Welcome to yet another edition of Favorite Finds! Over the past month, we here at Family Tree have stumbled across some pretty wonderful things online, and we’re here to share the joy with you. The highlights this month? Art, science, and just a bit of basketball.
Here’s what we’re loving:
1. Famous works of art returned to rightful owners
We fell into a bit of an art-related rabbit hole this month (as we’re prone to do). It all started with this post from the MyHeritage blog. As part of their pro bono initiatives, MyHeritage had recently found the rightful heir to over 100 works by the Dutch-Jewish painter, Mommie Schwarz. It’s a wonderful story about reuniting someone with a beautiful piece of their family’s past that they didn’t even know was missing.
That blog post lead us to an article by New York Times reporter Doreen Carvajal, who collaborated with MyHeritage’s founder Gilad Japhet in 2014 to return artwork stolen by the Nazis. Carvajal was intrigued by the difficulty the French government had experienced trying to place the lost artwork. Her article is a testament to how a genealogists’s skills can go a long way in returning lost items. Carvajal names “errors in family history, name changes, misspellings, faulty years and false matches,” as examples. The French government has a website that catalogs the lost works. The page is in French, so grab your dictionary (or have Google Translate open) if you want to take a look.
Finally, our rabbit hole took us to this New York Times Magazine piece. The article reads like a novel: a Dutch aristocrat’s historical knowledge, curiosity and tenacity help him identify two lost works by the master Rembrandt. The best part? Guarding this Dutch master’s work is in his family’s blood.
2. Vintage film shows school girls shooting hoops
Our books editor Courtney found this incredibly endearing footage of a basketball game between two teams of schoolgirls. You can learn more on the Library of Congress’ website. Apparently, dribbling hadn’t entered the game quite yet…
3. Online gallery celebrates 19th-century botanical artist
We first spotted these beautiful illustrations in a tweet. From there we discovered a gallery of similarly lovely images from the Biodiversity Heritage Library that you can peruse on Flickr. The artist, Henriette Antoinette Vincent (1786-1834), was a botanical painter of the French court. It’s one of our Favorite Finds, both for spring and for Women’s History Month!
4. Viral Reddit post creates a “family tree” of artists
We couldn’t resist sharing this story from the art blog Colossal. It all began when a son posted a picture of his mother holding a painting she’d done on the popular forum-based site, Reddit. Another Reddit user made a painting of the photo, and then another user made a painting of his painting, and chaos ensued from there.
The resulting “tree” has since been posted on Reddit. You can trace the original photo’s journey and see the many “relationships” created by the artists painting other artists.