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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Then and Now

This begins a new feature of The Filson’s Blog. Historical images of buildings or a location from our collection will be juxtaposed with images from that same site today. The site and view might have changed little or it might be entirely different, with a new building, parking lot, etc. now there. Some of the changes might be for the better and in […]

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Images of paradise: Earth Day, 2010

The love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had the eyes to see. – Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire The following […]

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The Theatricals of Louisville Male High School

There is a long history of cross-dressing in theatrical productions.   Ancient Greek dramas, Japanese Kabuki theater, and Shakespeare’s plays all have a tradition of males performing female roles, as women were not allowed to appear on stage in these milieux.  In the 19th and early 20th centuries, both men and women engaged in cross-dressing in vaudeville halls and the […]

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Bloomers and Bicycles

Everyone has heard the old adage “sex sells”.  The use of risque  advertising was already well established by the 19th century.  This amusing turn-of-the century handbill advertising the Meyer Cycle Co., a bicycle sales and repair shop, employs the image of an attractive woman and her ‘revealing’ clothing to catch the customers’ eye.  The folded advertising card has the company information on […]

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PSA: Easter Egg Hunts

Using your dog to win an Easter egg hunt is not allowed, kids! Easter Egg Hunt, Al Blunk, 4 April 1947, Louisville, KY Or perhaps she is simply auditioning for the role of the Cadbury Easter Bunny!

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Loretta Lux at 21c Museum and the Surreal Luster of the Past

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the 21c Museum on West Main Street for the first time. The Museum has modern written all over it, from the high white walls to the steel accents to the high-gloss wood floors. Loving contemporary art as I do, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the plethora of images in which to bask in […]

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Health Care in the 1950s

Sometimes while cataloging, one will find items that relate directly to current events.  That was the case last week when I discovered a 1962 letter discussing the British health care system.  In 1958, Thomas E. and Quinlan H. Quisenberry, an Illinois couple with Kentucky roots, traveled to Great Britain.  In the “International Airport,” now Heathrow, Quinlan suffered a heart attack […]

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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 […]

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