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Waist Not, Want Not
Author: Virginia Pollock While this textile might seem unrecognizable to modern eyes, to consumers in eighteenth-century France this textile was an object of fashionable and economic significance. These uncut waistcoat fronts display the layout of a pattern, adorned with copperplate printed motifs of vegetal imagery, intertwined dolphins, and a wooded scene at the bottom with...
From Painting to Print
Author: Virginia Pollock The founding of Pennsylvania and the formation of William Penn’s “greene country towne” of Philadelphia is immortalized in this textile, intended for use as a furnishing fabric. Whereas today Penn’s dealings might be seen as part of a larger narrative of harmful and exploitative colonization, the printed images seek to convey Penn...
Images features a portrait of Sir Anthony van Dyck. Only his head is worked up, looking over a lightly outlined shoulder. The rest of the page is blank.
Meet Sir Anthony
Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), knighted by King Charles I of England, was a Flemish painter renowned for his portraits of members of the British Court. Trained in Antwerp by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Van Dyck, like his teacher, experimented with making prints.[1] In the late 1520s or early 1530s, Van Dyck began an extensive...
Images features a print in black ink on white paper showing image of rococo-style couch framed against an interior wall, designed in the same style. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Sinuous Sofa
Small Sofa for Count Bielenski, Grand Marshal of Poland is a print on white laid paper, etched and engraved by Gabriel Huquier (French, 1695-1772). It features a sofa or canapé designed in the Rococo style, framed by an interior wall decorated with carvings that mirror the graceful curvatures of the sofa’s structure. The goldsmith, sculptor,...
Image features drawing showing an ornamental frame surrounding a central blank oval. In the foreground, a putto holds a book and globe, and nearby lie an anchor, axe, baton and Sir Walter Raleigh's head. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Sharp Medicine
In the mid-eighteenth century, the British historian Thomas Birch (1705 – 1766) published a series of short biographies of famous figures from his nation’s past. Accompanying each of the 108 biographies was an engraved portrait of the subject, whose likeness was presented within an elaborate decorative setting.[1] These ornamental frames were designed by Hubert-François Bourguignon...
Image features a woven chair printed in white ink on a black background, while an abstracted shadow of white squares floats behind it. Each woven area illustrated slightly differently; the splat of the chair has a wider, lattice pattern, while the seat has a tightly woven cane.
Lattice Lithograph
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. In 1946, the twenty year old artist Ruth Asawa entered the renowned, experimental Black Mountain College, where she studied for three years under mentors such as Josef Albers, Merce Cunningham and Buckminster Fuller. Born in California to...
Hercules’ Second Labor
In this richly ornamented print from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department, Giorgio Ghisi (Italian, 1520-1582) portrays Hercules’ success in completing his second labor in his print Hercules Victorious Over the Hydra of Lerna. This print was designed for a frontispiece for artist Giovanni Battista Bertani’s commentary, titled Gli oscuri e difficili passi dell’opera...
Headless Highlands Ghost
Beneath a foreboding sky streaked with lightning, a figure wanders through a cemetery.  Barefooted and dressed in a monk’s habit, he seems to be missing something.  Quite literally, it may be his head, whose snarling visage is directed out at the viewer from the crook of this gruesome monastic’s left elbow.  But who is this...
Rotherhithe
This print by James Abbott McNeill Whistler is part of a series of images the artist produced depicting the East London neighborhoods of Rotherhithe and Wapping in 1859–60. While English painters had traditionally avoided portraying these industrial districts of the city throughout the nineteenth century, Whistler’s Thames series takes for subject the city’s poorest workers...