Samuel Adams’s Mother Was a Fifield

Back in the early aughts, I was a Collection Care Specialist in Textiles and Fashion Arts (TFA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I was working on a National Endowment for the Arts grant to photograph and perform condition … Continue reading

Thomas Bewick, Newcastle Wood Engraver (1753-1828)

In digging through the British Museum online collection database this week for a project, I tripped over the wood engravings of Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Operating mostly in Newcastle for his entire career, Bewick’s rural upbringing led to an interest in … Continue reading

Preservation and Access in Oklahoma

Early this week found me in Edmond, Oklahoma. Located along US Route 66, the texture of the town is trains, traffic, bungalows, and mid-century roadside architecture. UCO was founded as a land grant college in 1890, right after the Land … Continue reading

New Year’s Day – A Great Day to Run Away

Many of us choose some aspect of life to rejuvenate on the 1st of January. On a whim, I decided to reference my runaway servant research database to see how popular a day New Year’s Day was for running away. … Continue reading

Death By Green: Arsenic Poisoning

The Bata Shoe Museum’s current exhibition Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century exposes the dangers in the manufacture and wearing of many fashion trends of the past. One trend, a beautiful green dye used in the … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday – B&O Centenary Pageant, 1927

Ladies in nymph-like attire twirling and leaping through fields – sounds like the turn of the century pageantry movement to me. The Centenary Pageant in 1927 for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is a rather late occurrence of this type … Continue reading

Don’t Confuse Geisha and Courtesans (Oiran and Tayu)

It is apparent from my forays around Pinterest and the web that images of geisha and courtesans are often mislabeled. For those unfamiliar with subtleties in the styling and wear of kimono, obi, and traditional Japanese hairstyles, it can be … Continue reading

The Still Room Takes a Break

We are preparing to welcome Spud in the next week or two, so The Still Room will be on intermittent break for the foreseeable future. Please check out some of my older posts by using the categories and tag cloud … Continue reading

Stripey Runaway Buys 10 Dozen Continental Buttons at a Vendue-Store in 1784

I was playing around on America’s Historical Newspapers, a digital subscription newspaper archive based on the American Antiquarian Society’s collection of historical newspapers. My mother’s family has been based in Harford County, Maryland for almost 400 years. A search on … Continue reading

Viennese Fashion, Winter c. 1910.

In my mind, the teens were among the most exciting in fashion, with inventive shapes, pattern, and a whole new silhouette in play. Renders all the black coat-wearing in Manhattan this time of year all the more hum-drum. … Continue reading