George Cruikshank - art, alcohol and satire

Inspired by Cruikshank's love and hate of the bottle, Britain's cartoonist laureate Martin Rowson has created an interactive map of London's watering holes. Follow this link to click on the map to find out where artists have relaxed, socialised and collaborated to draw inspiration for their works.

Posted by Cynthia on September 26, 2007 at 08:37 AM in Art, Britain, Drinking Spaces | Permalink

Images of Alcohol in France, 1915-42 (Book)

Sarah Howard, Les images de l'alcool en France: 1915-1942 (Paris:  CNRS, 2006).

Posted by David Fahey on March 30, 2006 at 08:52 AM in Alcohol (general), Art, France | Permalink

Artist rises and falls on cocaine

AN internationally acclaimed Brisbane artist yesterday paid a high price for getting too close to his subject matter.

Painter and stained-glass expert Mitchell Lee Foley – whose recent works includes a series entitled Cocaine, Cocaine 035 and Cocaine on a Rainy Day – yesterday pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to nine counts of importing trafficable amounts of cocaine into Australia.

Justice Mackenzie sentenced the 50-year-old father of three to 10 years' jail with a non-parole period of 3½ years. The Courier-Mail reports.

Posted by Cynthia on October 12, 2005 at 12:17 PM in Art, Australia, Cocaine | Permalink

Opium Culture (Book)

Peter Lee, Opium Culture: The Art and Ritual of the Chinese Tradition (paperback edition, Park Street Press, forthcoming January 2006).

Posted by David Fahey on October 11, 2005 at 12:52 PM in Art, China, Opium | Permalink

Canada's tobacco warnings now considered modern art

Reuters and ABC News Online report that gruesome Canadian images of tobacco-damaged gums, lungs and hearts will form part of an exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Canada's health ministry said on Friday.

The graphic images appear as health warnings on Canadian cigarette packs, and they will now be part of a MoMA exhibition on objects designed to protect the mind and body from dangerous or stressful influences.

"I am very proud that these labels have been recognized as being among some of the most innovative contemporary designs in the world," Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh said in a statement.

Find the full story here.

Posted by Cynthia on October 9, 2005 at 11:21 AM in Art, Canada, Tobacco | Permalink

The Search for Real Absinthe

For the August/September 2005 edition of Reason, Jacob Sullum writes:

As the British journalist Jad Adams shows in his fascinating, richly detailed book Hideous Absinthe: A History of the Devil in a Bottle (University of Wisconsin Press), the lore surrounding absinthe is far more important than its taste, which is similar to those of other anise-flavored drinks, or its special psychoactive effects, which remain a matter of dispute. In the emerald green liquid devotees see visions of poets and painters in Parisian cafés who stirred together genius and madness along with absinthe and water. And while La Fée Verte is right that some contemporary brands are closer than others to the original Swiss recipe, there has always been wide variation in formulas and production techniques—one reason the hazards and benefits of 19th-century absinthe are hard to pin down.

Drinkers of today’s absinthe who expect a unique mind-altering experience usually are disappointed, explains Sullum. Find the full story here.

Posted by Cynthia on September 16, 2005 at 01:10 PM in Absinthe, Art, Drinking Spaces, France, Licensing and Legislation, United States | Permalink

Yes, flashy bar sign is intoxicating, but is it art?

Milwaukee's JS Online reports (4 August 2005) that the museum director at the Milwaukee Museum of Art has asked the owners of the just-closed, south-side National Liquor Bar to donate its booze-bottle sign, which stood over the bar's entrance way. They declined and said the 20-foot-high neon inverted liquor bottle pouring endless intoxicating light into a shot glass would go on the auction block with the stools, beer tappers, tin ceiling and other flotsam from the landmark tavern's long run, now ended to make room for Walgreens. The article questions, however, whether the tavern sign should be considered a piece of art in the place.  Read more here.

Posted by Cynthia on August 7, 2005 at 02:09 PM in Art, Drinking Spaces, United States | Permalink

Italy (bibliography)

Rosenberg, Pierre. “’Je n’ai rien neglige’: a propos du deux esquisses de Luca Giordano pour le Palais Medici Riccardi.” Storia dell’Arte 100 (2000), 145-149. [On Luca Giordano’s “Allegorie de la justice,” “Allegorie de la temperance,” and “Allegorie de la prudence.”]

Ciappelli, Giovanni. Carvevale e quaresima: Comportamenti sociali e cultura a Firenze nel rinascimento. Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1997. [In Italian; on carnival in Renaissance Florence.]

Averni, Angelo. Proibizionismo e Antiproibizionismo: Dagli Antichi Divieti su Alcool e Tabacco alla legge Jervolino-Vassalli. Roma: Castelvecchi, 1999.

Monti, A. “Report on the October 28-31, 1998 Conference on Vineyards and Wine in History and Law (11th-19th centuries) held in Alghero, Sardinia.” Archivio Storico Italiano 157 (1999), 357-365.

These citations originally appeared in recent “Current Literature” sections of The Social History of Alcohol Review. Jon Miller and David Fahey compiled and edited them. They were also available on the Alcohol and Drugs History Society’s old website,

Posted by Jon on June 15, 2005 at 12:24 PM in Art, Italy, Temperance, Tobacco, Wine | Permalink

Cuba (book, article)

Bonera Miranda, Miguel. Oro Blanco: Una Historia Empresarial del Ron Cubano. Toronto: Lugus, 2000. [On the history of rum in Cuba.]

Chattopadhyay, Collette. “Kcho.” Sculpture 17:2 (1998), 61-62. [Review of exhibitions of work by the Cuban sculptor Kcho at Regen Projects and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, both in Los Angeles; the Regen Projects exhibition features “Para Olvidar,” which presents a boat floating in a sea of bottles to suggest the intoxication of alcohol as well as a metaphor for cultural migration.]

These citations originally appeared in recent “Current Literature” sections of The Social History of Alcohol Review. Jon Miller and David Fahey compiled and edited them. They were also available on the Alcohol and Drugs History Society’s old website,

Posted by Jon on May 21, 2005 at 11:05 AM in Alcohol (general), Art, Cuba, Rum | Permalink

Artist on LSD

A fascinating series of 9 drawings done by an artist under the influence of LSD can be found here. The exercise was part of a test conducted by the US government during its dalliance with psychotomimetic drugs in the late 1950s. The artist was given a dose of LSD 25 and free access to an activity box full of crayons and pencils. His evolving subject is the medico that jabbed him.

Posted by Cynthia on May 10, 2005 at 01:31 PM in Art, LSD, Psychedelics, United States | Permalink