Open Culture

1,318 Added | 12,170 Followers | @OpenCulture | Guide to FREE cultural and educational media.

Watch At the Museum, MoMA’s 8-Part Documentary on What it Takes to Run a Great Modern Museum

If you've ever visited the Museum of Modern Art — and probably even if you haven't — you'll have a sense that the place doesn't exactly run itself. …

Art

The First Known Photograph of People Sharing a Beer (1843)

It should go without saying that one should drink responsibly, for reasons pertaining to life and limb as well as reputation. The ubiquity of still …

Artists

Watch the Illustrated Version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic

Alice’s Restaurant. It’s now a Thanksgiving classic, and something of a tradition around here. Recorded in 1967, the 18+ minute counterculture song …

Vietnam War

Watch Classical Music Get Perfectly Visualized as an Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

When the Zurich Chamber Orchestra aka the Zürcher Kammerorchester wanted to promote its new season in 2012 it commissioned studio Virtual Republic to …

Orchestras

Net Neutrality Explained and Defended in a Doodle-Filled Video: The Time to Act is Now

By the end of December, net neutrality may be a thing of the past. We'll pay the price. You'll pay the price. Comcast, Verizon and AT&T will make out …

Internet

The 1991 Tokyo Museum Exhibition That Was Only Accessible by Telephone, Fax & Modem: Features Works by Laurie Anderson, John Cage, William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard & Merce Cunningham

The deeper we get into the 21st century, the more energy and resources museums put into digitizing their offerings and making them available, free …

William S. Burroughs

A Digital Archive of 1,800+ Children’s Books from UCLA

In the early 18th century, the novel was seen as a frivolous and trivial form at best, a morally corrupting one at worst. Given that the primary …

Literature

1934 Map Resizes the World to Show Which Country Drinks the Most Tea

Not a day goes by that I don’t use Google Maps for something or other, whether it’s basic navigation, researching an address, or finding a dry …

Maps

Expensive Wine Is for Dupes: Scientific Study Finds No Strong Correlation Between Quality & Price

If wine is on your Thanksgiving menu tomorrow, then keep this scientific finding in mind: According to a 2008 study published in the <i>Journal of Wine</i> …

Research

Watch “Alike,” a Poignant Short Animated Film About the Enduring Conflict Between Creativity and Conformity

From Barcelona comes "Alike," a short animated film by Daniel Martínez Lara and Rafa Cano Méndez. Made with Blender, an open-source 3D rendering …

Animation

60-Second Introductions to 12 Groundbreaking Artists: Matisse, Dalí, Duchamp, Hopper, Pollock, Rothko & More

Some art historians dedicate their entire careers, and indeed lives, to the work of a single artist. But what about those of us who only have a …

Art History

See the First Photograph of a Human Being: A Photo Taken by Louis Daguerre (1838)

You’ve likely heard the reason people never smile in very old photographs. Early photography could be an excruciatingly slow process. With exposure …

Art

Colorful Maps from 1914 and 2016 Show How Planes & Trains Have Made the World Smaller and Travel Times Quicker

This time of year especially, we complain about the greed and arrogance of airlines, the confusion and inefficiency of airports, and the sardine …

Maps

New “Women of NASA” Lego Immortalizes the STEM Contributions of Sally Ride, Margaret Hamilton, Mae Jemison & Nancy Grace Roman

Earlier this year, the Lego company announced that it would produce a <i>Women of NASA</i> Lego set, based on a proposal it received from science writer Maia …

Lego

Helen Mirren to Teach Her First Online Course on Acting

MasterClass remains on fire. In recent months, the new online course provider has announced the development of online courses taught by leading …

Helen Mirren

Nine Tips from Bill Murray & Cellist Jan Vogler on How to Study Intensely and Optimize Your Learning

Would you take study tips from Bill Murray? After high school, he did spend some time as a pre-medical student at Regis University in Denver — before …

Van Morrison

What Made Freddie Mercury the Greatest Vocalist in Rock History? The Secrets Revealed in a Short Video Essay

I wasn’t always a Queen fan. Having cut my music fan teeth on especially downbeat, miserable bands like Joy Division, The Cure, and The Smiths, I …

Freddie Mercury

An Artist with Synesthesia Turns Jazz & Rock Classics Into Colorful Abstract Paintings

For those in the arts, few moments are more blissful than those spent “in the zone,” those times when the words or images or notes flow unimpeded, …

Jimi Hendrix

How Seinfeld, the Sitcom Famously “About Nothing,” Is Like Gustave Flaubert’s Novels About Nothing

"A show about nothing": people have described <i>Seinfeld</i> that way for decades, but creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David didn't set out to create …

Literature

Hear a Complete Chronological Discography of Patti Smith’s Fiercely Poetic Rock and Roll: 13 Hours and 142 Tracks

Patti Smith has always aligned herself with artists who were outsiders and experimentalists in their time, but who have since moved to the center of …

Patti Smith

Rare 1915 Film Shows Claude Monet at Work in His Famous Garden at Giverny

Long ago, we showed you some startling footage of an elderly, arthritic Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painting with horribly deformed hands. Today we offer …

Artists

A Touching Animated Documentary About the Rise, Fall & Second Coming of the 60s Psych-Folk Musician Richard Atkins

One wonders what might have become of Richard Atkins’ musical career had he come of age in this millennium, when youngsters suffering from acute …

Flee

Watch Classical Music Come to Life in Artfully Animated Scores: Stravinsky, Debussy, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart & More

Stephen Malinowski has cultivated his own patch of YouTube ground over the years with the Music Animation Machine, slowly scrolling visual …

Orchestras

Herbie Hancock Now Teaching His First Online Course on Jazz

A quick update to something we first mentioned last June. On Masterclass, jazz legend Herbie Hancock is now teaching his first online course on jazz. …

Jazz

An Interactive Map of Every Record Shop in the World

Arriving in a new city usually means finding the nearest decent grocery, pharmacy, coffee shop, bookstore, laundry, etc. And before nearly every …

Maps

Beautiful & Outlandish Color Illustrations Let Europeans See Exotic Fish for the First Time (1754)

Whether in the tanks into which we gaze at the aquarium or the CGI-intensive wildlife-based gagfests at which we gaze in the theater, most of us in …

Books

Two Million Wondrous Nature Illustrations Put Online by The Biodiversity Heritage Library

Are we truly in the midst of a human-caused sixth mass extinction, an era of “biological annihilation”? Many scientists and popular science writers …

Ecology

Meet the 35-Year-Old British Man Who Lives Entirely in the Year 1946

Ben Sansum is something of a young fogey. He's only 35 years old, but he lives in the year 1946. Entirely. The pictures on his wall in his …

Cambridgeshire

Mona Lisa Selfie: A Montage of Social Media Photos Taken at the Louvre and Put on Instagram

"Over 6 million people visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre each year. Many share their visit on social media." Created by Daniel McKee, this dizzying …

Mona Lisa

How a Korean Potter Found a “Beautiful Life” Through His Art: A Short, Life-Affirming Documentary

I like to think I appreciate all aspects of the culture of South Korea, where I live, but different attractions bring different foreigners here. Some …

South Korea