Ormolu – non-furniture definition

Ormolu

Ormolu, an 18th-century English term, is from the French phrase or moulu, with “or” indicating gold and “moulu” being a form of an old French verb moudre, which means “to grind up.” (This French term for this technique is bronze dore.) This idea of “ground-up gold”refers to the production process of ormolu, where high-quality gold is finely powdered and added to a mercury mixture and applied to a bronze object. Modern usage often [...] Click here to continue reading.


Hoosier and the Hoosier Group

Hoosier and the Hoosier Group

The word “Hoosier” is one of those words whose origins are lost to time. Even The Oxford English Dictionary offers no real guidance about where the word came from. What we do know is that “Hoosier” was first documented in the mid-1820s, and within a decade, it had entered general usage. John Finley, a Hoosier himself from Richmond, write a poem titled, “The Hoosier’s Nest” that was published in [...] Click here to continue reading.


Audubon, John James

John James Audubon (1785 to 1851)

John James Audubon was born in Haiti on April 26, 1785 on a sugar plantation, the son of Lt. Jean Audubon, a French naval officer, and Audubon’s mistress, Jeanne Rabin, a Louisiana chambermaid. After the death of Jeanne Rabin and a slave uprising that convinced Audubon’s father to give up his holdings in the colony, John James Audubon, still a toddler, and his younger sister returned to France [...] Click here to continue reading.


Apocryphal – definition

Apocryphal – Definition

Apocryphal, the adjective form, means “of doubtful authenticity,” according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Apocrypha, the noun form, means “writings or statements of dubious authenticity,” again according to Merriam-Webster.

Apocrypha is actually a Greek word that means something closer to “obscure” or “hidden away.” The original meaning of the word, the Apocrypha in the proper noun sense, refers to religious texts outside of the traditional or accepted religious canon. Through connection with [...] Click here to continue reading.


Wilbur G. Adam – American Artist

Wilbur G. Adam (1898-1973)

A Cincinnati native and a decorated artist during his career, Wilbur Adam’s work has rarely surfaced on the market and has fallen into obscurity in recent years.

Collectors intimately familiar with the early 20th century school of Cincinnati artists might be surprised at Adam’s work and his association with many of the Queen City’s notables- including Frank Duveneck, Herman and Bessie Wessel, Lewis Henry Meakin, and Caroline Lord, to [...] Click here to continue reading.


Newcomb College Art Pottery

Newcomb College Art Pottery

Before it was revered for its art, and more specifically for its art pottery, Newcomb College was the country’s first degree-granting college for women within a major university. Its founder, Josephine L. Newcomb, envisioned an environment in which women would learn both practical skills and academic knowledge when she proposed the creation of the college in the memory of her daughter H. Sophie Newcomb, who died at 15. New Orleans’s [...] Click here to continue reading.


Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola

Dr. John Stith Pemberton (1831 to 1888), an Atlanta pharmacist, invented Coca-Cola in 1886. A year earlier, he had introduced an alcoholic beverage called “Pemberton’s French wine coca”, but the temperance movement was then gathering momentum in the United States, prompting him to develop an alcohol-free product. Pemberton mixed a combination of lime, cinnamon, coca leaves, and kola nuts to make the famous beverage. When Coca-Cola was first introduced, the syrup was mixed [...] Click here to continue reading.


Fox, R. Atkinson – Canadian/American Artist & Illustrator

Robert Atkinson Fox (1860-1935)

Born Robert Atkinson Fox on December 11, 1860 in Toronto, Canada, Fox studied in Canada and Europe prior to arriving in America. He eventually went on to become one of the early 20th century’s most popular, most diverse, and most reproduced artists of his time with his work appearing as art prints, calendars, advertising pieces, ink blotters, candy and handkerchief boxes, jewelry boxes, magazine covers, children’s books, newspaper inserts, postcards, [...] Click here to continue reading.


John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

Born in Boston, John Ritto Penniman came from a talented family—his father was a physician and entrepreneur, and his ten siblings include booksellers, an artist and inventor, and a teacher. Penniman trained as an ornamental painter in Roxbury, Massachusetts, which was, at the time, a community of artisans, including clock and furniture makers. Some of his early work was as a dial painter for noted clockmakers Aaron and [...] Click here to continue reading.


The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

Derived from the Greek sarx, meaning flesh, and phagein, meaning eat, a sarcophagus is, essentially, a container for a body, much like a coffin or casket. Historically, sarcophagi were typically made of stone (though sometimes of other materials, such as wood or metal), with a relief-carved or pediment top, and designed to be above ground, and have been used by many cultures since ancient times.

An ancient [...] Click here to continue reading.


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