Tag Archives: Winterthur Library

Calling Santa Claus

It’s hard to imagine a time when telephones were not a part of everyday living. Today, phones are found in our homes, offices, and even in our pockets—modern life would shut down without them. In the late nineteenth century, however, … Continue reading

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The Precarious Profession of Painting

Early in his career, painter John Lewis Krimmel sketched a scene of two men demanding payment from a distraught artist seated at his easel, wife and children helplessly witnessing his shame. Krimmel may have been practicing his compositional skills in … Continue reading

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Paper Dolls Go Hollywood

In the early 1900s, the budding movie industry creatively used publicity to cement its foothold in the entertainment world.  One easy marketing method was to create paper dolls of leading actors and actresses that were reproduced in popular magazines. This … Continue reading

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Paper Dolls and the Cycling Craze

The 1890s was a momentous decade for women. Not only was the suffragette movement gaining worldwide momentum with New Zealand and South Australia enfranchising women, but sea changes in fashion also transformed the daily lives of women. Despite dress reform … Continue reading

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Artists’ Handmade Paper Dolls

One day I decided to hunt our Waldron Collection for handmade paper dolls by known or professional women artists. My interest was piqued after using illustrator Frances Brundage’s paper dolls from the 1890s set “Children from Many Lands,” sold by … Continue reading

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The History of Little Paper Dolls

It may seem incongruous that a renowned research library for the study of American decorative arts has an outstanding collection of paper dolls. This extensive and greatly used collection was donated in the 1970s and 1980s by Maxine Waldron, art … Continue reading

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Extra-Illustrated Books in the Winterthur Library

“Have you Grangerized?” might have been a question asked in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, mostly by people in the United Kingdom and United States. Rev. James Granger (1723–76), an English cleric and print collector, started a fad … Continue reading

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The Day the Earth Shook

One-hundred-thirty years ago on August 31, 1886, Charleston, South Carolina, suffered a natural disaster that altered its cityscape once again. In its recent past, the city had endured considerable damage, first from the Union bombardment and capture in the Civil … Continue reading

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The New South: Reflections on the Future of the Past

The Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (WPAMC) took our annual southern studies field trip recently. Since the last trip occurred, Catharine Dann Roeber has taken over as assistant professor of Decorative Arts and Material Culture, and I have stepped … Continue reading

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Not Your Average Cleaning

  Faced with the challenge of washing 42 windows one might think it would take at least a team of people a whole day to accomplish this task, but not when you have us on the job! Especially if those … Continue reading

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