Friday, September 04, 2009

Three History Blogs to Put Fashion in Context


I certainly wish I knew her name instead of just her initials, BWS. I know she used to teach, and I know she desires that primary-source historical documents and art be made available to everyone. She has created four bloggy doors for us that open into the eyes and ears of the past:
In the three blogs about American women, the author writes about how their lives changed over the centuries. She pulls from paintings, prints, drawings, daguerrotypes, photographs, maps, logs, letters, advertisements, journals, interviews.... She considers the lives of the wealthy, such as Martha Washington, and of escaped or former slaves, groups portraits by period or artist, talks of mantua makers and seamstresses, mothers and their children, publishers and postmistresses.

Photo: 1771 John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Portrait of a Lady. Los Angeles County Museum, California. (Reproduction at 1st-art-gallery.com. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)

Some of the sources she uses are easily available, but many are not, and the way they are grouped is immensely valuable for putting period fashion and clothing and how people lived in their clothing into context. The blogs focusing on the 17th and 18th centuries are heavier on the writing than the blog about the 19th century.

Photo: a midcentury seamstress and her sewing machine. Photo from 19th Century American Women: A Museum in a Blog.

In the garden blog, we walk through the gardens they walked through, understand their planning and growth and have a sniff at the flowers.

1 comment:

BWS said...

You are a fine, very fine writer. Thank you very much for reading my blogs! and for just plain getting it... Barbara Wells Sarudy