Using a wide array of evidence drawn from poetry, fiction, diaries, letters, and examples of hairwork, Love Entwined traces the widespread popularity of the craft from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century.
The Illustrated Biography of an American Miniaturist
Author: Jo Ann Ridley
Category: Miniature painters
It was not unusual for young women of the late Victorian era to take to art with a passion and flamboyance that brought them either fame or notoriety, and sometimes both. One such artist was Eulabee Dix (1878-1961), a leading miniaturist of the American revival period at the turn of the century. A fascinating and determined woman, Eulabee painted "in little" but was larger than life. The artist's memoirs, her family's recollections, and letters to her from John Butler Yeats, energize and balance this biography of a woman whose blazing talent was joined to a personality that sometimes defied understanding. She painted the last portrait of Mark Twain from life, as well as miniatures of Ethel Barrymore, the Countess of Warwick and her titled friends, and Hollywood and New York luminaries of social, artistic, and literary prominence. Eulabee's exquisite color sense and brushwork are seen today in the collection of her work at The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and in miniature collections at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Worcester Art Museum. A great beauty herself, Eulabee was painted by other artists, including her friends Robert Henri, John Sloan, and Charles Hawthorne, and she was photographed by Gertrude Kasebier. These acclaimed works and her own beautiful miniatures illustrate the life of a woman dedicated to preserving an art form that had endured since the Middle Ages.
The Material Culture of Remembrance in Eighteenth-Century America
Author: Susan Stabile
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
A renowned literary coterie in eighteenth-century Philadelphia—Elizabeth Fergusson, Hannah Griffitts, Deborah Logan, Annis Stockton, and Susanna Wright—wrote and exchanged thousands of poems and maintained elaborate handwritten commonplace books of memorabilia. Through their creativity and celebrated hospitality, they initiated a salon culture in their great country houses in the Delaware Valley. In this stunningly original and heavily illustrated book, Susan M. Stabile shows that these female writers sought to memorialize their lives and aesthetic experience—a purpose that stands in marked contrast to the civic concerns of male authors in the republican era. Drawing equally on material culture and literary history, Stabile discusses how the group used their writings to explore and at times replicate the arrangement of their material possessions, including desks, writing paraphernalia, mirrors, miniatures, beds, and coffins. As she reconstructs the poetics of memory that informed the women's lives and structured their manuscripts, Stabile focuses on vernacular architecture, penmanship, souvenir collecting, and mourning. Empirically rich and nuanced in its readings of different kinds of artifacts, this engaging work tells of the erasure of the women's lives from the national memory as the feminine aesthetic of scribal publication was overshadowed by the proliferating print culture of late eighteenth-century America.
American novels written in the wake of the Revolution overflow with self-conscious theatricality and impassioned excess. In The Plight of Feeling, Julia A. Stern shows that these sentimental, melodramatic, and gothic works can be read as an emotional history of the early republic, reflecting the hate, anger, fear, and grief that tormented the Federalist era. Stern argues that these novels gave voice to a collective mourning over the violence of the Revolution and the foreclosure of liberty for the nation's noncitizens—women, the poor, Native and African Americans. Properly placed in the context of late eighteenth-century thought, the republican novel emerges as essentially political, offering its audience gothic and feminized counternarratives to read against the dominant male-authored accounts of national legitimation. Drawing upon insights from cultural history and gender studies as well as psychoanalytic, narrative, and genre theory, Stern convincingly exposes the foundation of the republic as an unquiet crypt housing those invisible Americans who contributed to its construction.