Transportation Tuesday: Pittsburgh Bridges

Thanks to reader Ms. S. for pointing out Pittsburgh’s distinction as the Bridge City. When I had suggested Cleveland as a contender (see my post on the bridges of Cleveland and the boat tour that highlights them) Ms S. quickly … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Crinolines and Omnibuses

It was the 1850s. Skirts were big. Transportation, not so much. Prior to elevated railways, streetcars, and subways, mass transit meant the omnibus, a horse-drawn wagon, often enclosed. Crinolines (hoop skirts) gave lampoonists of the mid-19th century ample tongue-wagging material. … Continue reading

Haplessly Crafty: Block Printing

I’m having some fun with block printing textiles recently. I’ve been experiencing a “sewing block” so I’ve moved on to playing with acrylic screen printing ink, foam brayers, and lino gouges. Nothing like getting out the stresses of the work … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Sewing in Sheffield

Sheffield resident Lisa R. and I met through Revolutionary War reenacting. Looking for ways to extend the fellowship of the hobby outside of encampments and to coax local crafters out of their homes, Lisa scheduled a couple of dates for … Continue reading

Curious Objects: Portrait Collages at the National Portrait Gallery

I was killing time before my talk for the Washington Conservation Guild on February 7. The old Patent Office serves as the home to two Smithsonian Institution museums, the National Portrait Gallery, and the American Art Museum. The Patent Office … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Grand By Design Exhibition at Grand Central

After a boozy brunch with Dr. V’s cousins, we wandered up the sunny side of the street to Grand Central Terminal, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The former waiting room space is used for exhibitions and events, and currently … Continue reading

(Music Plays) Lydia, The Tattoed Lady – An eighteenth century woman’s tattoo

The New Yorker Photo Booth blog highlighted tattoed women and a book about them¬†Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo¬†by Margot Mifflin (1997). The photograph of Maud Wagner caught my eye, my first perception of a Gibson … Continue reading

On the Subject of Duck…

Duck is tasty. It was popular fare in New York’s turn-of-the-century restaurants. Havre de Grace, located just a few hours from New York on the Pennsylvania Railroad, was a ready source of the fowl for New York City. Boats known … Continue reading

Shifting Garment Styles, 1750-1790: What Research and Sketching Have in Common

Historical research is like sketching. You begin with a few pieces of data, allowing you to make some bold strokes on a piece of white paper. You identify what sorts of primary resources will improve that image, and it redirects … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Beethoven’s Birthplace

Has anyone else been outraged by the clips on WNYC when they ask people on the street “Who is Beethoven?” followed by soundbites of multiple people saying “a dog!” (see here for WQXR’s Beethoven Awareness Month program) Last week’s work … Continue reading