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Posts Tagged ‘art’

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.)

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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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Washington’s Canceled Order (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

As I described yesterday, in the fall of 1774 and spring of 1775, George Washington was busy ordering sashes and other officers’ insignia for the independent Virginia militia companies. But his favored supplier in Philadelphia, William Milnor, was having trouble securing those sashes.

In early April, Washington’s contact in the Prince William County militia told him, “it is the desire of our Officers, that if they can’t be furnished with such sashes, as are proper; they would not incline to have any.” But he left the decision up to Washington.

Our next clue about that endeavor comes ...

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Winthrop Chandler’s Bunker Hill (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This is Winthrop Chandler’s representation of the Battle of Bunker Hill, painted probably in 1776 or 1777 as a firescreen for the house of a cousin in Pomfret, Connecticut. It’s now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and you can get a closer look at the museum’s website.

I say “representation” because Chandler didn’t depict the battle or Boston harbor accurately. As the museum explains:
Although Chandler may have spent time in Boston during the 1760s, the Connecticut-based artist was not present at the battle of Bunker Hill. Nor, apparently, was his ...

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Sashes in Washington’s Early Military Career (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I decided to use the Founders Online to further explore a topic I addressed earlier in the month: George Washington’s military sashes. In the mid-eighteenth century, a long sash was viewed as part of the necessary insignia of a genteel army officer.

When Washington threw himself into a military career in his early twenties, he ordered a “Rich Crimson ingr[ained] silk Sash,” as specified on this 23 Oct 1754 invoice.

The next year, as a volunteer aide de camp, Washington accompanied Gen. Edward Braddock’s expedition into the Pennsylvania wilderness—an expedition that reportedly ended with the commander ...

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“Ephraim Moors’s Powder Horn” talk in Boston, 14 June (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Massachusetts Historical Society has just opened an exhibit called called “The Object in History.” The society is known mainly as a repository of manuscripts, but it also looks after many three-dimensional artifacts and curiosities, including “Portraits, needlework, firearms, clothing, furniture, silver, scientific instruments,…and books.” Back when the society was founded, such curiosities went into its “cabinet,” which no doubt expanded beyond one piece of furniture.

Among the artifacts on display is the powder horn shown above, carved with the name of Ephraim Moors. The records of the society’s May 1876 meeting say:
The monthly list of ...

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Respranging Gen. Braddock’s Sash (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Summer 2013 issue of Spin-Off magazine offers an article by Carol James about her work recreating a sash that the dying general Edward Braddock reportedly gave to his volunteer aide, George Washington, in 1755. The sash is made from silk with a weaving technique called sprang.

The recreation sash is shown here, courtesy of the Cuyahoga Spinners Guild. Mount Vernon displays a photograph of the original.

James’s blog offers several entries about the sash as a work-in-progress, including a test of whether such a sash could actually carry a wounded man.

A sash was a ...

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Tooting the Horn for Two Talks (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In the next three weeks I’ll give two talks in two different cities about two different powder horns from the siege of Boston.

On Friday, 31 May, I’ll speak at Anderson House, the museum of the Society of the Cincinnati, in Washington, D.C. The topic will be “Thomas Kempton’s Engraved Powder Horn.” One of the curiosities of this horn is that it was first labeled as engraved by Capt. Kempton, and then that line was changed to for Capt. Kempton. What were Kempton and the carver trying to say? And what other stories does that object tell ...

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Where Should a Dr. Joseph Warren Statue Go? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

As I described yesterday, Boston’s bronze statue of Dr. Joseph Warren now stands in a courtyard at the Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury. In 2011, the Boston Globe suggested that the city should find a more public site. But where?

One possibility is simply to leave the statue where it is. The school seems to care for it well. It might inspire the 300 boys who study there. Most telling, since the Globe’s editorial no other institution appears to have stepped forward with more enthusiasm about the statue.

Another possibility is, of course, back at Warren Square in ...

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Three Statues of Dr. Joseph Warren (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

After yesterday’s news about this month’s unveiling of a new Samuel Adams statue at the Boston Tea Party Ships, Boston 1775 reader John L. Smith wrote:
Are you familiar with a statue anywhere in Boston (or anywhere for that matter) of Dr. Warren? HE is the one who should have multiple statues!
Wikipedia counts three public statues of Dr. Joseph Warren. The oldest is a marble carving inside the lodge beside the Bunker Hill Monument. The sculptor was Cambridge artist Henry Dexter (1806-1876), and his work was dedicated in 1857. (Dexter licensed a Charlestown man to sell busts ...

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The 19th of April at the Boston Tea Party Ships (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum has multiple events lined up for Friday, 19 April, the actual anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. (The state holiday of Patriots Day comes on Monday the 15th this year.)

At 9:30 A.M., the museum will unveil its new statue of Samuel Adams outside its doors. This event is free and open to the public since it is, well, out on the bridge. Susie Chisholm created this statue at her studio in Georgia. The picture here comes from a sneak preview the museum offered on its blog last month.

Since ...

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The Unicorn All Around the Town (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The unicorn, already a rare species in modern New England, will get even harder to spot this fall.

A carved unicorn stood atop the east façade of Boston’s Town House, part of the royal arms. After the public reading of the Declaration of Independence on 18 July 1776, the crowd pulled down that pageantry and burned it.

Replicas of the unicorn and its leonine partner were reinstalled when that building, by then called the Old State House, was made into a museum in the late 1800s. (Folks are welcome to ponder the significance of elite Bostonians’ renewed fondness for ...

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“Making Saltpetre” Seminar in Boston, 2 April (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Tuesday, 2 April, the Massachusetts Historical Society will host a session of the Boston Area Early American History Seminar starting at 5:15. David Hsiung, professor at Juniata College, will present a paper on “Making Saltpetre for the Continental Army: How Americans Understood the Environment During the War of Independence.” His précis:
This case study focuses on how Americans understood the workings of the natural world as they imperfectly made gunpowder for the Continental Army. It argues that paying attention to the interactions between humans and the natural environment leads to a richer understanding of the war, and that ...

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Jefferson or Not? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I recently came across the Is This Jefferson? website, devoted to making the case that a portrait apparently painted by Nicholas Benjamin Delapierre in 1785 shows Thomas Jefferson, then ambassador to France.

As this press release acknowledges, no one is on record as thinking this is a painting of Jefferson until its current owner.

Delapierre painted an early printing of De la Caisse d’Escompte on the desk of the man in the portrait. That book was authored principally by Mirabeau, but the man obviously isn’t that jowly count. The book’s other authors included Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville...

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