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


The not-so-quiet panic from climate scientists.

Donald Trump has been framing Chinese immigrants as mostly “military-age” men, here to stir trouble from within. “And it sounds like to me, are they trying to build a little army in our country? Is that what they’re trying to do?” he said in a campaign stop last month. But one immigrant who traveled through Ecuador to the U.S. border told the AP that it’s not true. “It is impossible that they would walk on foot for over one month” to organize an attack, he said. “We came here to make money.” Another, who hopes to make enough to bring his wife and children, said, “This trip is deadly. People die. The trip isn’t suitable for women — it’s not suitable for anyone.” 

“You need to kick that f***ing door down!” Vice President Kamala Harris was the guest of honor at an AAPI Heritage Month event this week and encouraged attendees to break through the barriers they still face. “We have to know that sometimes, people will open the door for you and leave it open, sometimes they won't. And then you need to kick that f***ing door down," as the audience cheered. "Excuse my language," she laughed.

This is why we can’t have nice things. An art installation project called the Dublin Portal experience, a 24/7 live cam and screen offering a real-time link between Dublin and New York City, is being ruined by “a small minority of people” doing “inappropriate things.”

More than 100 high-profile French art world figures have signed an open letter supporting the Palais de Tokyo in Paris after longtime patron Sandra Hegedüs withdrew her funding, saying, “I don’t want to be associated with the new, very political direction at the Palais de Tokyo...dictated by the defence of wokeism, anti-capitalism, pro-Palestine, etc.’” At issue was the show Past Disquiet, which focuses on four “museums in exile” and is constructed as a touring exhibit. From the response to Hegedüs: “These words and these methods, using a popular tribunal on social networks… are dangerous for the art world, for artists and for the freedom of institutions, as well as for our democracy.”

The pageant system is a toxic workplace, according to Miss USA Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava, who announced their resignations last week. Srivastava said her "personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization," and Voigt cited mental health reasons in a statement, then later accused the Miss America Organization of providing "a toxic work environment ... that, at best, is poor management and, at worst, is bullying and harassment." Miss Colorado Arianna Lemus resigned in solidarity on Friday, writing that Voigt and Srivastava's "voices have been stifled by the constraints of a contract that undermines their rights and dignity.” 

Democracy, it’s a design thing! Last March, a federal judge ruled that New Jersey’s ballot — a confusing design known as the “county line” system — was likely unconstitutional and couldn’t be used in June’s primary. One county has unveiled their new ballot design, which looks awfully familiar. 

Heading to NY Design Week? Here’s the itinerary. (It’s May 16-23.)

Ann Pizzorusso, a geologist and Renaissance art historian, says she has finally solved one of the art world’s enduring mysteries: where in the world was the Mona Lisa when she was sitting for Leonardo da Vinci? It took her dual expertise to find the clues that were there all along. “Geologists don’t look at paintings, and art historians don’t look at geology,” she says. 

Three chatbots explain themselves

Here’s the first design proposal to replace Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, which collapsed last March. It's from an all-star team: Carlo Ratti Associati — the architecture firm led by architect and MIT professor Carlo Ratti — WeBuild, an Italian construction group, and Michel Virlogeux, a French structural engineer known for his work with Foster + Partners designing the world’s tallest bridge.  Their version has a longer span, a raised clearance, and the aesthetic of an enduring landmark. “The team hopes to deliver a bridge that is more contemporary visually and is also safe and durable for decades to come.”

Design as an act of neighborly pettiness.

The Biden Harris campaign is looking for a design lead and a graphic designer. (Both positions are full-time and based in Wilmington, Delaware.)

Mexico City is facing a desperate but unsurprising water crisis.  But, Javier Sánchez, founder of architectural firm JSa, says that by returning to ancient water technologies—like efficient rainwater harvesting—homes can be both beautiful and water-self-sufficient. 

Climeworks, a Swiss start-up, has just unveiled Mammoth, the world’s biggest carbon-absorbing plant. Located in Hellisheidi, Iceland, Mammoth is designed to remove 36,000 metric tons of carbon each year, the equivalent of taking 8,600 cars off the road. “It’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s a much bigger drop in the bucket than any we’ve seen so far,”  Klaus Lackner, who heads the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, tells the Washington Post. 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has instituted a voluntary “Secure by Design” pledge for enterprise software makers. It affirms they are improving, documenting, and publicly sharing a host of security protocols, fixes, and best practices. All the cool kids seemed to have signed up.    

Veterans are now playing an essential role in helping VA health centers design new facilities by piloting design simulators and assessing physical mockups before construction begins.  

It's hard out there for a young designer, says Nendo founder Oki Sato. "You have to think about materials and the process — not just human-centered, but for the planet — and we have to think about how it will be recycled in the future as well.”

Fast Company’s global design editor, Mark Wilson, sat down with Fuse Project founder Yves Béhar, Neri & Hu Design cofounder Rosanna Hu, IKEA CEO Jesper Brodin, and Mattel Chief Design Officer Chris Down and asked how AI was impacting their businesses. “The era of designing general devices and or apps that work the same way for everyone is going to be over soon,” says Béhar. Good ideas come from teams, but in the future, says Hu, “we might be able to get something in three minutes.” But Brodin asked the big questions. “What are the risks to humanity? How are we impacting truth?”

At the screening of Gary Hustwit’s new documentary, Eno, visionary musician Brian Eno said: "Algorithms cannot be in the hands of individuals like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg."⁠ It’s a capitalism thing. “Well, one thing that is really, really clear to me is that whoever designs the algorithms, designs the future. And it’s completely terrifying to me that the design of those algorithms is, in fact, almost 99 percent made by a few young Americans who want to make a lot of money. If profitability is the main goal of the design, then we’re going to end up with the same kind of shit that we got from social media.”

Did you know that since 1956, each Eurovision host broadcaster has had to come up with its own logo? Some are generic and forgettable, while others are more professional (and maybe also forgettable) (and speaking of forgetting, Istanbul completely forgot to design one in 2004, which is where at least one generic stand-in proved useful). As a suite of visual emblems, they're fascinating as a collective snapshot, sitting at the intersection of typography, globalism, and the amped-up TV culture of the music business. Among our favorites is the 2017 logo, which claims to have taken its inspiration from a traditional Ukrainian necklace, or namysto—considered to be a protective amulet and a symbol of beauty and health—and in this case, a way to honor and celebrate diversity.

Wonderful job opportunity—perhaps for a newly-minted MFA grad—working with the amazing people at Cita Press, where they celebrate the spread of culture and knowledge by publishing the writings of women authors whose works are open-licensed or in the public domain. Through its library of collaboratively designed free books, Cita honors the principles of decentralization, collective knowledge production, and equitable access to knowledge.

Struggling to figure out what to watch on Netflix? You're not alone! That's a challenge that still keeps Steve Johnson, Netflix’s VP of design, up at night.

How does color function In factories, schools, and hospitals? In the 1950s, it functioned like this. (Part Two is here.)

As if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau didn't have enough on his plate, public response to a new identity program sparks controversy (and ridicule). "It looks like a moose getting a prostrate exam!" one person noted. "It looks like a Minecraft character milking an elk!" observed another. Behold: the communications kerfuffle around the design of a new logo for the Canadian Army.

Every object we bring into the world has a contextual backdrop, and every design decision is a compromise. How long should objects last? Charlie Humble-Thomas—a student at the RCA in London—ponders the question of what he calls “conditional longevity”. 

The United Methodist Church has reversed its denomination’s anti-LGBTQ policies and teachings and lifted all bans on same-sex marriage and gay clergy. The fight to allow same-sex marriage and gay clergy has been part of a painful debate within major Protestant denominations in the U.S. for nearly fifty years. Click through for a timeline of major milestones of the last five decades. 

AAPI History Month turns 45 this year.  Most people credit its establishment to Jeanie Jew, a fourth-generation Chinese American and a co-founder of the congressional Asian-Pacific staff caucus. Her grandfather had helped build the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1800s and then was killed amid anti-Asian unrest, a story which moved her colleagues on the Hill. In 1979, with support from California Rep. Norm Mineta and Hawaii Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation designating the first week of May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.”

The impossible dilemma of Black female leadership. “In predominantly White spaces, a Black woman is expected to code-switch, mimic White culture, and either explicitly or implicitly affirm harmful propaganda about Black people, in order to signal that she can be trusted by the establishment,” says Shauna Cox in Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine.

Weimar, Germany—the city that was home to both Germany’s post-1918 government and the first (of three) Bauhauses—has taken the courageous step to re-examine the school’s relationship to National Socialism. Organized by the Klassic Stiftung Weimar and running from May 9 through mid-September, three exhibitions take on this immense subject: The Bauhaus As a Site of Political Contest, 1919-1933, will be at the Museum Neues Weimar; Removed – Confiscated – Assimilated, 1930/37 at the Bauhaus Museum; and Living in the Dictatorship, 1933 -1945 at the Schiller Museum. A review in today's Guardian looks at the complexity and coordination of this trio of shows, and delves into the historical nuance—and torment—of its political and artistic history. 



Jobs | May 25