21 April 2014

Monday miscellany

"Peacock", a hooked rug designed by Winifred Nicholson (1970; 34"x54"). Found in "Rag Rug Creations" by Lynne Stein (the bent shape is due to the curl of the book page). The caption says the rug was hooked by Florence Williams, and inspired by a mosaic in Ravenna of the same theme, colour, and composition. The flowers look rather un-mosaic like, but very much in Winifred Nicholson's painting style (eg here).


Ever wanted to work in a museum? An insight into the job of being front-of-house staff (on the information desk, say ... or as a gallery warder) is at whisperingtrinkets.wordpress.com -

"All I propose is that the big museums in this country cease to see their their front-of-house staff as expendable automata. They are an asset. Hire young people for their enthusiasm and knowledge – they are not too proud to do this job, believe me – and cultivate them rather than alienate them, make them feel that they are part of their museum’s community rather than trapped in a departmental bubble. Help them forge connections with back-of-house departments so they can demonstrate the fact that they are not morons. Make it easier for them to volunteer and they will volunteer, they have paid tens of thousands for their education and they are desperate to learn and to help. My generation accepts working for free as a fact of life, but there’s little motivation to do this when our sense of self-worth is systematically ground down every day. "


Sancaklar Mosque, Istanbul - "its only decoration is the light that washes the Kiblah wall"
Architect Emre Arolat (via)


This cave in China is so large that it has its own weather - including clouds. There are several openings at floor level, but only one near the top - so the weather can't make its way out.
"For this shot, [photographer Robbie] Shone had three accomplices: one standing behind the frame with a large single-use flash bulb, one standing on the rock to the left shining a headlamp at the cave wall, and a third dangling from a rope hundreds of metres away [in the spotlight]. Although the shutter was open for only 30 seconds, the whole operation took four hours, with the team communicating via walkie-talkie because the echoes made shouting unworkable. "


Tchotchke - A small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose. 

Side note: Chotchkie [the word has many alternative spellings] can be pretty, sentimental, or even occasionally useful though it usually breaks easily if useful. If you are having trouble identifying tchotchke just look around your house or someone else's and whatever you see that a burglar wouldn't steal is probably tchotchke. 

Pronunciation: choch-ka


British Pathe has now uploaded its entire collection of old films to the web. The 85,000 short pieces include many news reels and tourism videos set in the capital [London].
Ride around in 1960′s West End traffic for 20 minutes, see what a 1930′s fog looked like (hint: foggy), or check out some vintage sexism as 18-year-old Candy Scott poses on a massive gun.
(from The Londonist; see https://www.youtube.com/user/britishpathe)

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