Friday, December 14, 2012

1800s American Woman's Work - Tending the Fire

Platt Powell Ryder (American painter, 1821-1896) By the Hearth 1881

Enoch Wood Perry (American painter, 1831-1913) Saturday Afternoon.

Platt Powell Ryder (American painter, 1821-1896) Fireside Companion

Platt Powell Ryder (American painter, 1821-1896) The Grandmother

Platt Powell Ryder (American painter, 1821-1896) Fireside Chat

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

An early 1900s college text on The Art of Doing Laundry + a few paintings by American artists

Lilly Martin Spencer (American artist, 1822 –1902) The Jolly Washerwoman

By 1914. the art of the laundry had become a subject taught in one of  America's finest universities.  Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston, who was an Instructor of Laundering, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, was included in the series Lippencott's Home Manuals.

Charles Frederic Ulrich (American painter, 1858-1908) Washerwomen

"The earliest known method of washing depended entirely on the action of the running water of streams. If the water was not running, the primitive peoples quite naturally used twisting, shaking, flopping, slapping and pounding. They were dependent on the solvent power of water for many kinds of soil, but if any stain was not soluble in water, there was no way to take it out. We find it stated that in B. C. 2000 Egyptians on the Nile stamped their clothes with the feet, beat them with white clay, and wrung them by twisting and turning, one end being held between the feet. Homer in the "Odyssey" tells of the early wash days in Greece."  Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (American painter, 1856–1942) In the Wash House

"The story is told that a collar in London in 1832 drew attention to the question of sterilizing the clothes; as a result a poor woman set up a wash-boiler, soap kettle, and other appliances, and so we have the first public wash-house. Here washwomen paid a penny for the privilege of its use, and in 1842 a public laundry was established in Liverpool.Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

Charles Courtney Curran (American painter, 1861-1942) Hanging Out Linen

"Sunshine is the simplest method of bleaching and is also the safest. To bleach with sunshine, the garment should be washed clean, then spread while wet in the sun. The sun, together with the oxygen of the water, is most effective in its work. This method requires the least knowledge and the most-time, but no destruction of fiber results. Often the garments are spread in the dew. This dew takes the place of sprinkling the clothes. With either process we are dependent upon the oxygen supplied by the moisture.Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

Charles Courtney Curran (American painter, 1861-1942) A Breezy Day 1887

"A washing solution must be established to suit different kinds of water. Some of the hard waters will require more soda in the soap solution than others. The water should be measured, the soap weighed, and the two heated at a low temperature in the soap tank until all soap is dissolved and the liquor is amber color. The weighed quantity of soda is sprinkled in, and the solution simmered another ten minutes. For a general idea of proportion one may use, if water is hard:   5 lbs. of soap. 10 lbs. of soda. 25 gallons of water."  Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

Martha Walter (American artist, 1875–1976) Washday

"Water has solvent power. The early laundress washed her clothes in the running brook and the water dissolved out the dirt. To hasten its work the laundress often pounded the clothes with a paddle or stone or trod them. This process was slow, and as time became a consideration it seemed wise to find some cleansing agent that would add its power to that of the water.  The alkaline nature of urine was learned, and it was the custom to have urine collected in large urns in central places in the village. This became the public source of supply for the first chemical aid in washing. Even in our mother's early memory urine was used in dyeing the yarn."  Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

Charles Courtney Curran (American painter, 1861-1942) Shadows

"Later wood ashes were taken from the housewife's fire, covered with water and the pearlash or potash was dissolved—"leached." The clothes were soaked in this, and the pearl-ash or lye aided in the cleaning process, but it was destructive to the clothing. An illustration of this method is found in the Italian caldron, where the clothes are placed, the finest in the center, covered with canvas, ashes placed on top and water poured over.  To deaden the potash, later it was mixed with kitchen grease, thus making a kind of soap. This soap was of irregular composition, with the potash usually in excess. This potash "broke" the hardness of the water, and the suds acted as a carrier of dirt, thus making a double cleansing agent."  Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

John Sloan (American painter, 1871-1951) Red Kimono on the Roof 1912

"Finally in this present period (1914), in the domestic laundry, wash-boards and other primitive equipment are giving way to the various mechanical devices which are great labor savers, and time savers, and often indeed fabric savers. Washing machines driven by motors, special washing devices for clothes, boilers and wash-tubs, wringers (even motor driven), and steam drying rooms, are making the work less of a drudgery.  Even the irons are no longer heated with smoking hot coals and dragged over the garment, but by gas or electricity giving off heat with evenness of temperature and continued action."  Laundering written by Lydia Ray Balderston in 1914

John Sloan (American painter, 1871-1951) Backyards, Greenwich Village 1914

William Merritt Chase (American painter, 1849-1916) Wash Day Back Yard Reminiscence of Brooklyn 1886

John Sloan (American painter, 1871-1951) Woman's Work 1912

Robert Spencer (American painter, 1879-1931) Washer Woman 1919

Robert Frederick Blum (American artist, 1857–1903) In the Laundry

William Aiken Walker (American painter, 1839-1921) Autumn Scene in North Carolina with Cabin, Wash Line, and Cornfield 1908

Robert Spencer (American painter, 1879-1931) Woman Hanging Out Clothes 1917

Edward Potthast (American painter, 1857-1927) The Washerwomen

John Sloan (American painter, 1871-1951) Sun and Wind on the Roof 1915

John Sloan (American painter, 1871-1951) Women Drying Their Hair 1912

 Will Hicok Low (American Painter, 1853-1932) Montlery Sur Long

Sunday, November 18, 2012

American Women by George Catlin 1796-1872

George Catlin (American artist, 1796-1872) Portrait of a Woman

George Catlin (American artist, 1796-1872) Mary Catlin

George Catlin (American artist, 1796-1872) Mrs. George Catlin (Clara Bartlett Gregory)

George Catlin (American artist, 1796-1872) Mrs. Putnam Catlin (Mary Polly Sutton)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Portraits by American artist John Trumbull 1756–1843

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Martha Washington. 1793

John Trumbull 1756–1843, American painter, was the son of Gov. Jonathan Trumbull of Connecticut. He served in the Continental Army early in the Revolution as an aide to Washington. He resigned his commission in 1777, to devote himself to painting. In 1780, he went to London to study under Benjamin West. There he was imprisoned on suspicion of treason and finally deported. In 1784, he returned to London, where, at the suggestion of West and with the encouragement of Thomas Jefferson, he began his paintings of national history. Trumbull excelled in small-scale painting, especially of oil miniatures, the best of which were done in the United States between 1789 & 1793. In the latter year, he returned to London as secretary to John Jay & remained for 10 years as one of the commissioners to carry out provisions of the Jay Treaty. He returned to the United States in 1804, where he painted portraits, panoramas, and landscapes, & designed the meetinghouse in Lebanon, Conn.  In London from 1808 to 1816, he tried unsuccessfully to establish himself as a portraitist. Returning to New York in 1816, he secured a commission from Congress to decorate the Capitol rotunda.  In 1831, he founded the Trumbull Gallery at Yale, one of the earliest art museums in the English-speaking colonies, depositing much of his work there in exchange for an annuity.

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Governor Jonathan Trumbull Sr and Mrs Trumbull (Faith Robinson) 1783

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Five Miniatures Framed Together, 1791-93

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Russell 1793

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mrs George Codwise (Anna Maria)

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mrs. John Barker Church (Angelica Schuyler), Son Philip and Servant

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mrs. Isaac Bronson (Anna Olcott)

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Misses Mary and Hannah Murray.

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mrs. John Trumbull (Sarah Hope Harvey, 1774-1824), 1820-1823

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Sarah Trumbull with a Spaniel

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Elizabeth Ball Hughes

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mrs. John Murray

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Mrs Charles Carroll Jr. (Harriet Chew)

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Sarah Elizsabeth Rogers Hopkins

John Trumbull (American artist, 1756 – 1843) Sarah Trumbull on her Deathbed

Sunday, July 15, 2012

American artist Mary Blood Mellen 1817-1882

Mary Blood Mellen (American artist, 1817-1882), Blood Family Homestead (Sterling, Massachusetts), c 1859

Mary Blood was born in Sterling, Massachusetts, in 1817. Following her marriage to Rev. Charles Mellen in 1840, the couple moved to Gloucester. By the end of that decade, Mellen found herself working alongside artist Fitz Hugh Lane.

In recent years, scholars have discovered that the relationship between Lane & Mellen, which has often been presented as one of master artist & student, was really more than that. Although Mellen’s style is clearly a derivative of Lane’s maritime art, it is now believed that the Lane & Mellen relationship was really much more of a collaboration than was originally thought.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Women in Gardens

Frederick Childe Hassam (American artist, 1859-1935) Lady in the Park (also known as In the Garden) 1897

Eastman Johnson (American painter, 1824-1906)   Gatheing Lilies

Hamilton Hamilton (American artist, 1847–1928) Falling Blossoms

Frederick Childe Hassam (American artist, 1859-1935) Mrs Hassam in the Garden

Eastman Johnson (American painter, 1824-1906)   Holly Hocks

Walt Kuhn. (American artist, 1877 - 1949) Under the Parasol

Charles Courtney Curran (American artist, 1861-1942) Ladies on a Hill

Eastman Johnson (American painter, 1824-1906)   Catching the Bee