Postcards – Summer Pastimes

The Filson recently produced a set of six postcards with the theme of “Summer Pastimes.” These postcards celebrate the season with scenes of enjoyment of the outdoors and relaxation, all set in the Kentucky area, and all from The Filson’s Special Collections. They are available for purchase for $5.oo, either at The Filson or online, at http://www.sagepayments.net/eftcart/product_detail.asp?part=044. This first postcard […]

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The Ferguson Mansion

Whether visiting the Filson Historical Society to do research or just to tour the building, the most frequent remark made by patrons tends to be something along the lines of “wow, you are so lucky to work in such a beautiful place!”  This “beautiful place”, known as the Ferguson Mansion (named for Edwin Hite Ferguson), draws people in with its […]

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An Arresting Portrait

One of my favorite paintings in the Ferguson Mansion hangs in the stairwell on the way to the basement level. It is a portrait of a certain Mrs. Denton Whipps, painted by a mysterious unknown artist, and generously donated by Mrs. Walter Osborne. This painting utilizes a severe palette of white, black and gray. Mrs. Whipps’ luminous skin vividly contrasts […]

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Images Celebrating Independence

The Filson wishes you a Happy Independence Day! S.A.R. Congress, Louisville, 1911. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner and Mr. Geo. L. Danforth Pres. Ky. Society, posing with a reproduction of the McHenry Flag in front of the Louisville Free Public Library. A July 4th Picnic at Richlawn Stock Farm, 1905, Ralph Barker Collection Sons of the American Revolution Fountain at Fort […]

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Joan Rapp – Volunteer Extraordinaire

The Filson is most fortunate to have a loyal core of volunteers. As related in a previous post on Larry Carr vounteering at The Filson, our volunteers bring a variety of experience and knowledge to the work they do here. Their talents and dedication help us to succeed in our mission of making collections available to researchers and telling the […]

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Dr. Richard Price – Observations on Airplanes

One of our oldest works is entitled Considerations on the Order of Cincinnatus, which was printed for J. Johnson in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, London in 1785. Included in the book is an abstract of Dr. Richard Price’s Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution, with notes and reflections upon that work.  Dr. Price was a fellow of the Royal Society […]

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An Architectural Comparison

I flew to Los Angeles recently, and during my visit I bore witness to many things: overpopulation, smog, urban sprawl, pollution, overpriced Hervé Villechaize-sized studio apartments and traffic… lots of traffic. So, one afternoon while I’m stuck in traffic, I decide I want to see something to take me away from this concrete jungle… Enter The Bradbury Building.  Perhaps best […]

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John J. Crittenden and Narciso López’s 1851 Expedition to Cuba

I have had a long-standing interest in American filibustering expeditions to the Caribbean and Latin America during the 1850s, and to my delight, I recently stumbled across a letter from Kentucky governor, U.S. Senator and Representative, and cabinet member John J. Crittenden, then serving as U.S. Attorney General, discussing the aftermath of Narciso López’s failed 1851 expedition to Cuba.  In August 1851, […]

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THEN AND NOW

Having recently concluded a tour of some of the pioneer stations in Jefferson County, a “then and now” comparison between an early 20th century photo and one taken recently seemed appropriate. Floyd’s Station on the Middle Fork of Beargrass Creek, in present St. Matthews, was established by John Floyd in November of 1779. It is generally acknowledged to be the first […]

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Pish posh

“Pish posh said Hieronymus Bosch.” – Nancy Willard I recently stumbled upon an arresting print in The Filson’s Special Collections. This brilliantly tinted picture is something of a mystery, since the signature of the artist is too faint to read. There is also German writing on the back of the print. However, written in English are the words “Herman Gunter […]

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