Allison C. Meier

Allison C. Meier is a Brooklyn-based writer focused on visual culture, architecture, and overlooked history. She has been a staff writer at Hyperallergic and senior editor at Atlas Obscura. You can read more of her writing on her website.
Painting of an ornate urn

How Cremation Lost Its Stigma

The pro-cremation movement of the nineteenth century battled religious tradition, not to mention the specter of mass graves during epidemics.

Surviving a Pandemic, in 1918

A century ago, Catholic nuns from Philadelphia recalled what it was like to tend to the needy and the sick during the great influenza pandemic of 1918.

Remember You Will Be Buried

Tracing the American cemetery from the colonial age to the Gilded Age.

The 1918 Parade That Spread Death in Philadelphia

In six weeks, 12,000 were dead of influenza.
Bucket of indigo dye.

Colonialism Created Navy Blue

The indigo dye that created the Royal Navy's signature uniform color was only possible because of imperialism and slavery.

An Itinerant Photographer's Diverse Portraits of the Turn-of-the-Century American South

A new exhibit features photos by Hugh Mangum, whose glass plate negatives were salvaged from a North Carolina barn.
Gettysburg cyclorama building.

Cycloramas: The Virtual Reality of the 19th Century

Immersive displays brought 19th century spectators to far-off places and distant battles. The way they portrayed history, however, was often inaccurate.

Legends and Lore

A roadside marker program in New York State embraces the gray area between official history and local lore.
Section of "A Whaling Voyage 'Round The World," depicting three ships, with whales and sailors in rowboats in the water

Did North America's Longest Painting Inspire Moby-Dick?

Herman Melville likely saw the panorama “Whaling Voyage,” which records the sinking of the whaler Essex, while staying in Boston in 1849.

What the Viral Media of the Civil War Era Can Teach Us About Prejudice

A recent photography exhibit at the Getty Center raises difficult questions about our capacity for empathy.

Edward S. Curtis: Romance vs. Reality

In a famous 1910 photograph "In a Piegan Lodge," a small clock appears between two seated Native American men.

Henrietta Lacks, Immortalized

Henrietta Lacks's "immortal" cell line, called "HeLa," is used in everything from cancer treatments to vaccines.

Illustrating Carnival: Remembering the Overlooked Artists Behind Early Mardi Gras

A look at the ornate float and costume designs from Carnival’s “Golden Age."

The Story of an Unrealized Domed City for Minnesota

The Experimental City revisits the plan for a futuristic Minnesota city that would solve urban problems.

The 1960s Photographer Who Documented the Peace Sign as a Political Symbol

Jim Marshall photographed the spread of the peace sign between 1961 and 1968, with his images now published for the first time by Reel Art Press.

Explore the Early Years of Technicolor Film in 40,000 Documents

The Technicolor Online Research Archive has newly digitized documents from 1914 to 1955, chronicling the development of Technicolor film.
Red Horse's drawing of American soldiers on horseback

A Lakota Sioux Warrior's Eyewitness Drawings of Little Bighorn

The role of Red Horse's drawings in the historical narrative of the Battle of Little Bighorn.