Cats in 20th Century History (Cats in War)

    Throughout both World War I and World War II cats in war exhibited bravery in extreme situations.  Serving on battleships and in the trenches, cats proved their heroism in dire circumstances by doing what they were best at, being mousers, mascots, and affectionate companions.  During WWI, the British employed more than 500,000 cats […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Part 6 – Felix the Cat)

The cat we have all come to know as Felix first made his appearance as Master Tom in Feline Follies.  Released just after WWI in 1919, and directed by Otto Messmer, the @4 minute short features the original Felix the Cat, here called Master Tom.  Our hero cat is lured away from his duties of […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Part 1 Felines in Film)

From canvases, the first felines in film entered the new dynamic art form of silent movies to eventually share the screen with such stars as Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, and Mary Pickford.         A Maltese cat named Pepper became the first feline film star.  Born under a sound stage at […]

Cats in 20th Century History and Art (Part 3-Picasso)

When not participating in dangerous flights and setting new records, the cat, just as it had done in previous centuries, played an integral part in art and photography. Enduring as a cultural and social icon, the cat symbolized femininity, sensuality, domesticity, lust, and evil. An essential ingredient for cultural and social commentary, the cat was […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Part 2-Kiddo, Fifi, Whoopsy and Patsy)

As in all man’s endeavors, the cat was destined to accompany him in flight as well. Kiddo, the stray hangar cat, was the first feline to cross the Atlantic in 1910.  Taken aboard the dirigible America at Atlantic City, New Jersey, Kiddo was meant to serve as a good luck charm, to enable the flight to […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 2 – First Cat Show)

Society as a whole began to change because of the taming and acceptance of domestic pets, and with it came many firsts.  The first public aquarium opened in London in 1875.  The first cat show was held in London’s Crystal Palace in 1871, and in 1895 New York’s Madison Square Garden welcomed the first national […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 17 – Cats in Asian Art)

Europeans were not the only ones painting our famous beast during this period.  Japanese, Chinese, Korean and even Indian painters also included cats in Asian art of the 18th century.  Children with a Cat and Mouse, 1768-69, by the Japanese painter Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770), shows a young boy holding a rather large white cat while […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 16 – Cats in Art – Francisco Goya)

Francisco Goya (1746-1828), used cats in art as symbols and allegories in his etchings.  In the 1799 etching Alla va eso or in English, There it Goes, part of the Caprichos group of etchings, a witch holds on to the devil who is holding some sort of staff which a cat bites.  Goya often used […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 15 – Cats in Art – Gainsborough, Mind, Fragonard, Gerard

Cats in art were found in all countries of Europe. Painters such as Gainsborough, Mind, Fragonard, and Gerard captured the unruly feline on their canvases. The English painter Thomas Gainsborough captured cats in art in his painting Six Studies of Cats (1765-70) which seems to be a bit reminiscent of Leonardo DaVinci’s studies of cats.   […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 14 – Cats in Art – Perronneau, Crespi, Desportes)

CAT ARTISTS PERRONNEAU, CRESPI, DESPORTES The French painter Jean Baptiste Perronneau (1715-1783), specialized in portraits which were more prestigious and lucrative than landscapes.  Girl with a Kitten painted in 1745, shows a very pretty young girl holding a long haired grey cat, one of its paws held gently in her hand.  The grey of the […]

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