15 February 2019

Summarising the first 10 years of "Art and Architecture, mainly"

The first post in this blog appeared on the 21/11/2008.

So far, 1128 posts have been published, viewed 3 million times.

Readers have come from the following countries:



4.United Kingdom







A Californian bungalow in Melbourne
by far and away the most popular post.

The topics that have attracted the greatest readership
1.Californian Bungalow: Australia's Favourite Interwar Home...

2.Napoleon's house in exile: St Helena

3.Agatha Christie's greatest mystery: her husband's sex life

4.Vienna: Coffee, Art, Pastries

5.The Symbolism of Suffragette Jewellery

6.Iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge: 1932-2012

7.Art Deco and the American Diner

8.Ned Kelly, Sidney Nolan and Australian heroes

9.John Ruskin, JMW Turner and unpleasant sexual thoughts

10.WW1 paintings in the Fine Arts Society, London

Thank you, dear readers.

And thank you to the mega-blogs like ThoughtCo and its Art History Guide; the Art History Carnival and the Women's History Carnival.



Parnassus said...

Hello Hels, What an amazing gift you have given us with this blog. You listed the most-read ones, and I realized that by joining late I have missed some choice entries--I have just gone back and read a few. But really it is the variety and interchange of subjects that vitalizes your blog, along with your background research and informed reader comments. One post may feature Nazi crimes, but the next will be a tour of a magnificent building, followed perhaps by an appreciation of an Australian artist new to me.

Since I know that history never runs out of subjects, and that your blog always remains fresh, I am looking forward to many more fascinating posts.

Joseph said...

Three million views,, well done. No wonder there are so many Russians and Ukrainians :)

Andrew said...

Hels, you are most splificatingly marvellous. I am mostly self educated and you continue to educate me with every post you publish, even if I don't comment.

Love ya.

Hels said...


Once my lecture series at work focused increasingly on the the golden ages of Paris-Berlin-Vienna, the Edwardian era, WW1, Bauhaus and Art Deco, so the blog posts started to focus on those areas as well. But one never knows what topics the reading public will most enjoy. So I was delighted to find 99,546 views on California Bungalows alone.

Hels said...


I love everything about Russian history, architecture, literature, churches and galleries, as did my parents and grandparents. But it was a thrill to see so many Russians and Ukrainians reading blog posts in English. Speaking a foreign language is relatively easy... reading and writing a foreign language is much harder.

Hels said...


It is fun, isn't it! Guest posts are always welcome, especially if they involve the history of an era or a country that I know sod all about. Not Europe or the old British Empire, but that still lives a LOT of world :)

This weekend a fascinating post will appear, written by a French Canadian historian.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hels - I've got a lot of your posts waiting for me to read and comment on - life is taking its time. Great that you've written about so many places, subjects and ideas ... I'll enjoy reading them and all future ones - cheers Hilary

Hels said...


ten years ago I was encouraged to publish my lecture notes in blog form, but noone was certain whether elderly authors (over-50s) would be able to communicate to younger readers. Or whether blog readers would be interested in history, literature or architecture. It has been an interesting journey :)

Parnassus said...

Hi again, Regarding your comment to Hilary, your posts are sometimes more challenging than the typical blog post, and I often realize when I click on them that I will have to do some serious thinking. However, you always link your subjects to interesting issues and questions (the professor in you coming out!), and for this reason your posts engender interesting discussions among your readers. Also, I often get to look up references or images, and do a little bit of connected research, which is right up my alley!
p.s. I would have loved taking your classes.

Hels said...


part of the pleasure was finding wonderful lists of blogs that focused on the same issues I enjoyed eg MastersDegree.net collection of the 50 Best Art History Blogs written in English:

The inevitable misery is finding that many of these blogs disappeared or survived only in another format. The History Carnival was an excellent monthly showcase of blog writing about history that ended at the end of 2017. http://archive.historycarnival.org/

bazza said...

Thanks for your efforts and brilliant output. Your posts introduce to us to many new thoughts, people, places and ideas. A new post is always a pleasure to anticipate. Thanks Hels - keep it going!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s never knowingly novaturient Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hels said...


Thank you. I have been involved in mirc (chat channels) since 1993, but blogging is far more intellectually satisfying. Thanks to other bloggers, we have all been introduced to new subjects, new books and journals, new films etc etc.

One example. As much as we all know about Lord Nelson, I am now reading his own pro-slavery letters for the first time. The learning never ends!