Nanny – A Servant Wager Cup

Online databases are incredible tools. While my museum career has mostly focused on textiles, dress, and ethnographic materials, I never know what is going to inspire me when I search mfa.org, metmuseum.org, emuseum.history.org (Colonial Williamsburg), and so forth. I’ve heard a … Continue reading

Happy Labor Day

Lewis Hine’s photographs will always remind us of the successes of the Labor Movement. The title of this image is Addie Card, 12 years. Spinner in North Pownal Cotton Mill. Girls in mill say she is ten years. She admitted … Continue reading

Whose Sleeves? Tagasode Screen

The garments draped over the racks in the golden scene depicted on this screen raise questions about the woman who left them there. The late seventeenth century kosodes are energetic in their designs of fans and wheels and riotous in … Continue reading

Having Dinner with Robert Jocelyn

I’ll have the Scollop of Oysters, hartychokes, cold lobster, and olive pudding! Winterthur has in their collections the Dinner Book of Robert Jocelyn, First Viscount of Jocelyn and one time Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The book includes drawings of his … Continue reading

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

Feeling Swank: The Green Mill, Chicago

During our recent trip to see Jeremy W.(of Le Cafe Witteveen) and Tina S. in their Chicago stomping grounds, we got to check out some incredible local spots. One of them was The Green Mill, a nightclub paused during its … 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