Museum Monday: Researching Museum Collections for Living History Practitioners

I’m a Collections Manager in a large New York City institution. My first museum job was as a thirteen year old volunteer at a “living history” state park, Heritage Hill, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Living history generally denotes that the … Continue reading

The Geisha Toye as a Vendor of Poems

This woodblock print in the Metropolitan Museum of Art depicts The Geisha Toye as a Vendor of Poems, and dates to c. 1795. Geisha were the purveyors of iki, a kind of dark artistic cool. Gei means art and officially, the … Continue reading

Time for a Song: Women Should Their Time Divide

This  finger-wag at women about appropriately dividing their time between pleasure and work is fun to sing. Interesting that work is defined in the following  line as stitching – something that falls into the play category for me today. The … Continue reading

Eadweard Muybridge – Gridded on my mind

I wrote those words “gridded on my mind” years ago in a short story, the protagonist describing herself as the antagonist’s Eadweard Muybridge, preserving him in her memory, serving as his stop-gap photographer. Eadweard Muybridge. Funny name. The sequences of … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Fred Harvey Is Your Host

I just finished Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West by Stephen Fried (visit his website here). Combine my nerdiness for railroad nostalgia with food and you have my ideal 515 … Continue reading

Stocking Washing

The summer is full of living history events, and moreso, the laundry that follows a hot sweaty weekend out in a field without a shower. While plenty of women I know want to get their stays (corset) off first after … Continue reading

Taisho Era Postcard

In 2002, the MFA Boston acquired the Leonard Lauder large collection of Japanese postcards. The most thrilling images are Taisho illustrations, with their bold block colors and imagery that was modern and traditional at the same time. All have a … Continue reading

Variety Among the 18th Century Lesser Sorts

As part of my research on 18thcentury working class clothing, I have been studying indentured and enslaved female servants who immigrated to the American colonies. I created a database that now houses records for 1000 women and their 6000 garments.  Runaway … Continue reading

Lolita Dresses – WTF?

I was minding my own business on Facebook (hardy har), and all of a sudden – an ad for Lolita dresses popped up. Always a fan of Nabakov and a costume historian (and a healthy interest in the foibles of … Continue reading