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Drawing, Design for a Monument Commemorating Systematization of Weights and Measures in France, 17951800
For Liberty, Equality, and the Metric System
The infamous Bastille prison was demolished in 1789, in the first year of the French Revolution, an event that had great political as well as artistic consequences. This pen and wash drawing is a design for a monument intended for the Place de la Bastille following the destruction of the prison. The design has been...
Red leather holder with stamped gold decorations for five implements, holder fits into silver cup.
Have Spoon, Will Travel
Sumptuously crafted by the Paris silversmith Gavet, this cutlery set was a luxury object intended for stylish travelers in the early nineteenth century. Cleverly designed with nesting parts, the set includes everything an affluent city dweller could need to dine outdoors, including a fork and spoon with detachable ebony handles inlaid with silver, a folding steel...
chw4962
Teacher’s Pet: Bright, and Furry?
This children’s wallpaper combines both new and old thoughts on designing wallpapers for children. Introduced in the 1870s, children’s wallpapers were designed to be instructional, to engage children and help them learn. From the late 19th century until the early years of the 20th century, wallpapers were meant to be an interactive way for children...
Family Register Sampler, 1941-69-43, 1832
A Hartford sampler
Family register samplers, like this example by Sarah A. Chalker, were a way of documenting and preserving family histories. They were frequently worked by schoolgirls as part of the later phase of their needlework education. The information in this sampler is organized in rows and framed by a scrolled arch and classical columns, revealing a...
Poster depicting a town view with buildings and scaffolding in the background under large clouds. Large arms coming from above hold a book open to an audience of men (workers) holding signs. All look to a man, standing on a tall platform, pointing to the book.
From Lenin’s Lips to God’s Hands
You don’t need to read Russian to understand this Soviet poster. Two larger-than-life hands lower a huge book from the sky, holding it open for all to read. Crowds flock to the book, extending as far as the eye can see. In unmistakable visual language, designer Sergei Ivanov conveys the importance of literacy—a crucial issue...
Vining floral pattern, printed in black, with background of leaves forming bullets, printed in gray, on green ground.
A Diaper for Your Walls?
Wallpaper is a direct descendant of the elaborate tapestries that hung heavy on the walls of the wealthy since ancient times. Therefore, it is only natural that a significant portion of early wallpaper imagery closely correlates to patterns originally developed for textiles. This woodblock-printed paper is of English manufacture, dates to c.1765 and is clearly...
Cartouche with a papal crown and emblems of death
A Papal Graveyard
This is a design for a cartouche by the French académician, ornemaniste, and painter Jacques de Lajoüe (1687- 1761). It was etched by Gabriel Huquier as plate 4 in his Second book of Cartouches (Deuxième livre de Cartouches), which was published in 1734 (as established by Roland Michel). The ascribed date locates this at a...
Flat marli. Concentric bands, in gold: plain, advancing wave motif, and scattered stars; enclosing view of the Sèvres porcelain factory in colors.
Sèvres Self Portrait
This plate shows a picturesque view of the Manufacture de Sèvres, the prestigious French porcelain factory first established under Louis XV. The manufactory was more than just a workplace; many employees lived within the building or in nearby housing. The surrounding pastoral countryside had plots of land where workers could garden. The plate’s figure sitting...
Stumpwork
Stumpwork and Storytelling
My first introduction to stumpwork occurred as a young girl, when my Scottish-American grandmother taught me how to embroider samplers. We gradually advanced to creating pictures in raised embroidery using padding, wire, and different types of dimensional embroidery stitches. Completed stumpwork pieces in major museums include purses and bags, framed pictures, and panels used on...