icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Picturing a World

Audrey Munson, sculptors’ model

Blog post alert: Audrey Munson, Artists' Muse at Gurney Journey is a post on the career of a professional model in New York City during the early 20th C. It has several pictures and links to longer coverage. In brief: she posed for Beaux-Arts sculptors, appeared nude in a 1915 movie about a model, lived to be 104, and spent half her life in an insane asylum. I don't think she has figured in any historical fiction, but she sure could!
Image via Wikipedia Commons

Be the first to comment

Motivation

I have now visited the Nikolai Astrup: Visions of Norway show at the Clark twice, once with no prior preparation and once after reading the catalogue. To prepare for a third visit, I have begun reading Pavel Machotka's Cézanne: Landscape into Art in hopes of discovering useful ways of thinking about the paintings; for Astrup's deeply felt response to his native landscape remind me of Cezanne's. What Machotka unexpectedly gave me, too, was a way of thinking about a story I've been working on.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Tanaudel’s TV sketching

Blog post alert: Something I would never have thought of: jotting down quick sketches—graphic or verbal—of what you see in the background while watching television series. Kathleen Jennings did. Read her post on TV Sketching—Backgrounds. Then try it!

Be the first to comment

Lady with a photo album

As a follow-up to my last post on carte-de-visite albums, here's a German lady holding an album of somewhat larger photos. The photographer, Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann, would be worth exploring in depth as possibly the first female professional photographer. For German speakers, the place to start: A German Lady.

Be the first to comment

Carte-de-visite albums

A cousin recently turned up a family carte-de-visite album among her mother's things. I knew about the little photographic calling cards that people used to collect and exchange. They were invented—and patented—by a Paris photographer, Andre Adolphe Eugene Disdéri, and I had looked at individual examples of famous people when I was researching Where the Light Falls. What I didn't know was that soon after Disdéri's invention, someone invented albums with framed pockets into which you could slip your collection and keep adding. Old albums with annotations, like those in the Sturgis-Codman album, would be a wonderful resource for seeing the relations among friends and family or the interests of a collector. Historical fiction writers and family historians, happy hunting!

Be the first to comment

Language of fans?

Website alert: It's awfully hot here in the Northeast. If I go to a scheduled outdoor meeting this afternoon, I'll carry a fan. While digging one out, I remembered the presumed "secret language of fans," which may exist primarily in historical fiction rather than history but is fun nonetheless. Can't you imagine two characters inventing their own code during an intrigue?

Be the first to comment

Gorey frogs

Many years ago, my husband and I saw an exhibition of beanbag frogs made by Edward Gorey with short mottoes embroidered on their chests—phrases like "Why not?" and "If Only." We've chuckled over them ever since.  So imagine my delight in running across recently the froggy image shown here and then an article, Edward Gorey's Toys, in a recent The New Yorker. Maybe I should invent a character who was so inspired by them that he/she …, well, what?

2 Comments
Post a comment

Faiyum face

Having finished a rough draft of my time-travel story, I've decided to press on with another idea in a genre new to me, set in a dystopian near future. At this stage, while I'm trying to bring my main characters into focus. Suddenly, in a blog post on a Gold necklace found in Roman baths in Bulgaria, up comes this face, a Faiyum portrait in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Ardizzone’s Peter Pan

Blog post alert: When I ran across a reference to Edward Ardizzone's illustrations for J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan: the Story of the Play presented by Eleanor Graham, I was tickled. Ardizonne's illustrations for Eleanor Farjeon's Little Bookroom have been deep in my heart for a lifetime. I ordered a used copy of Pan. It arrived. Ardizonne's light-of-touch pictures were as pleasing as I had hoped. And they set me thinking: Who else besides Arthur Rackham had done interesting pictures for Peter Pan? No one came to mind, so I thought a blog post musing on which stories attract multiple illustrators and which ones don't might be interesting.
 
Ha! So it might—but not with Peter Pan at the forlorn center! See why at On J. M. Barrie and Peter Pan.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Bring-backs and takeaways

Okay, now I'm even closer to finishing a problematic short story than I was earlier this month when I wrote Out of the Woods. What has given me new energy to get to "The End" is a new question: What does the main character bring back?

 Read More 

Be the first to comment