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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Lion and Unicorn Returning to Boston, 23 Nov. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Sunday, 23 November, the figures of the lion and unicorn will be reinstalled at the Old State House in Boston.

The lion has been regilded, and the unicorn repalladianized, making them shinier than they’ve been in years and probably far shinier than the original statues looked in colonial times. The balcony below them has had major repairs, as had the building’s west façade.

Aa was widely reported this fall, the lion’s head contained a time capsule from 1901. The conservator placed a new time capsule into the gilded scroll that the lion statue stands on, to be more easily ...

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View from Somewhere in the Bronx (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday John U. Rees called my attention to this article by Matthew Skic, currently a student in the Winterthur museum’s Program in Early American Material Culture.

Winterthur’s collection includes the watercolor sketch shown above, made by Capt. Thomas Davies of the Royal Artillery in 1776. Skic explains:
The drawing depicts the British and Hessian assault of Fort Washington, an American fortification located on the heights at the northern end of Manhattan Island. The battle took place on November 16, 1776. Davies,…an eyewitness to the battle, executed this drawing soon after the assault.
Skic undertook an investigation of where ...

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A Painting of John Trumbull (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

It’s been noted that the phrase “a painting of Winston Churchill” can refer to a painting of the British Prime Minister, a painting by the British Prime Minister, or even a painting owned by that British Prime Minister.
This is a portrait of John Trumbull (1750-1831), the poet, lawyer, and jurist, by his cousin John Trumbull (1756-1843), the painter, and owned by each in turn. It’s now a painting of the Detroit Institute of Arts, which just helped its city work through bankruptcy.

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“Neoclassicism” Seminar in Deerfield, 14-16 Nov. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This weekend Historic Deerfield will host a three-day seminar titled “Borrowing from Antiquity, Designing a New Republic: Neoclassicism in America.”
The three-day forum will explore the new design style developed in France and England in the mid-18th century and made popular in the newly-formed United States as the Federal style. Harkening back to the shapes and ornaments of classical Greece and Rome, antiquity became a source of inspiration for architecture, furniture, and household decoration, and can be seen in decorative arts ranging from porcelain vases to mahogany sideboards.

The frequent use of swags, urns, and elliptical motifs, along with the ...

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“Washington Elm” Exhibit in Cambridge (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Thursday, 13 November, the Cambridge Historical Society hosts an opening reception for its special exhibit on “The Washington Elm,” featuring the photography of Bruce Myren (one example shown here).

That elm, as I’ve discussed, was associated in the late 1800s with a moment on 3 July 1775 when Gen. George Washington was said to have taken command of the Continental Army, often pictured as drawn up in ranks for his review.

In reality, Washignton probably took command indoors on 2 July 1775 when he met Gen. Artemas Ward, and he and Gen. Charles Lee inspected the ...

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“Visualizing Slavery” Conference in New Haven , 7-8 Nov. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Friday and Saturday, 7-8 November, the Gilder Lehrman Center’s 16th Annual International Conference will take place at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.

It will be on the theme “Visualizing Slavery and British Culture” and coincides with the museum’s exhibition “Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain.”

The event description says:
Using a cross disciplinary approach, the conference will help place the works in the exhibition in a historical context—Britain and its empire from roughly the 1720s to the early 1800s—and explore the impact of slavery on British art and culture.

...

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This Season’s New Paine Claim (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last month, on 24 September, someone signed in to Wikipedia as “Jkfkauia” in order to revise the Thomas Paine entry. He or she explained the editing this way:
(I am correcting a widely repeated piece of insulting misinformation about Thomas Paine. He was involved in youth with making rope stays used on sailing ships, NOT the stays used in corsets. This lie about his life story was invented by his foes.)
Wikipedia records four other edits by “Jkfkauia” in 2012 and 2013, none having to do with eighteenth-century history.

The section on Paine’s early life now reads in part:
...

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A New Memorial Proposed for D.C. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In 1980, Lena Santos Ferguson applied for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

She traced her ancestry to Jonah Gay, who in 1775 was on the committee of correspondence for Meduncook, Maine, later called Friendship.

It took four years for the organization to accept that documentation and make Ferguson “the second black member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in modern times.”

The organization soon came around to supporting a project to document over 6,000 black Continental soldiers and in 2008 published the reference book Forgotten Patriots.

At the same time Ferguson’s nephew, Maurice ...

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“The 18th-Century Woman” in Arlington, 28 Oct. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Arlington Historical Society will host a lecture on Tuesday, 28 October, on “The 18th-Century Woman” by Gail White Usher. This is part of a yearlong series with the theme of “Women’s Work.”

The event description is basic:
Gain greater understanding of what it meant to be a middling or working-class woman in New England prior to the Revolutionary War, through diaries, letters, paintings, and objects.
Usher comes to Arlington from Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut. She has also worked at the Bowen House in that town and at the Daniel Benton Homestead in Tolland, and she’s an avid ...

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Jack Tar on the Web (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

British Tars, 1740-1790 is a blog with a nicely specific focus: images of British sailors in those busy decades of the eighteenth century. The creator, Kyle Dalton, is a Revolutionary War reenactor who worked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Each entry is based on an image from that period that includes a sailor as either subject, background figure, or emblem. Dalton then offers a detailed analysis of maritime clothing, head to toe.

This collection of pictures reflect the same cultural figure that Jesse Lemisch wrote about in “Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of ...

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Portrait of the Artist as a World Traveler (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On the left side of Johann Zoffany’s group portrait of the Royal Academy in 1771-72, toward the back of the crowd, is an unusual face for eighteenth-century London: a Chinese artist named Tan Chitqua.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography recently added an entry by Pat Hardy about this world-traveling artist:
Aged about forty Chitqua made the unusual decision to visit Europe, and was probably the first Chinese clay portrait artist to do so. He arrived in London on 11 August 1769 having travelled with a Mr Walton on the East Indiaman the Horsendon. He lodged with Mr ...

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Colonial Brickwork (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Growing up in Boston exposes people to an above-average amount of Revolutionary history, and that can come out in many ways.

For Brendan Powell Smith, a native of Norwood and graduate of Boston University, one outlet is the Revolution!: The Brick Chronicle of the American Revolution and the Inspiring Fight for Liberty and Equality That Shook the World.

This book consists of scenes from the American and French Revolutions recreated with LEGO blocks. The B.U. alumni magazine explains:
Brendan Powell Smith pulls back his curly shoulder-length hair and scans the bins filled with tiny plastic heads, capes, wigs, ...

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Rounding Out the “History in Comics” Panel in Cambridge, 4 Oct. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

As I’ve mentioned, on Saturday I’m moderating a panel at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo in Cambridge about “History in Comics.”

Two of the panelists are Jason Rodriguez, editor of the new Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750, and E. J. Barnes, a contributor to that collection.

The third is Ellen T. Crenshaw, who with her husband Matt Boehm created a story for Colonial Comics on Roger Williams’s founding of Rhode Island. A few years back they also created a short comic about Mark Twain’s encounter with the Boston literary establishment, including “Paul Revere’s ...

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Eighteenth-Century Comics from E. J. Barnes (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

One of the contributors to Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 is the Cambridge writer-artist E. J. Barnes, who tells the story of Thomas Morton’s short-lived early-1600s colony at what is now Mount Wollaston in Quincy.

She’ll also be on our “History in Comics” panel this Saturday at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (M.I.C.E.).

Among E. J.’s previous history-based comics are two with roots in the eighteenth century.

“A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed” takes the text of Jonathan Swift’s satirical poem from 1734 and illustrates it with scratchboard art. E. J.’s images turn Swift’s snarls about cosmetic ...

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What Was Going Through That Lion’s Head? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

When the Old State House in Boston was built in 1713, it was topped with figures of a lion and a unicorn, heraldic symbols of the then-new United Kingdom of England (plus Wales) and Scotland.

On 18 July 1776, after the new state’s official public reading of the Declaration of Independence, the populace pulled those statues down from the roof and burned them in a bonfire.

When the Old State House was restored to what people decided was its colonial form in 1882, a new lion and unicorn were installed. Those wooden figures didn’t weather well, and the Bostonian ...

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Great Hamilton (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Ten years ago Hamilton, Ohio, founded in 1791, installed a statue of its namesake, Alexander Hamilton. (The city has branded itself as a “City of Sculpture.”)

Kristen Visbal won the competition to design and produce the Hamilton statue. As you can see, its most striking feature is the thirteen-star American flag that the Federalist politician is shown wearing as a cape, billowing from his shoulders. In fact, the official name of the statue is “The American Cape.”

At over twelve feet high, this is said to be the largest statue of Hamilton in existence, bigger than Boston’s, ...

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Smithsonian to Restore Landsdowne Portrait Starting in 2016 (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The “Landsdowne portrait” of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796 and purchased by the Smithsonian in 2001, is scheduled to be cleaned and restored starting in 2016. The Associated Press reports:
Conservators wanted to clean and restore the painting for many years, but the museum was reluctant to take it off view. The painting is in good condition but does have problems, including paint losses in Washington’s black coat, said CindyLou Molnar, the museum’s head of conservation [shown above]. The biggest problem is the heavy yellow varnish that disguises details in the painting.

“It will take ...

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Revolutionary War Comic Coming in 2015 (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last month the Nerdist website announced that in April 2015 Dark Horse Comics will launch the comic book Rebels, which “will explore the lives of soldiers, ordinary colonists, and the extraordinary men and women that lived and died during the Revolutionary War era.”

The series was conceived by scripter Brian Wood, and the art will come primarily from the Italian illustrator Andrea Mutti and American-Irish colorist Jordie Bellaire.

Wood created the series Northlanders, about Vikings, which Vertigo published from 2007 to 2012. The Nerdist says:
Wood has proven that he is no stranger to taking a ...

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“Warren step’s beyond their path” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

When Ezekiel and Sarah Russell put together their “ELEGIAC POEM” about Bunker Hill, they didn’t stint. Their customers didn’t get just sixty woodcut coffins and four columns of poetry.

The Russells also provided “An ACROSTIC on the late Major-General WARREN Who was slain fighting for the LIBERTIES of AMERICA”:
J ust as JOSEPH took his flight
O nward to the realm of light,
S atan hurl’d his hellish darts,
E vil angels played their parts;
P iercy, Burgoyne, Howe, and Gage,
H over about infernal rage:

W ARREN step’d beyond their path,
A w’d by ...

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The Mysteries of Dido Belle’s Portrait (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday’s Guardian contained an article by Stuart Jeffries about the painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray that inspired the new movie Belle.

This painting was once attributed to Johann Zoffany but is now considered to be by an unknown artist, making its interpretation harder. In particular, the article quotes differing theories on why Dido is posed the way she is:
Why does Dido look as if she’s rushing past her cousin on an errand? For [novelist Caitlin] Davies, one possibility is that this started as a single portrait. “It looks like the portrait of Elizabeth ...

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Mrs. General Washington (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This image comes courtesy of the Library of Congress. The New York Public Library states that it appeared in the 1 Apr 1783 issue of The Rambler’s Magazine; or, The annals of gallantry, glee, pleasure, and the bon ton; calculated for the entertainment of the polite world; and to furnish the man of pleasure with a most delicious banquet of amorous, Bacchanalian, whimsical, humorous, theatrical and polite entertainment. What we today call a “men’s magazine.” So of course it showed George Washington in a dress.

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Popping Up on the Freedom Trail: A Kickstarter Campaign (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Denise D. Price is an artist and paper engineer in Cambridge who’s started a Kickstarter campaign for The Freedom Trail Pop-Up Book.

The book promises “16 architecturally accurate pop ups, profiles of each of the five historic weathervanes along the trail and written history about landmarks like the U.S.S. Constitution and the Old South Meeting House.” Other highlights:
  • A fully three dimensional, two-page pop-up of the Massachusetts State House
  • Old Corner Bookstore illustration with moveable sign 1717 to 1826
  • A pop-up interpretation of Paul Revere’s [actually Henry Pelham’s] etching of the Boston Massacre
The Freedom Trail ...

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Historical Diaries Panel at Plymouth, 13 May (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Tuesday, 13 May, I’ll be at the Plymouth Public Library as part of a panel discussion on using diaries in historical research. This event will run from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. in the Otto Fehlow Meeting Room, and is free and open to the public.

The other panelists will be Michelle Marchetti Coughlin, author of One Colonial Woman’s World: The Life and Writings of Mehetabel Chandler Coit, and Ondine Le Blanc, Director of Publications at the Massachusetts Historical Society and thus one of the people behind the publication of Ellen Coolidge’s travel diary.

I’ll describe my ...

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The Fate of Don Galvez’s Portrait (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday’s posting described how in May 1783 Oliver Pollock gave the Continental Congress a portrait of Don Bernardo de Gálvez, who as Spanish governor of Louisiana had been a strong ally for the new U.S. of A. After being displayed for a day in the Congress’s chamber, the painting was moved to the house that chairman Elias Boudinot was renting in Philadelphia.

The next month, soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line marched on the capital to demand their unpaid wages. They surrounded the Pennsylvania State House. Some authors say they were upset with the Congress, some with the Pennsylvania ...

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