Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Comment Roundup...

 Tony Pinkney's comment of two days ago ("May Morris once confessed that 'in my Father's "Trellis" [wallpaper] there was a certain one of the birds who gave anxiety to a child in her cot high-up in the Queen Square house because he was thought to be wicked and very alive'.)" sent me for a closer look at Trellis and I'm sure I know what bird this is --- look at the one in upper right....definitely sinister looking.

 Trellis wallpaper, 1862, from V&A collection

(from The Birds movie poster)

I also found a picture of a Trellis piece by artist David Mabb (Smash the Bourgeoisie, Victory to the Decorating Business post) which reminds me to mention that he'll be part of an exhibition in Houston later this month.  If you are nearby, details can be found here.

 bird still looks dark and scary....

But what of Voysey's Alice in Wonderland paper?  Would it be too scary for a toddler?  Upon enlargement, the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat definitely look intimidating and quite a few other characters look seriously depressed (Lion, Mailman, Queen of Clubs, Gryphon, etc.).  Hmmm.   Tony, I think you're right, this might not be the best paper for a nursery unless you were planning to put prozac in your baby's bottle!

 click to enlarge

Yesterday, Hels asked why shingles were used ubiquitously in buildings in this part of the USA - was it a local inexpensive building material (yes, but I don't think that would have mattered to these rich folk)?  Did it insulate against the cold better (not sure, but again, these were summer cottages so I doubt they cared)?  Was it related to some sort of Puritan aesthetic?  The 19th century architects such as H. H. Richardson were reacting against Victorian/Eastlake fussiness, and their designs of rustic Shingle Style homes were meant to invoke the more naturalistic times of the early colonial settlers.  For this reason the shingles were left a natural monotoned color and meant to blend into the landscape. But of course this casual simple look of more humble dwellings was disingenuous as these were definitely the mansions (aka "summer cottages") of the uber-wealthy.  So yes, it would appear that the development of the Shingle Style was related to a revival of a Puritan aesthetic. 

Along these lines, I've often pondered why many more modest New England homes have clapboard on the first floor and shingles on the second and third floors.  Dan Cooper thinks that builders/owners probably put the more expensive clapboards where they would have the greatest effect (front and center) and that shingles were a less expensive form of siding.  Ironically, when I replaced the first floor shingles on my house a few years ago, I switched to clapboards which now cost about 30% less than cedar shingles.  Dan also brought my attention to the book Newport Shingle Style by Cheryl Hackett which I will check out.

Finally, to Anne, yes, I take most (but not all) of the pictures.  If it is someplace I'm visiting, I'm the photographer.  Most of the pics taken off web or from books are obvious, like two above or other "product" or art pictures, but I could do a better job at referencing.