Back to School: Learn About a Great Artist #30DaysofGOOD

Make your way into the wide world of art by focusing on one important artist that you'd like to know more about.

30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD) is our monthly attempt to live better. This month we're going "Back to School" and committing to learn something new every day.

"Art from the past holds clues to life in the past. By looking at a work of art's symbolism, colors, and materials, we can learn about the culture that produced it."


This wise quote, pulled from a blog post by a student member of the Metropolitan Museum's Teen Advisory Group, perfectly sums up what I've always liked about studying art and art history. While we appreciate and admire (or criticize) a piece of artwork for its aesthetic qualities, we also use it as a way to better understand the time, society, and frame of mind of its creator.

Today's task is to study a little bit of art history. Make your way into the wide world of art by finding one important artist that you'd like to know more about. Then read about their life and become familiar with their most critical works.

Luckily, there are a host of resources online that make learning about art fun and engaging. Try one of the sites below, or fill us in about any others you know about in the comments section of this post.

Smarthistory is a free multimedia guide to artists, art styles, and eras. The site, which recently became a part of the Khan Academy, offers a plethora of easy-to-navigate essays, images, videos, and audio covering art from all over the world. If you're an artist, art historian, or photographer interested in making your photos of art in museums available to the public, drop them a line.

Art History Resources features news, commentary, and a robust directory of links to assist you in further study. The site has an active Facebook community where you can ask questions of the site's founder, art historian Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe. There's also a companion YouTube series called Art History in Just a Minute, which features short videos that offer history and insight about artworks and artists.

The University of Oxford records and posts the audio from many of its lectures online. The History of Art department's podcasts include an introduction to art history, a close look at Michelangelo, and a series on surrealism. All are available for free download.

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.


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Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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