Tag Archives: Material Culture

‘Common Heritage’ Grant Program Announced


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attic of historynehThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a new grant program, called “Common Heritage,” that hopes to bring to light historical records and artifacts currently hidden in family attics and basements across the country and make them digitally available to the wider public.

NEH invites historical societies, libraries, archives, museums, colleges and other local institutions to apply for the Common Heritage grant program. Grants will support day-long events, organized by community cultural institutions, in which members of the public will be invited to share materials important to their family or community histories, such as photographs, artifacts, family letters, and works of art. Continue reading

18th-Century Fashion & Material Culture


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ben_franklins_worldThe clothing a person wears tells you a lot about them: Whether they are rich or poor, what kind of work they do, what colors they like, and what they value.

We know that John Hancock was a wealthy merchant and prominent politician, but did you know that his suit reveals even more about his life and personality than the documents and portraits he left behind?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Museum professional and textiles expert Kimberly Alexander joins us to explore the world of 18th-century fashion and material culture and what objects like John Hancock’s suit communicate about the past. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/024

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Indian Basketry of the Northeastern Woodlands


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image001(14)With hundreds of vivid and detailed color photographs and an easy narrative style enlivened by historical vignettes, Sarah Peabody Turnbaugh and William A. Turnbaugh bring overdue appreciation to a centuries-old Native American basketmaking tradition in the Northeast in Indian Basketry of the Northeastern Woodlands (Schiffer Publishing, 2014).

The authors explore the full range of vintage Indian woodsplint and sweetgrass basketry in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, from practical “work” baskets made for domestic use to whimsical “fancy” wares that appealed to Victorian tourists. Continue reading

Schuyler Mansion Lecture Series Begins Saturday


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Schuyler Mansion  2014This Saturday, March 28, 2015, Schuyler Mansion will host “Fabric For Furniture: Historic Choices,” presented by Elizabeth Lahikainen as first of the site’s 2015 spring lecture series focusing on 18th-century interior decoration, Schuyler Splendor: The Making of an 18th Century Home of Good Taste. 

Elizabeth Lahikainen, an internationally recognized textile conservator specializing in historic upholstery, will discuss 18th century design trends, fabrics appropriate for different chair styles, and what is available in today’s market. Utilizing fabrics of unusual weave and motifs, she will demonstrate combinations using chairs from Schuyler Mansion’s collection. Continue reading

Artifacts Returned To Susan B. Anthony Museum


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Restored5Mar15A cross-stitch sampler created by Susan B. Anthony over a three-year period beginning in 1831 has been returned to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. The artifact has been in the care of conservator Sarah Stevens of Zephyr Preservation Studios.

“Susan B. Anthony had this sampler prominently displayed in her office when she was in her eighties, so we know that it was important to her,” Deborah L. Hughes, President & CEO of the Anthony Museum, said. “It is precious today because it connects us personally to young Susan and her family. This was her handiwork, long before she was the Great Reformer.” Continue reading

Boscobel House and Gardens Appoints Curator


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Jennifer CarlquistBoscobel House & Gardens in Garrison, NY has announced the addition of Jennifer Carlquist as its new Curator (effective February 4, 2015). Carlquist is expected to oversee the museum’s collection of New York furniture and decorative arts from the Federal period and organize annual exhibitions.

Carlquist is an art historian specializing in American interiors and 17th- to 21st-century decorative arts and designs made, collected and/or retailed in America. Her 15-year career as a museum professional includes curatorial and fundraising positions at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Weisman Art Museum, and Glensheen Historic Estate and a fellowship at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library. Continue reading

Dutch-Style Kasten Cupboards Sought


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762.01 Radcliff KasHistoric Huguenot Street is seeking documentation of examples from museums, historic sites, and private collections of 18th-and early 19th-century Dutch-style cupboards known as grote kasten (singular kast).

The documentation and study of these kasten is expected to ultimately be part of an exhibit, symposium, and fully-illustrated compendium planned for 2016. Continue reading

NYS Museum Opens Shaker Photography Exhibit


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Round Stone Barn, wagon entry levelThe New York State Museum has opened a new exhibition featuring Shaker photographs. A Promising Venture: Shaker Photographs from the WPA features the photography of Noel Vicentini and documents Shaker sites, architecture, craft and people.

On display in Photography Gallery through December 31, 2015, the exhibition is organized by Hancock Shaker Village and features more than 100 photographs. This exhibition complements the State Museum’s 7,000 square-foot exhibition, The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries, which explores the history and culture of the Shakers. Continue reading

New Netherland to Empire State: NY Furniture


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New York State ChairSettled by the Dutch and claimed by the English, as writer Russell Shorto has observed, New York was “a Babel of peoples—Norwegians, Germans, Italians, Jews, Africans . . . Walloons, Bohemians, Munsees, Montauks, Mohawks, and many others”. In the landscapes they shaped, buildings and furniture they made, New Yorkers created a place “unlike any other, either in the North American colonies or anywhere else.”

This unique legacy is reflected in New York furniture. The 2015 Winterthur Furniture Forum, March 4 to 7, 2015 at the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate in Winterthur, Delaware, celebrates furniture from the Empire State with lectures, workshops, and tours exploring new discoveries, shedding light on lesser-known cabinetmakers, and highlighting regional and cultural diversity. Continue reading