First, an amazing if heartbreaking online exhibit, Threads of Feeling, from the Foundling Museum in London. Four thousand babies were left anonymously at the hospital between 1741 and 1760 and sometimes a note, and a small token, usually a piece of fabric or ribbon (but sometimes a key) was left with each infant and kept as part of the admission record. The fabric was either provided by the mother or cut from the child’s clothing by the hospital’s nurses. If, as occasionally happened, a mother returned, she could identify the scrap of fabric to claim her child. These fragments represent the largest collection of eighteenth fabrics in Britain.
You can find more examples of the fabrics and the ledger entries in a review at The Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center Blog or at the exhibit’s Facebook page.
The museum tells the story of the 27,000 children who were left at the Foundling Hospital between 1739 and 1954, in art, interiors, and social history, and the museum is close to the site of the original building which was demolished in the early twentieth century. The founders of the original Foundling Hospital were philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel, and the museum also houses the Gerald Coke Handel Collection.
The Handel House Museum in Mayfair, London was one of the many projects restored with the expertise of Patrick Baty, a specialist in historical paint and color. His blog, News from Colourman, is fascinating. His interest in architecture led to speculation and then research in authentic historical decoration and color, and if the idea of peering into a microscope to view pigments makes you go all tingly, well…
Talking of going all tingly, you’ve got to check out the hilarious Bangable Dudes in History, “Dead man porn for your still-beating heart.” I love this site. Not only do you get pics of the dudes but pie charts of their attributes. For instance, Robert Cornelius, American chemist and pioneer in photography, Joined father’s lamp company…must’ve been fighting off the chicks; Nicolai Tesla, Was besties with Mark Twain–another potential hot threesome. Find out why Shostakovich was one hot brooding bitch or Sherman was red-ginger hot. Byron is coming soon!
Have you found anything good online recently?