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I’m so excited about my talk for our next Pints & the Past! I just watched the BBC’s movie about Beau Brummel, and I am a bit worried he’ll take up a good bit of my talk. But he is the guy who invented the suit, so maybe I’ll be justified.
(Now if only the Civil War walking tour and history bee projects would let me work on it.)
I’m working on our next Pints & the Past discussion topic, “Bros with Beards.” (It’ll take place on March 7 at 7pm at the museum. More info: http://on.fb.me/W7WFe2.)
I’m planning to give a short history of facial hair in the 19th century:
- from short sideburns at most - as in Beau Brummel’s portrait by Richard Dighton in 1805
- to huge whiskers in outlandish styles sported by anyone who could grow them - see Frederick County’s own Col. Luke Tiernan Brien
- and finally to much simpler, more restrained styles - as with Dr. Watson in Sidney Paget’s illustration from 1893
(Sidenote: I don’t know about you, but I always associate ca. 1900 men’s fashion with Paget’s illustrations for the Sherlock Holmes stories.)
How do those trends reflect changes in women’s fashion, architecture, and the decorative arts? What was happening to men’s fashion over the same time period?
I’d also like to have your input in my writing process, so what questions do you have about facial hair styles in the 1800s? Any favorite examples?
Everyday, millions of innocent children are unwillingly part of a terrible dictatorship. The government takes them away from their families and brings them to cramped, crowded buildings where they are treated as slaves in terrible conditions. For seven hours a day, they are indoctrinated to love their current conditions and support their government and society. As if this was not enough, they are often held for another two hours to exert themselves almost to the point of physical exhaustion, and sometimes injury. Then, when at home, during the short few hours which they are permitted to see their families they are forced to do additional mind-numbing work which they finish and return the following day.
This isn’t some repressive government in some far-off country. It’s happening right here: we call it school."
When he was in the ninth grade, open-access champion Aaron Swartz, who took his life last month, stood up in front of his school assembly and read this, affirming the need to change educational paradigms away from the factory model of schooling. (via explore-blog)
One reason I love being a museum educator: creating a free-choice learning environment. (or at least something pretty close to it)
Today on the show we’re talking to Charlie LeDuff about Detroit and the term ‘ruin porn’ comes up in the conversation. So for some background, here’s an excellent essay, “Detroitism: What does ruin porn tell us about the Motor City, ourselves, other American cities” by John Patrick Leary.
That some of the recent focus on Detroit ruins is exploitative in its depiction of Detroit’s impoverishment bears repeating, but more compelling are the reasons for our contemporary fascination with images of first-world urban decline, and not just in the Motor City. Ruin websites, photography collections, and urban exploration blogs chronicle industrial ruins across North America and Europe, from Youngstown, Ohio to Bucharest, Romania. Yet Detroit remains the Mecca of urban ruins.
Image of the Detroit Marine Harbor Terminal by JRE313 via Flickr
Hans Ulrich Obrist’s fourth tweet, posted approximately two hours ago, is a photograph of the legendary Gustav Metzger. Origin: London; Date: 2013; Photographer: Obrist, presumably. A strong start, I dare say (though Instagram is clearly his real medium). I’m often asked if art institutions should instate policies governing their curators’ or other employees’ use of social media platforms. My answer: absolutely not. Twitter needs more Metzger.
(NB: Would the New York art world have mobilized as it did around Hurricane Sandy without Klaus Biesenbach’s Twitter feed? Debatable!)
One of my favorite projects from last year was “Flat Fritchie,” an online interactive where I asked the museum’s followers to take a picture of Barbara Fritchie to their favorite local history spots. (Fritchie was the center of our fall special exhibit: “Pop Fritchie.”)
During the exhibit’s half-year run, we received about 45 submissions, mostly from the eastern half of the US but also from Rome, Paris, and Kyoto.
Not too bad for a girl who was born in Lancaster before the Revolution, grew up in Frederick, and died there in the middle of the Civil War.