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Picturing a World

Vandalism or inspiration?

Worried about cultural appropriation? Then what to make of a Chinese wallpaper produced for an English market, hung by a Yorkshire aristocrat, and added to by extra birds cut out of her copy of John Jacob Audubon's extraordinary Birds of America (one of 200 printed)? I ran across the story in The Papered Wall and chased it further in The 19th-Century Lady Who Used Audubon's Birds for Wallpaper, which has a terrific five-minute YouTube about the room and its other commissioned East-Meets-West treasures. The room is also the topic of the Audubon Society's DIY for Aristocrats: Rare Audubon Prints Turned Into Fancy-Pants Wallpaper, which has a link to hi-rez images of Audubon's plates (including the Columbia Jay).

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Feathered spirit cloak

Serendipity in my blog crawling! The History Blog's Rare Brazilian feathered cloak restored, exhibited concerns a gorgeous orange-red cloak made of feathers while Honoring the Wild at Myth and Moor contains an image of a mysteriously evocative sculpture by Hib Sabin of a raven wearing just such a cloak. The detail of rarity hanging in a collection is from a 1666 catalogue of the Setalla Gallery of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan. A spirit cloak, contemporary mythic sculpture, a 17thC cabinet of curiosities—so many hints and suggestions for metaphors and story lines. What would be your take?

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