Category Archives: Mansion Musings

A Bartow Thanksgiving, 1843

Thanksgiving on December 14? Yes, that’s right, if we’re talking about New York in 1843. At that time, individual states determined when—and if—an official recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday would occur. In fact, the New-York Daily Tribune reported on November … Continue reading

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A Peek Inside the Wardrobe: Busks, Gloves, Shawls, and Shoes

This post discusses some of the fashion accessories in Bartow-Pell’s fall exhibition, The “Quiet Circle”: Women and Girls in 19th-Century America, on view until November 19. Sometimes part of the fun of going to museums is seeing objects that are … Continue reading

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Haunting Likenesses: The Anonymous 19th-Century Woman in Photographic Portraits

This post discusses photographic portraits in Bartow-Pell’s fall exhibition, The “Quiet Circle”: Women and Girls in 19th-Century America, on view until November 19. The faces look out at us. Their eyes lock ours. Long ago, they stared into a camera … Continue reading

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They Will Do It Anyway: Bloomers, Cycling, and the New Woman

This post discusses an 1897 advertisement for bicycle tires in BPMM’s fall exhibition, The “Quiet Circle”: Women and Girls in 19th-Century America, on view until November 19. In 1898, the ex-governor of Ohio, Joseph B. Foraker, contributed to an article … Continue reading

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One Thousand “Girls” and the “Indestructible” Crinoline: W. S. and C. H. Thomson’s Skirt Manufactory

This post discusses an 1859 engraving of W. S. and C. H. Thomson’s Skirt Manufactory in Bartow-Pell’s fall exhibition, The “Quiet Circle”: Women and Girls in 19th-Century America, on view until November 19. The year is 1859, and an extreme … Continue reading

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Neo-Classical Darlings: Two Watercolors after Adam Buck

  Americans love British imports—the Beatles, tea and scones, Noel Coward, Downton Abbey, James Bond, Hunter wellies. The list is endless. And it was the same in the nineteenth century, when the Brit invasion included Charles Dickens, Staffordshire ceramics, Argand … Continue reading

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Women and Girls in 19th-Century America: The “Quiet Circle”?

People sometimes assume that American women in the 19th century were meek and undemanding homebodies. But were they? Well, some probably were, but certainly not all, and things were starting to change. According to the influential American educator Catharine E. … Continue reading

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