Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just remembering to keep things in perspective...

Although this business card is from the late 19th century, I loved the mid-eighteenth century image used on it. I didn't really care that it was for life insurance ... I wasn't going to actually use the information about the business - I just wanted to use the image in a piece of art work.

And I had never really paid that much attention to the text. I mean, what do I care about a Louisville, Kentucky life insurance company that was in business in 1895?! However, a friend was visiting and looking through one of my stash boxes, and found the card. When I heard a gasp, I saw his face had a most shocked look on it. I asked what was wrong and he said he wanted to know why I kept something so passively hateful and ugly about. I had no idea what he meant. How hateful can a mint green dress be, after all!

However, when he handed it to me and I examined it thoroughly (for the first time ever, really), I saw what was so objectionable. Can you find it?

It's good for me to remember that, though I love the aesthetic of the 19th - and earlier! - century, I am quite glad that I don't actually live in that period. We have progressed so far - even if our clothes and decor aren't as exciting!

Does this mean that I'm going to stop collecting vintage/antique photos and ephemera and objets d'art? Of course not! But I will probably now always put them in perspective. I'm not sure if I'm glad for that - but it will always be with me now!


bernadette ostrozovich said...

hey tristan, sorry i haven't posted comments for a few days. definitely wanted to let you know how much i enjoy the theatrical, filmic edumacation i get from you! thanks for sharing your knowledge! and that heart head, omg, how delicious!

DollZandThingZ said...

Popped over here from Couture de Papier. We are in Wallingford and we had more than an inch of snow by dinner time! I think being closer to the shore probably saved you.

Your have a divine blog here. Must come back and visit more...your work is wonderful! And it is good to know there is someone who has as many pairs of scissors that I have!

Anonymous said...

scheez....that was disturbing. But the image IS wonderful and it was the 1800's and they hadn't evolved yet! Thanks for sharing!

Barntiques said...

When I read the message here and so many others like Little Black Sambo and Billy Goat Gruff, my stomach takes to turning. I am so thankful for the change in society and feel blessed for all of the African Americans for friends and family! Great post. Thanx!

Ricë said...

scary, isn't it? but you don't have to go back that far to find examples--earl remembers tons of stuff from when he was a kid. we found a yearbook from the University of Texas that had a page about a trainer who had died, and the title was, "Although He Was Only a Negro." just astounding. i say take the stuff you love to use and think of ways to use it for Good.

and, gee, you can always join in my quest to make The Clothes of Now even more exciting than they were then--if you could get people to dress more excitingly, you wouldn't have to hunt for cool photograph--you could just go out on the street and ask to take people's photos! and wouldn't that be cool? i mean, if women are going to wear stilettos (sp?) and Spanx, why not panniers and bustles? no more charcoal suits. no more taupe. and silk velvet would be easier to find! think of the fun at Goodwill!

Tristan Robin said...

terrific idea!

I would love to wear spats and a raccoon coat - or a doublet and codpiece!

hmm - maybe that would be a tad too ren faire LOL