Spellbound in Spitalfields: Hawksmoor’s Christ Church

A church tower, looking almost vertically upwards.

February 18, 2019

By James Kelleher, WPAMC Class of 2020 Note: This post describes experiences I had over Winterthur’s British Design History field study. I, as well as all the other field study students, have written a separate series of posts specifically about the field study that will appear in the coming weeks. At this point it’s almost cliché for me to write about English Baroque architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. Over the past hundred years or so, his ...

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The Industrious Cottager: Salacious, or Simply Hard at Work?

This oval embroidery in a wooden frame shows a young boy and girl in an open doorway. The girl is seated facing outward toward the landscape and working on sewing cabbage nets. A boy leans against her chair, gazing at her work while holding a bowl and spoon. At their feet is a dog and a basket of yarn.

February 11, 2019

By Olivia Armandroff, WPAMC Class of 2020 When I was first introduced to pole screens, I saw them as objects of luxury, not unlike William Hogarth who included one to the far right in his 1742 scene, Taste in High Life (Fig. 1). The delicate furnishings certainly belonged in an elegant parlor where they would be positioned between the face and a raging fireplace, not only offering relief from the heat but protecting make-up which was liable to melt. ...

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The (Ethical) Raider of the Leather Pocketbooks

December 26, 2018

By RJ Lara, WPAMC Class of 2019   You might be surprised by the things one can find stowed away in the folds and pockets of historic leather pocketbooks. Handwritten family trees, paper account books, ghosts of coins, and old stamps are some of the more common finds. Whereas, travel logs, private diaries, fragments of nineteenth century silk textiles, and locks of hair belonging to the pocketbook’s owner are some of the less common ...

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Yuletide Traditions

A Christmas tree with multicolored lights and ornaments, with woven market baskets beneath. Inside the baskets are many gift-boxes, each wrapped with a variety of colors of cellophane.

December 24, 2018

By Brooke Baerman, WPAMC Class of 2019   Dedicated readers of the Material Matters blog may have caught glimpses of Winterthur’s previous Yuletide displays. Each year, rooms of the house are transformed into wintery scenes and holiday spectacles. This year, guides are giving tours on the theme of “tradition,” discussing both national pastimes and the ways the du Pont family celebrated Christmas at Winterthur. Amongst the beautiful trees ...

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