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Posts Tagged ‘William Morris’

It was with some shock that I realised this morning that it was 1 December, and that I had no idea what to use as a theme for this year’s December blogging extravaganza. To be honest, it’s not surprising that this hadn’t been a priority. I haven’t written here since 31 December last year. Life since then has been unexpected, and I have not been able to set myself to write. Realistically, I won’t have much time to write for most of December, but I don’t want to stop doing this project. It’s fun to find ideas for a post every day.  If I don’t have the time to write, and I definitely don’t have the talent to draw my posts, what to do? About 20 minutes ago (before I started writing this post), it occurred to me to call upon the Pre-Raphaelites for aid.  (Yes, I have a Pre-Raphaelite Bat Signal equivalent.) The challenge, then, is this: to post the Pre-Raphaelite works of art, without comment, which provide striking clues as to how I have spent my day.

And so it begins. (more…)

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The Pre-Raphaelite Society explaining National #PRBDay 2015

The Pre-Raphaelite Society explaining National #PRBDay 2015

The first #PRBDay was organised by the Pre-Raphaelite Society on 8 September 2012, to celebrate 164 years since the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in a small house on Gower Street, in London. I used to walk past this house most lunchtimes when I worked on London (6.5 years!) and it always made me terribly delighted imagining the conversations they must have had behind that front door.

I’ve been following the enormously busy Twitter thread (#PRBDay, as above), since I got up much, much later than planned today, and I really recommend dropping in on it throughout the day, or, you know, if you have the time, staying glued to it all day (which I would love to do). Serena Trowbridge, editor of the Review of the PreRaphaelite Society and creator of the Culture and Anarchy blog, will be there to chat to (@serena_t), along with Madeleine Pierce, coordinator of the Society’s London and South East Chapter (@nouveaudigital); she also writes the blog Nouveau Digital: Digital and the Pre-Raphaelites. (more…)

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La Belle Iseult (1858) by William Morris (1834-1896).  Oil on canvas. Tate Britain.

La Belle Iseult (1858) by William Morris (1834-1896). Oil on canvas. Tate Britain.

I’ve always been impressed by the (first and second wave) Pre-Raphaelites’ many talents. They were not just artists, and as a lifelong student of languages (medieval languages in particular), William Morris’ work in translating Old French and Old Norse romances and epics, is of particular interest. When I first began researching the use of original medieval works by the Pre-Raphaelites, I was focusing more on such use in their art. Morris’ only painting, of Janey Morris as La Belle Iseult, is an obvious example (look to the left). (more…)

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"Strawberry Thief", 1883, designed by William Morris (1834-1896), made by Morris & Co. (Victoria & Albert Museum)

“Strawberry Thief”, 1883, designed by William Morris (1834-1896), made by Morris & Co. (Victoria & Albert Museum)

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London in a heatwave (officially!) is the worst time and place in which to be. I’m craving cold, ice, and snow, with the warmth that comes from thick coats, hats, and scarves. I want to be iceskating in Victorian times. I want to be dressed like the woman below as I skate.

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La Belle Iseult, by William Morris (1858, oil on canvas, Tate Britain ; image via BBC Your Paintings)

I began the Victorian Vendredi series last week with a teaser for this week’s post. That teaser was the painting you see now to the right William Morris’s only completed painting, the model being Jane Burden, who later became his wife. On the reverse of the canvas, he wrote to her

I cannot paint you, but I love you

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Having enjoyed bringing a bit more structure to my blog with Medieval Mondays, I decided to pay regular homage to the blog’s name with another regular feature, Victorian Vendredi. (more…)

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William of Norwich (via History in an Hour)

Framing Medieval Bodies, a collection of essays edited by Sarah Kay and Miri Rubin, is one of those books that one reads at University and gets positively giddy about, a book that one never quite forgets. I have closely followed the work of both women since I first took that volume off the library shelf as an undergraduate with definite medieval leanings. I hope you can imagine, given the above touching anecdote from my early days in academia, how utterly giddy I was upon finding out that Miri Rubin was speaking at Queen Mary’s at the University of London, on Miraculous Cures and a Martyr’s Virtue in the Twelfth Century, as part of Queen Mary’s Centre for the History of Emotions’ lecture series on Religion and Medicine. I had only recently begun following the Centre’s blog, clearly not a moment too soon! (more…)

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Central St Martins Library on the new campus

I began the Bard’s birthday (25 January – I’ve been busy!) wending my way to the wilds beyond St Pancras Station, to the new King’s Cross campus for Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. ARLIS had organised a visit to the Library and Museum. It’s important for librarians to regularly visit other libraries, both in their own particular sectors (in my case art librarianship and academic librarianship) and further afield. The opportunity to see how other librarians manage their spaces and resources and how they develop and maintain their services is an important part of our job. Part of my work in user education involves assessing other libraries as a potential resource for my own students, particularly when it comes to their dissertations. I take pride in being able to give well-informed suggestions in this regard, but these library visits also benefit my professional development. It’s always good to spend time with colleagues, to share experiences and offer or request advice, and just to geek out over all things library, the good and the bad, with like-minded people. (more…)

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What was your most significant expenditure in 2012?

It doesn’t have to be necessarily the biggest expenditure, just the one with the most impact.

What difference has it made to your life?

The #Reverb12 Day 2 question was, fortunately, ridiculously easy to answer: my flat. It’s more several expenses grouped under that single heading; the new flat has improved the quality of my life considerably since we moved in. When I see the red colour of the inside of our flat door closed behind me, I always start to relax. Everything that we have bought and have yet to buy to furnish it and make it comfortable are part of the greater significante expense that goes into making a home. We’ve just decorated the Christmas tree, and while I need to buy more decorations for it and need to make some tweaks (I am deeply suspicious of minimalism), it makes our living room eminently more comfortable and luxurious. Fairy lights and candles make everything better; always have done, always will. (more…)

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