Image features photograph of George “The Iceman” Gervin in a space filled with large ice cubes, holding a silver basketball in each hand, wearing a silver tracksuit with the word: ‘ICE’ embroidered on the chest. He wears white Nike sneakers. In lower margin: ICEMAN; lower left of photograph: NIKE logo. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Ice Ice Baby
Basketball star George Gervin never broke a sweat because he stayed cool under pressure. At least that’s what his teammates Julius Erving and Fatty Taylor thought when they nicknamed him “Iceman” in the early 1970s. But according to Gervin, his ability to remain dry throughout a game had nothing to do with a calm demeanor....
Image features: Dress-weight plain weave cotton fabric printed in blue on a white ground. The overall pattern layout is an even horizontal stripe. In each band a suburban street is depicted, with houses in three different styles of architecture, one very modern. The pattern appears in positive (blue on white) and negative (white on blue) to form the stripe effect. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Suburban Living
This charming cotton dress fabric was anonymously donated and remains anonymous itself, as there are no designer or manufacturer markings in the selvedges. It was probably intended for the home-sewing market, for which many so-called “conversational” prints were produced and made into women’s full, gathered shirts or men’s casual shirts. This piece satirizes the postwar...
Image features wallpaper border with stars and stripes-patterned bunting enframing the Federal Capital Building, with an eagle perched below. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Stars and Stripes for the Wall, or Window
I thought while everyone is in the Fourth of July holiday mode it is a good time to write about a patriotic wallpaper, or rather a border. Since I’ve already written in years past about the firecracker wallpaper created for the American Bicentennial, and a scene from Views of the American War of Independence showing...
Image features gold toned metal brooch with red white and blue enamel and glass paste decoration depicting the great seal of the United States: a shield supported by a bald eagle, wings and legs outstretched, holding a scroll in its beak with the motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and grasping an olive branch in its right talon and a bundle of arrows in its left talon; above its head a scalloped blue circle with 6 glass pastes and gold toned surround. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Celebration of Unity, Sweetheart Jewelry from the World War II Era
This U.S. insignia brooch by Trifari dates back to 1945, and is made from gilded metal and glass. Wearing a pin designed after the country’s seal was an opportunity for women to express their patriotism, especially in 1945, a time marked by victory in Europe and Japan. This brooch is part of a wider trend...
Image features a cartoon of Thomas Nast and George Curtis in the 'Harper's Weekly' editor's office. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Lines of Political Rhetoric
Today discussions concerning the divisive power of political rhetoric are being addressed throughout the national media. This drawing captures a pivotal moment in nineteenth-century American history that juxtaposes a similar debate. Thomas Nast (1840-1902) joined the staff of Harper’s Weekly in 1862 and his drawings of the Civil War established his reputation. George William Curtis...
Image shows a floral medallion wallpaper reminiscent of the early 1900s. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Dating is in the Details
The 1950s produced wallpapers that fell into a number of different design genres, ranging from modern to kitsch to traditional styles. This paper definitely falls under the latter category. If it wasn’t for the word “WASHABLE” printed in the selvedge it could easily be confused with a wallpaper produced around 1900. With its repetition of...
Image features: Fragment of a mantle with close-set horizontal rows of stylized warriors' heads, each with different headdress and color combinations. In the top row, upright front-facing heads alternate with upside down heads in profile. In the next row, upright heads in profile alternate with upside down front-facing heads. Rich muted shades of brown, gold, tan, blue, green, purple, and white on a rust-red ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Portrait Heads
The production of this type of cloth was confined to a brief period of great artistic achievement in the Nasca region. The portrait heads appear to be of human rather than deity figures, and seem to represent individuals of varied status and perhaps ethnicity, signaled by the wearing of certain accoutrements. Features of the figures...
Image features short glass vase of of campana-urn form, the interior of copper-toned aventurine the exterior with blue, white and yellow florette murrines; C-form handles on left and right. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Frozen in Time
This urn-shaped vase represents important historic glass making techniques whose possibilities were expanded during the revival of glass production in late 19th-century Venice. The form features two spectacular variations of glass for the viewer to enjoy and ponder. At first glance, the most eye-catching feature is the inner layer of avventurina (also known as aventurine), the metallic copper-toned...
Image features a woman standing next to a tree blooming with golden apples and a pond with a white swan. Holding a fruit in her hand, the woman is pictured from the side wearing a checked day dress, matching cape, and feather plumed hat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fashioning Desire
George Barbier’s Au Jardin des Hespérides (Garden of the Hesperides) appeared in 1913 in Gazette du Bon Ton. Translated as the “Journal for Good Taste,” it was intended for an elite readership concerned with high-society culture and entertainment, as well as the latest developments in fashion and beauty. The publication was led by the publishing...