Five Fun Things: January 2023

I know – January is almost over. But better late than never, right? & 1 Cool Object An Embroidered Workbox from the V&A Museum. Hannah Downes made the needlework panels on this workbox around 1684. The panels are made of canvas, worked with silk thread, and it looks surprisingly modern due to Downes’s choice to…

Five Fun Things… & One Cool Object

Introducing a new monthly column, where we feature five fun things that caught our attention, and one cool object. Because sometimes you just need a list, yeah? No extra verbiage. 5 Fun Things 1 Cool Object A 1,300-year-old necklace from the Harpole Treasury, recently discovered in England. According to the Washington Post, “The jewelry piece,…

A Recipe for Gingerbread, courtesy of a 17th-century manuscript

Clara Peeters, A glass of red wine, a sprig of rosemary, and sweetmeats on a pewter platter (also known as Allegory of Marriage), c. 1607. Current whereabouts unknown. In early November, I participated in EMROC’s Transcribathon, and I ended up transcribing a seventeenth-century recipe for gingerbread. The recipe opened up a fascinating window into the…

In the generally-accepted opinion of experts

This month marks the five-year anniversary of Christie’s historic Salvator Mundi sale. A piece on authenticity warranties by Anny Shaw made me think more deeply about what the concept of “scholarly consensus” means in a scholarly or academic setting, and why the “generally-accepted opinion of experts” might take on a different resonance in a legal…

A Visit to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire

By Jamie Kwan As a scholar of the Early Modern, I have made my yearly pilgrimage to the annual Renaissance Society of America (RSA) conference.  As many of you may know, it is an academic, interdisciplinary, three to four day event filled with panels, roundtables, and networking; it is a  prime time to cross paths…

Ars Book Club, Summer 2022: Italian Journeys

Book Club is back! This time, we are following a slightly different format. Inspired by the Cookbook Groups hosted by Kitchen Arts & Letters, where each session revolves around an interesting theme (e.g., Flavors of New York, Off the Beaten Path, Food and Connection: Family and History), our Summer 2022 Book Club revolves around the…

Printmaking: An Excavation

Printmaking is both one of the simplest and most complicated artistic techniques. Many of our first art projects likely were prints, from rubber stamps to stone rubbings, while techniques like lithography use a complex series of chemicals to pull an image from a limestone base. And yet print’s simplest techniques, upon reflection, turn out to…

Old Masters Today #5

Idiosyncratic market highlights, irreverent collecting ideas, and important Old Masters news.  It’s a new world since January 2021 when I debuted this column. We’re at least a handful of frat house names into COVID-19 variants and apparently the metaverse and NFTs are here to stay with museums such as the Uffizi to the Belvedere to the British Museum banking on this…

Then and Now : Bad Valentine

If you find yourself feeling down today, remember: almost everyone in Ovid’s Metamorpheses is having worse luck in love. Just look at Titian’s poesie paintings, which were inspired by Ovid’s bad romances. You have to agree — these are all very bad dates. I’ve never been able to decide which one of these Ovidian situations…