the movie Chucky, sentient dolls have occupied the imagination of children and adults in literature, photography, theatre, and film.


John Foster
The Focused Obsession of Photographer Rob Amberg
Rob Amberg is an award winning a documentary photographer who lives with his wife live on a small farm in the same NC county where he makes his photographs.


John Foster
Found, Cut, and Rearranged: The Art of John Stezaker
For almost four decades, the artist John Stezaker has been appropriating “found” photographs and focusing on a new way of seeing.


John Foster
The Greenville, NC Daily Reflector: 1948 to 1967
One of the best ways to investigate the life and times of a region is to look at the local photo files from the daily newspaper.


John Foster
The World of Tomorrow in 1939
Seventy-five years ago this April, the 1939 New York World’s Fair, “Building the World of Tomorrow”, opened to the public in Flushing Meadows, NY.


John Foster
The Essence of a Teapot
While the traditional teapot should be at the very least functional — that is, have the ability to hold and pour a liquid, I recently viewed an exhibition that turns all that on end with the “idea of a teapot.”


John Foster
Blues, Baptisms, and Prison Farms: The Lomax Snapshots of 1934-1950
Blues, Baptisms, and Prison Farms: The Lomax Snapshots of 1934-1950


John Foster
Shoe Designs Before 1900
Having never really taken the time to look at ancient shoes (I have only three pair of shoes myself — black, brown and a pair running shoes), I was very impressed with the creativity and design of shoes from centuries ago.


John Foster
The Dreamland Motel
A reivew of the vanishing signage of our American landscape.


John Foster
Face Time
This week, John Foster looks at the endless fascination we have with the human face and the myriad ways it can be transformed.


John Foster
The Private World of Martina Kubelk
A photo album containing 99 pages and over 380 photographs; self-portraits of a man in women’s clothes.


John Foster
Nineteenth Century Menu Covers
A gallery of 19th Century Menu Covers curated by John Foster.


John Foster
Imperfect Beauty
A collection of 26 photographic images with either deliberate or accidental flaws.


John Foster
The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs
Few creative things today are truly new — it's the work that builds on, pushes forward and continues to invent that gets noticed.


John Foster
Native American Design
The National Museum of the American Indian has one of the most extensive collections of Native American art and artifacts in the United States.  


John Foster
Capturing Imagination
The ten most popular galleries from John Foster in 2013.


John Foster
From Russia With Doubt
From Russia with Doubt is the true story about brothers Ron and Roger Pollard, two amateur collectors who enjoyed going to flea markets and estate sales, picking up objects, paintings — anything they happened to like.


John Foster
Garry Winogrand Retrospective At National Gallery
Accidental Mysteries for December 15, 2013 fouses on street photographer Garry Winogrand.


John Foster
Japanese Municipality Logos
A look at the forward-thinking, abstract logos that symbolize Japanese city municipalities.


John Foster
Messenger Boys, Call Girls and a Photographer
Accidental Mysteries for December 1, 2013 focuses on the photography of Lewis Wickes Hine, whose photographs were instrumental in changing the child labor laws in the United States.



John Foster
Graphics of Authority
A look at the police cars that may or may not want to be seen.



John Foster
Extraordinary Spanish Art Environments
Jo Farb Hernández spent close to fourteen years surveying the elaborate fanciful worlds, idiosyncratic sculptures and unique visionary creations of 45 self-taught Spanish artists.



John Foster
Horror Movie Posters
Accidental Mysteries for November 3, 2012 highlights vintage horror movie posters.



John Foster
Asemic Writing: Open to Interpretation
Michael Jacobson’s Gallery of Asemic Writing is a website repository for international artists, writers, readers and viewers.


John Foster
Giraffe Houses of the Ozarks
Giraffe houses are generally thought to have first appeared around 1910, but their acceptance grew during the 1930s.


John Foster
The Open Eye: The Home Collection of Ray Yoshida
Accidental Mysteries for September 29, 2013 focuses on the vast home collection of Chicago artist and teacher Ray Yoshida.


John Foster
Barkcloth Art of the Omie
Accidental Mysteries for September 22 focuses on art of the Ömie people of New Guinea — powerful, graphic works on barkcloth that they call nioge.


John Foster
Artful Mourning
The art of mourning in Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries: a look at post-mortem and memorial photographs and memorabilia.


John Foster
The Enchanted Highway
Accidental Mysteries for September 8, 2013 focuses on the Enchanted Highway.


John Foster
Folk Funeraria of the South
Accidental Mysteries for August 18th focuses on folk funeraria of the South.


John Foster
Stitching Stories
Accidental Mysteries for August 11, 2013 focuses on Jane Waggoner Deschner and her stitched stories.


John Foster
The Collection de l’Art Brut
It was Jean Dubuffet who coined the term Art Brut to describe art that was raw, pure and untainted by rules or schooling. This was art that emerged from the minds of madness — or genius.


John Foster
The Portrait in Snapshot Photography
The following portraits represent a mere fraction of the vernacular images from the Accidental Mysteries collection, ranging from late Nineteenth to the mid-Twentieth century.



John Foster
A Street Photographer of 19th Century London
Selections from the work of a largely unknown Nineteenth-century photographer named John Thomson.


John Foster
The Voynich Manuscript
Accidental Mysteries for July 14, 2013 focuses on the rare and undecipherable Voynich manuscript.


John Foster
Wartime ID Badges
Mark Michaelson, author of the book 
Least Wanted, has a fabulous photostream on Flickr with hundreds of photographic mugshots, ID badges, and other similar examples of identification. 


John Foster
Birds of a Feather
This week's Accidental Mysteries focuses on groups of similar objects: Birds of a Feather.


John Foster
Alaska Yukon Gold Rush Era Photo Album
Accidental Mysteries for June 9, 2013 features a photo album from the Alaska Yukon gold rush era.


John Foster
A Philatelist’s Dream
Preliminary sketches, production notes and overlays that tell the backstory of more than a century of Dutch postage stamps.


John Foster
Chinese Propaganda Posters
Accidental Mysteries for May 26, 2013 focuses on vintage Chinese propaganda posters.


John Foster
A Nod to Surrealism

For artists not working in digital media — those who cut, build, draw, paint, glue, bend, and make things in the more traditional manner, there is something of a “Surrealist” popularity at hand today.



John Foster
Enjoying TypeToy
This week's Accidental Mysteries highlights the blog TypeToy — an online collection of mid-century design and typography created by Aaron Eiland.


John Foster
The Inkblot and Popular Culture
Accidental Mysteries for April 28, 2013 focuses on inkblots.


John Foster
The Deep Roots of Modernism
Accidental Mysteries for April 21, 2013 focuses on the Deep Roots of Modernism.


John Foster
The Imagination of Playgrounds
A look back at the playgrounds of our youth, as captured by artists and photographers — and ourselves.


John Foster
A Collection for the Ages
Thee collection of Mr. Elli Buk: microscopes and telescopes; medical devices and quackery; patent models and salesman's samples and more.


John Foster
Drawn to Currency
The Accidental Mystery of Tim Prusmack's hand drawn currency.


John Foster
Defiant Beauty
Accidental Mysteries for March 24, 2013 focuses on Defiant Beauty, the art of Chakaia Booker.


John Foster
Dreams of the Sonora Aero Club
The mysterious, double-sided, collaged watercolor drawings that comprise the journals of Charles August Albert Dellschau.


John Foster
Kodachrome Finds New Life
Accidental Mysteries for March 10, 2013 focuses on Fred Herzog's Kodachrome slides.


John Foster
The Proper Art of Writing in 1655
Accidental Mysteries for March 03, 2013 focuses on the proper art of writing in 1655.


John Foster
What’s Inside?
Accidental Mysteries for February 17, 2013 focuses on what's inside: anatomical drawings.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries for February 17, 2013 focuses on the material culture of the Cold War.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
A closer look at the cryptic, compelling world of the mask.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
From 1935 to 1944, the 
Farm Security Administration hired economist Roy Stryker to set up what would become one of the most important photographic documentary projects in the history of the nation.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
The extraordinary magic of the ex-voto.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
David Rumsey's collection of more than 150,000 maps is one of the largest private collections in the United States. Herewith, a selection.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Jason D'Aquino is a miniaturist who creates on an incredibly small scale and whose preferred canvas is, perhaps not surprisingly, a matchbook.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Manly Palmer Hall's 1928 encyclopedic work — The Secret Teachings of All Ages — earned him worldwide acclaim led to a lifetime of lectures, awards and recognition. 


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Comic selections from the 
Lewis Wayne Gallery in Dallas, Texas — one of the nation’s largest galleries of comic book art. 


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Peter Vogel's mysterious aging techniques are highly guarded, and for good reason.: as works of art, his handmade signs are nothing short of spectacular. 


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
An extraordinary selection of ornate 19th-century typography.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Hands of all kinds — in bronze, as shadow puppets and on gravestones.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Rarity? Quality? What makes a great piece of redware?


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Motorcycle club cuts (or vests) and their assorted, colorful club colors (or patches) represent a unique form of American folk art embodying the freedom and nonconformity of bikers.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Visual examples from the tiny house movement.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
In the early days of science, poisons were usually kept in colored glass bottles that were various hues of dark amber or cobalt blue, as an immediate warning to read the label. 


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Change — the kind with monetary value — sheds new light on art made from altered objects.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Once you use time, it is gone forever. Maybe that’s why we spend so much time looking at clocks.  


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Nocturnes : the dramatic allure of what happens in the night.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Broken, Repaired & Mended.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is art without artists.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is sequences.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is hot cars.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Thoughtful Ephemera.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is American Reading Primers.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is taxonomies.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is clothing.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Occupational Photographs.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
In 2007, the discovery of an unknown street photographer named Vivian Maier changed the world of art photography forever.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries: 07.15.12
Bill Traylor was born a slave in 1854. In the mid-1930s he began to draw, always from memory — the animals, people and events he recalled in his life.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries: 07.08.12
Street posters, the kind of flotsam that exists near busy street corners, on light poles, walls — anywhere and everywhere in cities large and small, are easily overlooked unless you slow down and take an interest.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries: 07.01.12
One of the most recognizable faces in American history is that of President Abraham Lincoln.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries: 06.24.12
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is Zippos from VietNam.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is smoke.


John Foster
Bumbos, Swirlys and a Chinese Birdcage: A Snapshot of Marbles
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is marbles.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is medieval coins and artifacts.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is paper folding art.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is nonsense diagrams.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by  John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera  brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is tools of measurement and drafting.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is Superheroes.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is Hannah Höch.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is St. Louis Bus Passes from the 1940s.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is eyes.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is vintage clothing labels.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is surreal, mystical and metaphorical imagery in contemporary fine art.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is transformations.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment. This week's focus is charts and diagrams.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment. This week's focus is firearms.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment. This week's focus is Politics.


John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries for February 5, 2012 focuses on "The White Project", a collection of photos by Jane and Francois Robert.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Remembering Eva Zeisel
John Foster shares his memories (and photos) of a visit with Eva Zeisel.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
A New American Picture: Doug Rickard and Street Photography in the Age of Google
When Google launched Street View in 2007, it was just the ticket for photographer Doug Rickard.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Unusual examples of beer packagin. Don’t miss Liquid Jesus Holiday Brew.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a new weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a new weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a new weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera, brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.



Observed


Everything you ever wanted to know about the origins of Dutch design (but were afraid to ask).

A meditation on the history of design—and the rise of strategy—from Jarrett Fuller.

A meditation on analog beauty—and vernacular signage—from Elizabeth Goodspeed.

Richard Stengel makes a compelling case that journalism should be free to save democracy. “According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, more than 75% of America’s leading newspapers, magazines, and journals are behind online paywalls. And how do American news consumers react to that?” (Subscription required.) 

Please, please, pleaseget some sleep.

The Supreme Court allows Idaho to ban transgender health care for minors. For now.

Historically, we’ve invested huge resources to keep cities and nature separate. But we now know that the health of the soil and the health of people are the same story. So, what does this have to do with design? Join the unstoppable John Thackara and Milan Politecnico professor Ezio Manzini today at 11 am ET as they discuss this critical—and surprisingly overlooked—environmental issue.

Conducted through audio interviews, Ana Miljački's I Would Prefer Not To is an oral history project on the topic of the most important kind of refusal in architects’ toolboxes: refusal of the architectural commission. (Miljački, an architectural historian and theorist, is also Director of the Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT.) Produced in conjunction with the Architectural League of New York, this podcast features conversations with a number of fascinating practitioners including Diller + Scofidio's Elizabeth Diller, WXY partner Claire Weisz (who we interviewed in Season Three of The Design of Business | The Business of Design) and Nina Cooke John (a Season Nine guest).

This past winter, a diverse cohort of students from the MADE Program at Brown + RISD and Harvard immersed themselves in a wealth of data provided by the City of Boston with the mission of uncovering novel, meaningful, and joyful perspectives on navigating and understanding the urban environment. Their resulting projects—a series of interactive exhibits ranging from envisioning the evolving contours of the coastline to revealing the secret lives of the city’s trees—will be on view this week at the Boston Museum of Science.

Designers are leaving corporate life in droves, re-designed out of their own jobs. “The strategic design gold rush is over,” reports Robert Fabricant.  So, where are they going? “[A} new class of platforms and networks have emerged, including NeolDesign Executive CouncilChief Design Officer School, Design Leadership Job Board, and Design Leaders.” This isn’t a bad thing, he says. “These platforms specifically target ‘fractional’ design leaders who are looking to support one another, collaborate on projects, better communicate their value, and source new income-generating opportunities, both individually and collectively.” 

A new project designed to amplify Indigenous-owned businesses on Google Maps and Google Search gets high marks from Huitzilli Oronia, a Chicana designer from Denver, Colorado, and the creative production agency Hook.  Oronia contributed Google’s Indigenous-owned attribute icon and associated launch materials to the initiative. “This wasn’t just another campaign; it represented an opportunity to help Indigenous business owners share their heritage and foster deeper connections between the businesses and their consumers,” she says.

Yet another social app built around talk, not text! 

Faith Ringgold, the multimedia artist whose soaring work documented race, class, family, community, justice, and the African American experience in the U.S., has died. She was 93. Her work included painting, sculpture, mask- and doll-making, textiles, performance art, and children’s literature. “Few artists have kept as many balls in the air as long as Faith Ringgold,” the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith wrote in 2013. “She has spent more than five decades juggling message and form, high and low, art and craft, inspirational narrative and quiet or not so quiet fury about racial and sexual inequality.”

Nike is under fire for its “needlessly revealing and sexist” Team USA women’s track and field kit. “Wait, my hoo haa is gonna be out.”

AI is rewriting the internet. Here’s what to expect from Microsoft’s Copilot, Google’s Gemini, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4. “These AI tools are vast autocomplete systems, trained to predict which word follows the next in any given sentence. As such, they have no hard-coded database of ‘facts’ to draw on — just the ability to write plausible-sounding statements. This means they have a tendency to present false information as truth since whether a given sentence sounds plausible does not guarantee its factuality,” says reporter James Vincent. Yay! The future sounds…?

The National Governors Association has launched a new Health Equity Learning Network to support policy solutions and share strategies to reduce health inequities in the U.S.

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist who became known for his groundbreaking work in bias, heuristics, and how people make decisions, has died at 90. Kahneman became widely known for his 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which aimed to “improve the ability to identify and understand errors of judgment and choice, in others and eventually ourselves, by providing a richer and more precise language to discuss them.”

Maqroo means readable: Leo Burnett Dubai agency has partnered with Omantel telecom network to create a new dyslexia-friendly Arabic font. “Arabic is one of the oldest and most beautiful languages in the world. With 12 million words it is also the most complex, making it even harder for those with dyslexia to learn it,” says Leo Burnett Dubai art director Abdo Mohamed. (It’s also beautiful.)

Wicked looks good.

The much anticipated Humane AI Pin has arrived, an expensive, subscription-based wearable chatbot — or “second brain” — that nobody seems to like very much. Yet, I guess.

Who will represent working-class life?documentary about the UK-based photographer Tish Murtha is asking important questions about which stories are told visually — and supported by the art establishment — and why. “She showed the reality of poverty and deprivation in communities where the misery of unemployment had been allowed to settle by the Westminster political classes who considered it a price worth other people paying for the boon of undermining trade union power,” writes Peter Bradshaw. “But in capturing the faces, particularly the faces of children, Murtha showed her subjects’ humour, optimism and refusal to be cowed.”

An employee who worked as an art installer secretly hung one of his own paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, and we’re not that mad about it. “He was carrying tools; that’s why he went totally unnoticed,” said Tine Nehler, a museum spokesperson. “As a technician, he was able to move around all areas of the building outside of opening hours.”

Marian Bantjes critiques the design and logic (and design logic) of the food pyramid (and pyramids in general).

Lesly Pierre Paul’s New Vision Art School turns to the arts as a way to continue local traditions and keep neighborhood children out of gangs. 

Tahnee Ahtone joins the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City as Curator, Native American Art. She was previously the Director and Curator at the Kiowa Tribal Museum in Carnegie, Oklahoma.

News we love: founded in 2002 by Nínive Calegari, a teacher, and McSweeney's founder (and author) Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia receives a $1 million donation from Yield Giving, a massive philanthropy effort by Amazon co-founder MacKenzie Scott.

Next week, Case Western will host design anthropologist Christina Wasson, who will deliver the 2024 Applying Anthropology to Real World Problems Lecture. Entitled The Participatory Design of Indigenous Heritage Archives, Wasson will describe how she has adapted participatory design methods to develop archives that preserve indigenous languages. (Thursday, April 18, at 4 p.m. in Mather Memorial Building, Room 201.)

Margerete Jahny belonged to a rare demographic of industrial designer: she was East German—and female—and according to design historian Günter Höhne, she was the first East German industrial designer, of any gender, with a university education.

New “networks” and “platforms” targeting “fractional” design leaders who are looking to support one another, collaborate on projects, better communicate their value, and source new income-generating opportunities, both individually and collectively. More on the reinvention design leaders are facing, by Robert Fabricant.

Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado are ending the practice of anonymous surveys to determine which bills should live or die. The change to make all parts of the survey public comes months after a judge ordered lawmakers to stop using their previous secret ballot system to prioritize legislation because it violated Colorado’s open meetings law, reports the Longmont Leader.



Jobs | April 24