CRANBROOK SIGHTINGS: INSIDE THE VAULT May Morris Bed-Hangings (Two Curtains) 1916, or earlier Embroidered wool on linen Each panel: 76 ¾ x 27 inches Gift of George Gough Booth and Ellen Scripps BoothMay Morris, Bed Hangings, c. 1916. Photo courtesy Cranbrook Art Museum.On the 152nd anniversary of her birth all of us at Cranbrook Art Museum are excited to wish artist and designer May Morris a very happy birthday! Born March 25, 1862 in Bexley Heath, England, May Morris grew up in an artistic community fueled by the beliefs of her father William Morris, a founder of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Intellectually committed to her father’s movement, she learned needlecraft at the feet of her mother Jane, a Pre-Raphaelite model and muse for Morris and others. As an adult, May Morris advocated both for her father’s artistic movement and for women’s involvement in art through needlework. She traveled the United States for five months between ...Read More
Cranbrook Sighting # 10 Sighter: Shoshana Resnikoff Sighted: Cranbrook Art Museum and Library Location: the Internet Date: January 16, 2014There are few things that history buffs love more than archives, and there is almost no archive that can rival—digitally at least—the Internet Archive for sheer volume and accessibility. Looking for a late 19th-century trade catalogue for a New York lantern company? They probably have that. Interested in Princeton University’s 1886 Scientific Expedition? Well, read all about it. What about former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to Morocco in 1957? Enjoy! Every once in a while, though, a researcher comes upon a treasure that feels strangely personal. That is exactly what happened when I was bumming around on the Internet Archive and stumbled upon this compilation of 1948 Oldsmobile “Minute Movies.” This blog is all about Cranbrook sightings off-campus; places where Cranbrook-related artists and makers have put their mark on the world. This sighting, though, is ...Read More
Cranbrook Sightings #4 Sighter: Shoshana Resnikoff Sighted: Paul Evans furniture Location: New York City Date: January 26, 2013 I love Cranbrook’s impressive history of 20th century art and design, but sometimes a girl needs to revisit her roots in the 18th century. It was with that in mind that I went out to New York’s Americana Week at the end of January. For fans of 18th and 19th century American decorative arts, Americana Week is like Woodstock. Auction viewings followed by thrilling sales, museum exhibitions devoted to “brown furniture” or master craftspeople, and of course, the Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory, where dealers, collectors, and academics gather to see the historical treasures that have resurfaced in the past few years. This year was my second time at the Winter Antiques Show and I was looking forward to connecting with old friends, both human and furniture (I’m looking at you, 18th century japanned high ...Read More
At the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, we spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves. That sounds self-centered, but it’s the nature of the job – we uncover connections between different areas of Cranbrook, building historical and cultural relationships that help us to better preserve Cranbrook history and shape its future. Cranbrook doesn’t exist in a vacuum, though, which is why it’s important for us to take a step back and look at the larger Cranbrook connections out there in the world. And really, what better place to start than 18th-century Canada? I know that sounds crazy, but run with me on this. In 1759 the British war hero General Wolfe was killed at the Battle of Quebec City on the Plains of Abraham, a battle which the British won. Posthumously celebrated as one of the great British military leaders, General Wolfe and his heroic death were immortalized in ...Read More
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