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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Footnotes on “Reporting the Battle of Lexington” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last night’s talk at the Lexington Historical Society was fun, and I learned new stuff while preparing it.

For instance, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston owns this John Smibert portrait of Samuel Pemberton painted in 1734 when he was eleven years old. Not too young to shave his head and wear a wig, however. In 1770, Pemberton was on the committee with James Bowdoin and Dr. Joseph Warren to prepare Boston’s official report on the Boston Massacre.

The main thesis of my talk was that the Massachusetts Patriots, and Warren in particular, learned from that episode ...

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The Council Chamber at the Old State House, 28 Jan. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Tuesday, 28 January, the Bostonian Society will unveil its makeover of the Old State House’s Council Chamber, where the Massachusetts Council considered legislation and met with the governor. This was considered the most opulent public space in colonial Boston and the center of imperial power in Massachusetts.

Working with craftspeople trained at the North Bennet Street School, the society has furnished the room as it appeared in 1764, when the building was still called the Town House and Britain’s North American empire was at its peak.

The event announcement explains:
Although the original Council Chamber table and chairs ...

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The Original “Wicked Statesman” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

A week ago I shared this picture, engraved by Paul Revere for Isaiah Thomas’s 1774 almanac. It shows a “Wicked Statesman” being tormented by Death and a Devil. Under his left arm is a £1,500 salary—what Gov. Thomas Hutchinson was accepting from the tea tax. That engraving is part of the American Antiquarian Society’s online catalogue of all its engravings connected with Revere.

In a comment E. J. Witek wrote that Revere based this picture on a British original titled “The Minister in Surprize.” Indeed, Revere was an excellent silversmith but not a talented draftsman, and he based almost ...

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Undefil’d with Art (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This poem appeared on the front page of the 16 Dec 1773 Boston News-Letter.
An ACROSTICK.

G overn’d by Wisdom, steadily he rules,
O ver the thinking Wise, and giddy Fools;
V irtuously dispos’d, of noble Mind;
E nvy itself must see, except it’s Blind.
R evil’d, publicly insulted, he,
N ever forgets to bless his Enemy;
O pen and frankly gives Advice to all.
U nbiased, to Rich, to Great, to Small,
R ightly determines when on him they call.

H ere view the Man, who to his Sovereign’s true:
U seful in Church, in State, a Patriot ...

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The Inaugural Issue of Action Presidents! (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The first issue of the new Action Presidents! comic debuts today on ComiXology, and it naturally tackles the towering figure of the first President, George Washington.

This comic book comes from Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, the team behind Action Philosophers! and (a series I like even more) The Comic Book History of Comics. The Action Philoaophers! series dissected the lives and ideas of famous thinkers in comic-book form, the tropes of superhero action often satirizing the subject matter. In contrast, some of the Action Presidents!, including Washington, really were quite active men.

Van Lente structures ...

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Naval History and Heritage Logo Contest Winning Designs Named (Naval History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from Naval History Blog:

NHHC Logo Winner

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication Outreach Division

The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) announced the winners of its logo design contest, whose work will serve to inspire the new NHHC logo.

The winning design (pictured right) came from Nathan E. Quinn, a graphics specialist at the Defense Media Activity.

“The main point I was trying to convey with the design is that ‘our past guides our future.’ I have an image of the USS Constitution, which is a long-standing symbol of the Navy. It has persevered through many hardships but still stands today and I think that ...

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New Study of Dr. Benjamin Church (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

John A. Nagy has written two books on espionage in the Revolutionary War: Invisible Ink: Spycraft of the American Revolution and Spies in the Continental Capital: Espionage Across Pennsylvania During the American Revolution.

For his third, he turned to the first notable Patriot to be revealed (somewhat) as secretly slipping information to the Crown: Dr. Benjamin Church, Spy: A Case of Espionage on the Eve of the American Revolution.

I say “somewhat” because Gen. George Washington and Massachusetts General Court couldn’t come up with ironclad proof of Church’s treachery. He admitted to sending his brother-in-law John Fleeming ...

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The Consul’s Coat (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Next month Augusta Auctions in New York will offer this fine red broadcloth cutaway coat along with tan buckskin britches, which belonged to Thomas McDonogh, Britain’s first consul in Boston. The auctioneer’s webpage shows several more images of the garments.

The most detailed profile of McDonogh that I could find appears in The Wentworth Genealogy:
He is represented as having been the private Secretary of Gov. John Wentworth [of New Hampshire]. Correspondence preserved amply proves that they bore the most intimate relations to each other, and that Mr. McDonogh adhered to the Governor’s person, as well as his ...

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The Consul’s Coat (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Next month Augusta Auctions in New York will offer this fine red broadcloth cutaway coat along with tan buckskin britches, which belonged to Thomas McDonogh, Britain’s first consul in Boston. The auctioneer’s webpage shows several more images of the garments.

The most detailed profile of McDonogh that I could find appears in The Wentworth Genealogy:
He is represented as having been the private Secretary of Gov. John Wentworth [of New Hampshire]. Correspondence preserved amply proves that they bore the most intimate relations to each other, and that Mr. McDonogh adhered to the Governor’s person, as well as his ...

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“The Norman Rockwell of Things” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The summer installment of Common-place included Abigail Walthausen’s article “An Americana of Tools and Manners: Eric Sloane’s Nostalgia.”

I enjoyed finding several of Eric Sloane’s books as a teenager and bought reprints later. I became a little wary of their claims of authority without clear citations, but nonetheless they’ve definitely shaped my thinking about early rural America.

Walthausen’s article starts with a surprise: Sloane was born in New York City as Everard Hinrichs. He derived the new surname Sloane from an art-school acquaintance, the first name Eric from the middle of “America.”

Walthausen goes on to consider Sloane’s influence on ...

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“The Norman Rockwell of Things” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The summer installment of Common-place included Abigail Walthausen’s article “An Americana of Tools and Manners: Eric Sloane’s Nostalgia.”

I enjoyed finding several of Eric Sloane’s books as a teenager and bought reprints later. I became a little wary of their claims of authority without clear citations, but nonetheless they’ve definitely shaped my thinking about early rural America.

Walthausen’s article starts with a surprise: Sloane was born in New York City as Everard Hinrichs. He derived the new surname Sloane from an art-school acquaintance, the first name Eric from the middle of “America.”

Walthausen goes on to consider Sloane’s influence on ...

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Unpacking Bunker Hill (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Don Hagist has an interesting article about Bunker Hill at All Things Liberty: The Journal of the American Revolution. While framed [!] as a discussion of Howard Pyle’s famous (and still missing) painting of a doomed British advance, the essay is really a fine dissection of some myths and misconceptions about the battle.

For instance:
Although British soldiers did use knapsacks (that didn’t look anything like Pyle’s), they didn’t wear them on that day. Why would they? The knapsack carried nice things like spare shoes, shirts and socks, great for a long campaign but silly to lug along when ...

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Unpacking Bunker Hill (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Don Hagist has an interesting article about Bunker Hill at All Things Liberty: The Journal of the American Revolution. While framed [!] as a discussion of Howard Pyle’s famous (and still missing) painting of a doomed British advance, the essay is really a fine dissection of some myths and misconceptions about the battle.

For instance:
Although British soldiers did use knapsacks (that didn’t look anything like Pyle’s), they didn’t wear them on that day. Why would they? The knapsack carried nice things like spare shoes, shirts and socks, great for a long campaign but silly to lug along when ...

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The Revolutions of Sir Robert Smyth (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In 1774, Thomas Paine emigrated to Pennsylvania with a letter of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin and a fervent wish to help the American colonists resist the royal government.

That same year, Sir Robert Smyth (1744-1802) was first elected to Parliament, representing the boroughs of Cardigan. Sir Robert had inherited a baronetcy (a hereditary knighthood), but we all remember that knights and baronets are technically commoners and therefore eligible for election to the House of Commons, right?

In Parliament, Smyth “generally voted with the court,” or the Tory government, according to Horace Walpole. He supported Lord North’s American ...

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NHHC Logo Design Submissions – Tell Us Your Choice (Naval History Blog)

An interesting history-related post from Naval History Blog:

After three quick months of open and fierce competition to help inspire Naval History and Heritage Command’s next logo, we’ve compiled all 40 submissions. We have to say, there isn’t one that didn’t get us thinking – great work contestants!

Now it’s your turn: Tell us what you think! Do any of them have the stuff to knock off the reigning NHHC logo?

Click here to view the NHHC logo submissions:

Of course, we are assembling a panel here to examine all the submissions, but determining what defines U.S. Navy history and heritage is everyone’s job. We think ...

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A New Look at Benjamin Thompson (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This week HistoryTube.org announced [trademark symbol and all]: “A portrait of Benjamin Thompson, one of the most prominent scientists of the late 18th century, will be exhibited in the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown® galleries to help tell the story of Loyalists.”

The announcement included a biography of Thompson that I thought could benefit from some translation. It said:
In the 1770s he lived in Concord (earlier called Rumford), New Hampshire, and became an officer in the 2nd Provincial Regiment.
After Thompson at age nineteen married a rich widow, Gov. John Wentworth made him a major ...

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Evolutionary Perspectives on Art History. (Art History Today)

An interesting history-related post from Art History Today:

My last post may have given the impression that Gombrich favoured the idea of magical power over evolutionary models when applied to world art, but the situation was more complicated than that, as he demonstrated in Art and Illusion (1960). Showing how versatile his thinking could be, Gombrich turned to Darwin's ideas on natural selection when pondering the inconsistencies of stylistic development. It would be nice to think that Gombrich knew of Darwin's use of connoisseurship in that book. In one telling example, Darwin compares the observational skills of breeders of merino sheep to the visual skills of connoisseurs of ...

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An Argument against Councils Selling Art (About.com European History)

An interesting history-related post from About.com European History:

I don't know the situation in other countries, but in the UK a lot of local councils own collections of historical art and artifacts which are on display. Some might wonder why - citing a figure from this Scotsman article - London's Croydon Council own $18 million worth of ceramics, but that same article is a plea from Tiffany Jenkins to stop councils selling their collections. The UK is in an age of austerity after the banking system imploded, and councils are looking to their art as an unnecessary luxury. Jenkins argues the provision of museums has a vital part ...

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Gombrich, Magic and World Art (Art History Today)

An interesting history-related post from Art History Today:

(What follows is developed from a series of seminars on world art and civilizations in the Vatican museums, as well thinking about teaching world art. It turned out to be rather longer than I’d planned, once I’d warmed to my theme! Still, I haven’t posted substantially in ages.)

1661_album

What is world art? When did it become a category in art history? Nowadays, visitors to museums are unlikely to be surprised at encountering statues from Egyptian tombs, Mesoamerican figurines, or ceremonial masks from Africa and Oceania, sometimes in exhibitions next to old masters. But art from non-Western cultures, as ...

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The Missionary Background and World Art (Art History Today)

An interesting history-related post from Art History Today:

 

columbus

Interest in different cultures, and more importantly for the Vatican, their diverse religions, is not a recent development. Ever since Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba and Hispanoia (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), in 1492, Europeans have “assumed a posture of human and cultural superiority” over peoples like the Indians, indulging in barbarity in the name of civilization and Christianity.[1] However, not all in the renaissance and early modern periods viewed different cultures in such a condescending way. Two centuries after Columbus, and writing in a spirit well ahead of his time, the French essayist Michel de Montaigne sounded ...

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The Face of Joseph Corré (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I left Joseph Corré in 1803 with his Mount Vernon Gardens theater closing. He advertised that real estate for rent for many months in the New York newspapers. All of the other ads from him that I’ve seen in the 1800s are for real estate, not theater or catering services, suggesting he didn’t go back to those businesses.

The 14 Aug 1823 National Journal reported:
Yesterday afternoon, in the 76th year of his age, Joseph Corré, a native of France, and for many years a resident of this city. His friends and those of his family, are requested ...

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Laurie Halse Anderson Has Some Gossip to Share (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Laurie Halse Anderson is a novelist best known for her contemporary young-adult book Speak, which was a National Book Award finalist, a Printz Award Honor Book, and winner of the Golden Kite Award. It’s an unflinching study of a rape victim in high school, which a few people object to.

Anderson has also won acclaim for her historical fiction for young readers, starting with Fever 1793, about life in the American capital during the yellow-fever epidemic. She’s completing a trilogy of novels about the fight for liberty, individual and national, in the Revolutionary War: Chains, Forge ...

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The English Prize: Quite a Capture (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The English Prize: The Capture of the Westmorland, an Episode of the Grand Tour is a lavish, oversized, and no doubt highly priced art book. (I found a copy at my local library.) It’s unusual in that it catalogues not the work of a particular artist, school, or period, but the collecting activity of a particular class of people at a particular time, preserved by chance like Pompeii or Wolstenholme Town or some other archeological site preserved all of a piece and precisely dated.

The story of this collection began with the Grand Tour, an almost necessary part of the ...

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How Many Sashes Are at Mount Vernon? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Some recent books on Mount Vernon refer to a “Washington sash” in its holdings. For example, The George Washington Collection (2006) shows a woven sash and posits that it might be one that eager young George Washington bought near the start of his military career in 1754, as discussed here. We also know his Philadelphia supplier sent him another sash in late 1774, as quoted here.

The funny thing is that the photos of the “Washington sash” appear to show the same sash that other books (such as George Washington Remembers) identify as the sash of the ...

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