This episode features three unique women, all of whom are notable in their own way. The two things they have in common: They each have a surprising aspect to their stories, and they each have the name Belle.
Based just on his art, you might imagine Edward Gorey as a dour Englishman, with the peak of his career sometime in the 1920s or '30s, whose childhood was marked with a series of tragic deaths. But Gorey was none of these things.
Before there were superheroes, a Swiss teacher drew entertaining doodles for friends. As he developed his sketches into stories told with multiple captioned images, he inadvertently invented the first sequential art comics in the Western world.
In the early 18th century, an engraver-turned-artist made his mark on the art world by producing satirical prints in series that commented on morality and society. And some of his work is used today as a teaching tool.
Holly is joined in the studio by Carol Thompson, Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art at the High Museum of Art. Carol shares her incredible knowledge, stories from her personal life and the importance of studying Africa's rich art tradition.
The American sculptor was a celebrated artist in her day, but she receded from the spotlight; her final years remained a mystery for quite some time. Her marble works are striking examples of the neoclassical style popular at the end of the 19th century.
No starving artist, Vigée Le Brun was the first woman to ever become a court painter in France when she was commissioned to paint Marie Antoinette. She painted royalty and nobility throughout Europe, even as her personal life had its ups and downs.
It's now a childhood classic, but the modern Crayola crayon has roots in the same company where carbon black was made for car tires at the turn of the 20th century. But people were creating art with colored implements before Binney and Smith made theirs.
While Michelangelo's sculpture of Mary holding the deceased body of Christ is the most famous depiction of that moment in art, that scene has been the focus of many works. And once, the famous version took a trip across the ocean.
Like other artifacts that defy deciphering, this clay disk, found on Crete in the early 1900s, has puzzled researchers and stirred up controversy for decades. Is it a religious incantation, a calendar, a spell? Or is it all a pictogram hoax?