Take a peek inside a rare and fascinating 18th-century artist's sketchbook of theater designs, recently discovered at NYU's Villa La Pietra, in Florence, Italy. This video highlights the little-known history of an itinerant French artist, Joseph Chamant, as revealed through a collaborative material examination and conservation treatment of his sketchbook.
Conservators in the Thaw Conservation Center partnered with international colleagues to analyze these two sixteenth-century Venetian works using imaging techniques much like those employed by forensic investigators.
Ottavio Farnese (1598–1643). Quaestiones definitae ex triplici philosophia, rationali, naturali, morali, in Parmensi Academia publicè triduum disputatae. Parma: Anteo Viotti, 1613. Purchased on the L. C. Harper Fund, 2012.
Russell Maret. Specimens of Diverse Characters. [New York, N.Y.]: Russell Maret, 2011. Purchased on the Henry S. Morgan Fund, 2012.
My Own Mag (Barnet, England: Jeff Nuttall / Homosap, Inc., -1966). 17 nos.
If you're going to write a love letter, you should probably get the name on the address panel correct. At least, if I was a fashionable young singer in the 18th century, I would probably pause a bit when opening a letter from an admirer (who had a reputation), which he seemed to have first addressed to someone else entirely.
Letter-writers are not always consistent about dating their correspondence, especially quick casual notes. In order to determine when something was written, we often have to consult postmarks or notes made by the recipient. But, much to the chagrin of researchers and librarians everywhere, sometimes the only clues lie in the actual contents of the letter.
George Bickham (1684?-1758?). The Universal Penman. London: Robert Sayer, [ca. 1760]. Purchased on the Henry S. Morgan Fund, 2012.
This charming love letter was written by the 17th-century English courtier Endymion Porter to his wife Olive. Penned in a clear italic hand, Porter professes his adoration and wishes he could leave court and come to her "for I never desired it more in my life."
Homer. L’Iliade, traduction nouvelle [par Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance]. A Paris: Chez Barbou, Moutard, Ruault, 1776. Purchased on the Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2011.