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The cultural history of clouds seemed to be shaped by amateurs — the likes of Luke Howard and the Honorable Ralph Abercromby — each of whom projected the ethos of his particular era onto those billowing blank slates in the troposphere. Gavin Pretor-Pinney was our era’s.
It was while Mr. Pretor-Pinney was living in Rome, where he encountered frescoes and paintings crowded with clouds, that his preoccupation began. And out of this preoccupation came the Cloud Appreciation Society: an online community, thousands strong, devoted to sharing images of clouds.
On today’s Sunday Read, the story of the Cloud Appreciation Society and how Mr. Pretor-Pinney, backed by good will, challenged the cloud authorities.
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