Current & Coming | By Cynthia Drayton

Query: Cured, Fermented and Smoked Foods

February 1, 2010  |  The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, the annual conference on food history, is seeking papers on the topic "Cured, Fermented and Smoked Foods," to be held at Saint Antony's College in Oxford, England, on July 9 - 11, 2010. For further information on the conference visit the Web site, www.oxfordsymposium.org.uk.

From antiquity to modern times, mankind has developed methods for preserving food, often out of necessity but also for taste alone. Suggested topics are the story behind cured, fermented, or smoked products; examine the chemical actions of curing; or investigate the health benefits and risks of food preservation. If accepted, a final paper of no more than 5,000 words will be due on May 1st.
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| By Cynthia Drayton

Queries: Jewelry designer and metal artist Marie Zimmermann

October 8, 2009  |  The versatile jewelry designer and metalsmith Marie Zimmermann (1879-1972) is the subject of a forthcoming monograph sponsored by the American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1879, Zimmermann's training in the arts began with courses in drawing, painting, and modeling at the Art Students League in New York likely followed by courses in art metalwork at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, 1901-1903.  Zimmermann joined the National Arts Club in New York in 1901, and subsequently established a studio within its premises at 15 Gramercy Park.  Zimmermann participated in exhibitions of arts and crafts and contemporary art nationwide throughout her career, beginning with entries in the "First Annual Exhibition of Original Designs for Decorations and Examples of Art Crafts" at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1902-03. She showed at the National Arts Club as well as at commercial galleries in New York City, and organized a one-person retrospective of her work at the…» More

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| By Cynthia Drayton

Queries: Dressed portraits by Mary Way

September 21, 2009  |  Portrait miniatures, dressed fashion plates, and fabric pictures have been found in France, Italy, and England with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century examples also appearing in the United States. Dressed prints—the embellishment of fashion illustrations with fabrics to make them appear dressed—have been dated to the 1690s. 

The American artist Mary Way specialized in creating dressed portrait miniatures in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. She was born in New London in 1769 and first advertised in the Connecticut Gazette in 1809 that she had opened a school where lessons in painting, embroidery, lacework, and tambour along with reading and writing were available. Two years later she was in New York City where she offered her services as a portrait and miniature painter in the Columbian, a New York newspaper. Examples documented and attributed to Mary Way show that she cutout paper profiles, attached them to fabric backgrounds, rendered the facial features in w…» More

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| By Cynthia Drayton

Conservation and restoration of upholstery

June 1, 2009  |  Elizabeth Lahikainen and Associates specializes in the conservation and restoration of the upholstery of objects in museums and private collections, and since 1990 has been affiliated with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Her firm concentrates on interpreting the historical evidence presented by a piece of upholstered furniture and then selecting accurate fabrics for its restoration. In some cases most of the original materials survive on the frame, as was the case with the settees in the east parlor of the Museum's Peirce-Nichols House. Very often there is but scant information. For example, only fragments of the original fabric remained on the sofa shown in the detail at the right, but Lahikainen was able to determine that it was a wool moreen that had been installed in a sideways fashion called railroaded.» More

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| By Cynthia Drayton

Queries: Paper lined bed testers

April 24, 2009  |  Cybèle Gontar and Stephen Harrison are writing an article on paper-lined bed testers. Decorative wallpapers have traditionally been placed on walls, ceilings, and folding screens. Less commonly, wallpapers were also used to cover valances and ceilings of bedsteads in the late eighteenth century. Bed and window valances covered with paper were advertised by Francis Delorme, a French immigrant craftsman in the Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser on July 6, 1793. Gontar found a notice in the February 1831 edition of the New Orleans Courrier de La Louisiane that A. L. Boimare's Book Store "has received by the latest arrivals from France a large assortment of paper hangings of the newest style...and also received paper and borders for bed tops." Ronald Hurst, Chief Curator at Colonial Williamsburg noted in The Magazine ANTIQUES in January 1995 that when a 1798 bedstead at Prestwould in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, was changed in 1831, the tester was lined with a neoclassical wal…» More

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NYG 2013

[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi

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