The Civil War Begins

Today, April 12th, marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, America’s bloodiest and costliest war. The cannon that opened up on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor early that morning would not fall silent for four years.  When the war ended over 600,000 Americans had died and the South faced years of rebuilding and recovery. As we […]

CONTINUE READING

Colonel Sanders

The front Great Room at the Filson Historical Society boasts one of the most recognized faces in the world with a connection to Kentucky. No, not Henry Clay, his portrait is in the dining room. It is not Abraham Lincoln, although we do have a portrait of him also. Situated amongst the busts of Generals and Senators and the paintings […]

CONTINUE READING

“Go West, Young Man”

That famous advice dispensed by 19th century newspaperman Horace Greeley for young Americans to head west as the tide of Manifest Destiny swept across the Great Plains to the Pacific is being followed today by one of our own. After five years and eight months at The Filson, today is Jacob Lee’s last day. Jacob first came to The Filson […]

CONTINUE READING

The Whimsical Figures of the Derby Clock

Being new to The Filson, I frequently find intriguing bits of history winking at me from an office or hallway, perched on a mantelpiece, or looming on the stairs. But the whimsical figures of the Derby Clock are particular standouts – playful sculptures that evoke both the varied history of this state and the imaginative spirit of their creator, Barney […]

CONTINUE READING

Fashion Icon Mona Bismarck

As New York’s Fashion Week draws to a close, The Filson pays homage to style icon Countess Mona Bismarck.  Mona Bismarck, née Strader, was born in Louisville in 1897 and raised in Lexington.  She married five times but it was her third marriage to multi-millionaire utilities executive Harrison Williams in 1926 that propelled Mona to the highest social circles, and […]

CONTINUE READING

Happy Birthday, Enid Yandell

Today we celebrate the birth of one of Kentucky’s finest sculptors, Enid Bland Yandell, an artist ahead of her time.  She pursued a career in sculpture, a medium dominated by men during the early twentieth century, rather than choosing a life of domesticity.  Although Yandell was from a prominent Louisville family, she relied on her talent rather than her social standing […]

CONTINUE READING