I’ve just discovered some big news that I want to share, nothing to do with writing directly. The Threads of Feelingexhibit is coming to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Williamsburg, VA, opening May 25 2013. If you’re not familiar with this astonishing and moving exhibit, take a look at the online version. It’s the records of admissions to the Foundling Museum in London, the first home in Britain for abandoned children, founded by William Hogarth, George Frideric Handel, and Thomas Coram. When babies were admitted, the parents provided a scrap of fabric, embroidery, or sometimes a note so that they could identify the child when they were able to support them once more.
Some children had a happy ending and were reunited with their mothers again. Many didn’t. Ones who survived were apprenticed out and disappear into the great mess of history.
What’s extraordinary, as well as the emotional impact, is the variety of fabrics and the vivid colors (because they were pinned inside the ledger and didn’t fade). It constitutes the best collection of period fabrics in the world.
There’s also a symposium, Threads of Feeling Unraveled: The London Foundling Hospital’s Textile Tokens on October 20-22, 2013 in Williamsburg, with the exhibit’s curator, John Styles, among the speakers. Registration isn’t open yet but scroll down on this page for details.
I can’t wait! There’s also a fabulous resource at the museum for historical clothes if you want to frivol away some hours online.
Although I should be planning what I’m going to cook for the Thanksgiving feast next weekend (possibly something hip with brussel sprouts that only I and my daughter will eat) I’m planning a new Regency gown. I have a lovely silk gown but I’m after a cotton one that I can do the dishes in and preferably a drawstring one I can get into without assistance. This is the fabric I’m probably going to use. It’s from an ebay store, Heritage Trading, which has some gorgeous silks and cottons and uses the traditional hand woodblocking techniques.
So what are you up to and what are your Thanksgiving plans?