It’s not often you get to celebrate the 150th anniversary of a twig. Yet that is exactly the opportunity that presented itself this past October 13. On that date, back in the year 1868, Sophia Thoreau leaned over a sprig of five shagbark hickory leaves and inscribed them, in indelible ink, with some lines from a poem by her brother Henry.
Imagine this: you’ve gotten hold of an antique quilt, perhaps 150 years old. It’s in pristine condition. It has an attractive pattern—a classic wedding ring, say, or log cabin, or even a crazy quilt. It is probably not the sort of object a museum would want, but it preserves a rich history all the same, of its maker, the family that retained it, and the craft itself.
It’s only late summer, but I believe we can already declare an award for bravest museum of the year: the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, DC.
“I actually checked to ensure this was not a leftover April Fools’ story.” That was how my colleague Christopher Wilk, a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, sent me word of a “Brexit Museum” now being mooted in the UK.
Ruins in the American collective consciousness
How two antiques dealers on opposite sides of the Atlantic came to the aid of a theft victim
The field of decorative arts reflects the inheritance of patriarchy in ways that are rarely acknowledged.
The fifteenth edition of Dispatches, a new sporadical email newsletter about the arts of the past as they live in the present day by Elizabeth Pochoda, Advisory Editor, The Magazine ANTIQUES.
The fourteenth edition of Dispatches, a new sporadical email newsletter about the arts of the past as they live in the present day by Elizabeth Pochoda, Advisory Editor, The Magazine ANTIQUES.
As antique furniture goes, it is not much to look at: four simply turned legs; a drawer; two square wells, for ink and pounce. Despite its diminutive stature, however, the desk is a fitting centerpiece for the show, for it was, in its time, the platform for dramatic change.