The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, August 29, 2015


Signings of times: United States archives shows more than 100 signatures of figures
The signature of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, former US President Harry S. Truman and Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin are seen on a dinner program from the Potsdam Conference during a press preview at the National Archives on March 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. The National Archives previewed their new exhibit "Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" which features documents with signatures from Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, John Hancock, Michael Jackson and others. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI.

By: Shaun Tandon

WASHINGTON (AFP).- Joseph Stalin's signature was bold and forceful, Harry Truman's was unaffected and readily legible, while Winston Churchill's was formal and unflappable.

The autographs of World War II's Big Three leaders -- etched on a program to a string orchestra concert during a break from their conference in Potsdam -- are on display at the US National Archives in a new exhibition that aims to look at history through penmanship.

The exhibition, which opens Friday and runs until January 2015, taps into the National Archives' collections to show more than 100 signatures of figures as diverse as pop legend Michael Jackson and the first US president George Washington.

In perhaps the most chilling section, the National Archives has put out the marriage license of Adolf Hitler signed on April 29, 1945 as the German dictator and Eva Braun eloped one day before they committed suicide.

The license, seized by US troops, testifies that Hitler and his longtime girlfriend were "of pure Aryan descent" and asks Braun, "Are you willing to take Our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler as your husband?"

Hitler signs with a scrunched scribble and Braun begins to write "Eva B-" before crossing out the "B" of her maiden name and writing Eva Hitler. The dictator's confidants Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann signed as witnesses.

"Signatures tell us a lot about their owners and the circumstances under which they were made," said David Ferriero, archivist of the United States.

The exhibition's signatures show Civil War president Abraham Lincoln to be "decisive," anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman as "determined" and Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn as "fearless," he said.

The exhibition highlights the unexpected turns and what-ifs of history. A 1989 card signed by Saddam Hussein thanks new US president George H. W. Bush for his "kind greetings"; two years later, the United States would attack Iraq after Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.

Another display shows the young Richard Nixon's application to be an FBI agent. The fresh law school graduate never heard back -- apparently, he was told years later, due to budget cuts in Washington -- and he returned to California, soon embarking on a political career that would lead him to the White House.

Jennifer Johnson, the exhibition's curator, said that the one historical figure she felt obliged to include was the US revolutionary John Hancock, whose signature is on display in a document as governor of Massachusetts.

Hancock's conspicuously large signature on the 1776 Declaration of Independence from Britain -- on permanent display elsewhere at the National Archives in central Washington -- was so famous that his name has become synonymous with an autograph in American English.

Shifting to the contemporary era, the exhibition demonstrates an autopen. Barack Obama has become the first president to use an autopen, authorizing his signature remotely on urgent legislation when he is away from Washington, triggering protests by lawmakers from the rival Republican Party.

Beyond politics, signatures are increasingly uncommon in the Internet era. US teachers generally emphasize penmanship less than educators in Asian and European nations.

Johnson said she expected children at the exhibition to have trouble reading cursive writing.

"We're certainly ticking that way in how we sign things. When I think about it, I don't put pen to paper that often when making a transaction," she said. "As a historian, I'm terribly sad about it... but I think it's inevitable."




© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

March 20, 2014

160 works by Frida Kahlo on display for the first time in Italy at the Scuderie del Quirinale

Recent acquisitions take the spotlight alongside European masters at The Phillips Collection

Christie's New York to sell trove of rare maps and globes from Kenneth Nebenzhal, Inc.

Swedish artist Jonas Dahlber's landscape memorial to Breivik victims sparks outrage in Norway

Exhibition of early works by Peter Doig opens at Michael Werner Gallery in London

Christie's dominates market in Middle East with $10.6 million auction total; Increase of 65% on last year’s sale

The British Library acquires two rare manuscripts preventing them from leaving the UK

Strong results lift the market for Modern and Contemporary South Asian art

Signings of times: United States archives shows more than 100 signatures of figures

Exhibition of paintings by New York artist Stone Roberts opens at Hirschl & Adler Modern

Library charting half a millenium of British exploration to be auctioned at Sotheby's

Exhibition of five large-scale photographs by Chen Jiagang opens at Galerie Edwynn Houk in Zurich

Islamic beauty sells for £1 million in South African Art Sale at Bonhams in London

Michael Rudokas "Terrible Shadow" opens at Denny Gallery

Artworks by some of the most famous names in Contemporary and Modern art to be offered at A.B. Levy's

Alison Jacques Gallery opens third solo show with artist Tomory Dodge

Highlight's first solo exhibition with Australian artist Ben Barretto opens in San Francisco

Francois Linke bibliotheque leads Bonhams auction in San Francisco

Columbus Museum Director Tom Butler announces retirement

"Crossing Borders" opens at Stockholm's Arlanda airport

French police recover Rembrandt stolen 15 years ago

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- The finest opal ever unearthed will be publicly displayed for the first time in Australia

2.- Archaeologists report Kukulkan Pyramid at Chichen Itza built over an underground river

3.- United States returns long-lost Pablo Picasso painting "The Hairdresser" to France

4.- A year after discovery, no answers to a possible resting place of Alexander the Great

5.- National Art School Gallery presents major exhibition of work by Australian artist Rosemary Laing

6.- New Princess Diana wedding photographs up for auction at RR Auctions in Boston

7.- Gregory Crewdson's uncanny images of deceptively serene suburban life on view at the San Diego Museum of Art

8.- Foreigners, 10 men and 10 women, named to head some of Italy's greatest museums

9.- Tate Liverpool to show one of the most iconic works ever made by Henri Matisse

10.- Royals warn against paparazzi pictures of Prince George; Urged media to boycott their pictures



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemariasound.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site