Announcing our 2018 Creative Fellow

Those of you who read PPL’s Facebook have already heard, but we wanted to make it blog-official:

We’re pleased to announce the recipient of PPL’s 2018 Creative Fellowship–Becky Davis, an interdisciplinary artist living in Wakefield, RI. You can see some of her past work and read her artist’s statement on her website. We love the ways in which history informs her work, which is intelligent, challenging, and accessible.

During her Fellowship, Becky will create new work related to the topic of hair as part of our 2018 HairBrained exhibition and program series. We think she has a lot to add to the conversation, and are extremely excited to see what she creates!

 

Advertisements

Bad Children of History #33: Struwwelpeter in Russia

Today we were deep in a pile of uncataloged Russian children’s books and found… another version of Struwwelpeter, published in Moscow and illustrated by Boris Zvorykin!

IMG_0996

So slovenly! Look at that droopy sock!

Here’s Struwwelpeter refusing to let his grandmother sponge off his shirt cuffs…

IMG_0997

…leading him to weep silently alongside some semi-domesticated boars.

IMG_0998

This book doesn’t contain all of the stories from the original, although it does have a few select favorites, including the sad story of the thumb-sucker accompanied by a thumb-removal illustration so ghastly that we will not include it here.

Instead, look at these sweet before-and-after vignettes from The Dreadful Story of the Matches:

Confetti Distribution Devices

Instead of featuring a dashing magician, this week we’re featuring a delightful celebratory page from a catalog of magic supplies.

IMG_0992

The 1898 Martinka & Co. catalog from which this page is taken is part of our John H. Percival Magic Collection. (The “German” mentioned in the descriptive text references an 18th or 19th century social dance accompanied by plays and games.)

Also, I’m pretty sure a confetti flute is just any flute stuffed full of confetti. Readers are encouraged to try stuffing fancy-looking flutes with confetti and report back with their results.

Call for Proposals: 2018 Creative Fellowship

It’s that time of year again: PPL is accepting proposals for our 2018 Creative Fellowship.

This year, we’re looking for an artist working in the field of performance (theater, dance, performance art, puppetry, acrobatics, etc) to make new, research-based work related to the theme of our 2018 exhibition: hair!

Details on the Creative Fellowship, requirements, and application guidelines can be found here.

 

Bad Children of History #32: The Cutting-Edge School Desk

We found some naughty imps of yore in an unlikely place: an 1892 book on the industrial arts.

IMG_0945

This folio contains a true bonanza of illustrations, covering all manner of modern inventions. Each page is arranged to show developments in the design of the invention, beginning with the primitive, and ending with the cutting-edge.

IMG_0946

(Have you been wondering about the vanguard of egg carriers? This book can satisfy your curiosity!)

The entry on school furniture shows some truly marvelous folding desk contraptions, as well as simpler wooden desks populated by….

…misbehaving schoolchildren! We have a scowling miss undergoing some unfortunate piliferous bullying, the infamous Sleeping Guy with his head on his slate, and a lively scene of bench-style seating gone awry. Here’s a close-up of the latter situation:

IMG_0950

“Hey, Johnny? Hey Johnny!”

“Not now, Caleb, I’m doing my sums.”

“Johnny! Hey. Yer forehead is weird. Can I look at your sums?”

“No, Caleb. Stop being a hornswoggler. Just because this primitive wooden school furniture lacks a flat surface for you to work on doesn’t mean you can pester me.”

“Hey, Johnny. Why don’t you have ears. Did ya see the dunce kid? Did ya see his walkie talkie?”

“SHHH. Caleb. Geez.”

The Singing Waltz

Today we want to share a few delightful photos from the January 1915 issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

This brief magazine feature showcases dance moves performed by Margaret Hawkesworth and Basil Durant, popular American ballroom dancers who performed throughout the United States and Europe.

IMG_0929

Here are a couple of close-ups. First, Miss Hawkesworth and Mr. Durant leading off “with a graceful swinging step”:

IMG_0931

I love their looks of deep concentration here, as well as that delicate foot-touch!

Here’s a minuet step, accompanied by equally delicate hand-touching. So civilized!

IMG_0930

Readers may be interested to note Miss Hawkesworth’s stylized yet loose-fitting dress, part of a new fashion movement focusing on fabrics with drape and moving away from the long-entrenched, fashionable corseted silhouette. This article on fashion designer Paul Poiret gives a little more background into cutting-edge fashion of the 1910s.