Shopping at the Museum: NYC's Historical Society
A favorite museum of ours in New York City is the New-York Historical Society. Their online shop is appealing and quite different, stocked with unique items, many of them inspired by their own exhibitions. Products range from Tiffany-style lamps, to retro dresses and handbags based on their own spectacular Auduboncollection, which is the largest single repository of Auduboniana in the world.
The Red Polka Dot Betsy dress is a case in point. The retro rage is not dying, at least here in the San Francisco Bay Area. "Our adorable little red and white polka dot dress features a fitted waistline, scoop neckline, full circle skirt, and a back zip. The white collar runs both front and back. White piping adorns the cap sleeves. Made in USA." Measurements for sizes are right on the page to use. There are also Navy Polka Dot Marion and Black and Red Bow dresses to chose from.
The Audubon Embracing Heart necklace carries the inscription: I have wished for thee, every day, every moment. "This delicate pendant is inscribed with a quotation from John James Audubon's 1827 letter to his wife, Lucy Bakewell Audubon. Audubon's words are wrapped around a softly organic heart shape in polished sterling silver. The lobes of the heart are formed of open arms in a delicate embrace. The pendant, created by the New-York Historical Society, comes in a gift box with historical information on John James Audubon.
"Often separated from John James during their 43-year marriage, once for three years, Lucy was the human, emotional center of Audubon's universe. On the occasion of this letter, after a long absence, John James reassures Lucy that he loves her and has never doubted her goodwill towards him.
"Audubon's letter read: 'I have wished for thee every day, every moment; and yet at my present age I have postponed daily with what thou callest prudence to write for thee positively to come [to England]. I feel quite convinced that it is thy wish to join me. Did I think differently for a moment, my travels would cease and my happiness would be only a vapor.' Liverpool, England, 5 December 1827.
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln might be a likely diversion during President's Day weekend, especiall if you've seen the Academy Award nominated movie Lincoln: "Few events can stir up a scandal more than an autobiography of a First Lady's confidante. In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln's assassination."
"The book exposed Mary's marriage and her erratic behavior, along with confidential opinions of many in high society. The airing of the Lincoln's 'dirty laundry' meant humiliation for Mary and her family, and Elizabeth's reputation was destroyed. This outcome would have been unimaginable in 1867, when Mary declared in a letter, 'I consider you my best living friend.' How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women."
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