Charlie Brown

"Most cartoon drawing is about distraction: popular masters like Walt Kelly and Al Capp crowded their panels with characters and activity; Pogo and Li'l Abner are dense with what actors call 'business.' Peanuts, full of empty spaces, didn't depend on action or a particular context to attract the reader; it was about people working out the interior problems of their daily lives without ever actually solving them. The absence of a solution was the center of the story. ...
"The American assumption was that children were happy and childhood was a golden time; it was adults who had problems with which they wrestled and pains that they sought to smooth. Schulz reversed the natural order of things ... by showing that a child's pain is more intensely felt than an adult's - a child's defeats the more acutely experienced and remembered. Charlie Brown takes repeated insults from Violet and Patty about the size of his head, which they compare with a beach ball, a globe, a pie tin, the moon, a balloon; and though Charlie Brown may feel sorry for himself he gets over it fast. But he does not get visibly angry.
" 'Would you like to have been Abraham Lincoln?' Patty asks Charlie Brown. 'I doubt it,' he answers. 'I have a hard enough time being just plain Charlie Brown.'
"Children are not supposed to be radically dissatisfied. When they are unhappy, children protest - they wail, they whine, they scream, they cry - then they move on. Schulz gave these children lifelong dissatisfactions, the stuff of which adulthood is made.
"Readers recognized themselves in 'poor moon- faced, unloved, misunderstood' Charlie Brown - in his dignity in the face of whole seasons of doomed baseball games, his endurance and stoicism in the face of insults. He ... reminded people as no other cartoon character had of what it was to be vulnerable, to be small and alone in the universe, to be human - both little and big at the same time."

David Michaelis, Schulz and Peanuts, Harper Collins

Jules Olitski

Gwendolyn Knight

Joseph Abbrescia

Joseph Solman

Ray Yosida

Robert H. McNeill

Fay Goodwin

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Geraldine Doyle was the model for the “We Can Do It!” poster of a woman flexing her biceps in a factory during World War II—an image that later became a symbol for the American feminist movement.. She died in December of 2010 at age 86 of complications from arthritis, in Lansing, Michigan

Paul Soldner, this his his technique, called American raku

The work of Mozambican painter, poet, and politician Malangatana Ngwenya

Pliny the Elder

"Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) ... tells the story of a device winemakers had recently invented, a new kind of press that employed a screw to 'concentrate pressure upon broad planks placed over the grapes, which are covered also with heavy weights above.' There is some debate among scholars over whether Pliny may have been rooting for the home team in attributing the invention to his compatriots, since evidence for the use of screw presses in producing wines and olive oils dates back several centuries, to the Greeks. But whatever the exact date of its origin, the practical utility of the screw press, unlike so many great ideas from the Greco-Roman period, ensured that it survived intact through the Dark Ages.

"When the Renaissance finally blossomed, more than a millennium after Pliny's demise, Europe had to rediscover Ptolemaic astronomy and the secrets of building aqueducts. But they didn't have to relearn how to press grapes. In fact, they'd been tinkering steadily with the screw press all along, improving on the model, and optimizing it for the mass production of wines. By the mid-1400s, the Rhineland region of Germany, which historically had been hostile to viticulture for climate reasons, was now festooned with vine trellises. Fueled by the increased efficiency of the screw press, German vineyards reached their peak in 1500, covering roughly four times as much land as they do in their current incarnation. It was hard work producing drinkable wine in a region that far north, but the mechanical efficiency of the screw press made it financially irresistible.
"Sometime around the year 1440, a young Rhineland entrepreneur began tinkering with the design of the wine press. He was fresh from a disastrous business venture manufacturing small mirrors with supposedly magical healing powers, which he intended to sell to religious pilgrims. (The scheme got derailed, in part by bubonic plague, which dramatically curtailed the number of pilgrims.) The failure of the trinket business proved fortuitous, however, as it sent the entrepreneur down a much more ambitious path. He had immersed himself in the technology of Rhineland vintners, but Johannes Gutenberg was not interested in wine. He was interested in words.
"As many scholars have noted, Gutenberg's printing press was a classic combinatorial innovation, more bricolage than breakthrough. Each of the key elements that made it such a transformative machine - the movable type, the ink, the paper, and the press itself - had been developed separately well before Gutenberg printed his first Bible. Movable type, for instance, had been independently conceived by a Chinese blacksmith named Pi Sheng four centuries before. But the Chinese (and, subsequently, the Koreans) failed to adapt the technology for the mass production of texts, in large part because they imprinted the letterforms on the page by hand rubbing, which made the process only slightly more efficient than your average medieval scribe. Thanks to his training as a goldsmith, Gutenberg made some brilliant modifications to the metallurgy behind the movable type system, but without the press itself, his meticulous lead fonts would have been useless for creating mass-produced Bibles.
"An important part of Gutenberg's genius, then, lay not in conceiving an entirely new technology from scratch, but instead from borrowing a mature technology from an entirely different field, and putting it to work to solve an unrelated problem. We don't know exactly what chain of events led Gutenberg to make that associative link; few documentary records remain of Gutenberg's life between 1440 and 1448, the period during which he assembled the primary components of his invention. But it is clear that Gutenberg had no formal experience pressing grapes. His radical breakthrough relied, instead, on the ubiquity of the screw press in Rhineland winemaking culture, and on his ability to reach out beyond his specific field of expertise and concoct new uses for an older technology. He took a machine designed to get people drunk and turned it into an engine for mass communication.
"Evolutionary biologists have a word for this kind of borrowing, first proposed in an influential 1971 essay by Stephen Jay Gould and Elisabeth Vrba: exaptation."

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From
Publisher: Riverhead