Saturday, August 25, 2012

shameless victorian-related plugs

Reason #36 why my new job is awesome- the phone call I received yesterday from my coworker Jonathan.

To preface this, I need to mention that everyone working for the Art Museum knows about my steampunk tendencies by now.  The Natural History Museum has a smattering of people who have heard of it and appreciate it, but Art is just crazy about it. I guess it makes me strangely unique in an institution of already extremely unique people.

JONATHAN: Hey, I need a stuffy female Victorian name and I figured you'd know about that.

CLEMENTINE: Well, you came to the right place.  Why?

JONATHAN: For our World's Fair Facebook promotion.

CLEMENTINE: Okay.  Ummmm.... Pensington for the last name... Lady Pensington...

JONATHAN: Good, good!

CLEMENTINE: Ummm... dammit, I'm on the spot here... Victoria for the first name?

JONATHAN: A different name for a titled person, like "Woosley" as the normal last name and "Pensington" as the titled one?

CLEMENTINE:  Women didn't really do that... ummm.... Rosaline.  Lady Rosaline Pensington.  Or "Margaret" as the first name.  "Lady" is the closest you're going to get to a stuffy title for a woman.  I'll keep thinking.

After a quick Facebook consultation with another steampunk friend, I was able to present Jonathan with "Prudence Imogen Merriweather" as an alternative name.

The exhibition to be featured?  Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939.  The exhibition highlights the unique and often ingenious decorative art pieces made for various World's Fairs, including the first World's Fair held in London in 1851 otherwise known as the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations.

But why should anyone care to look at a bunch of old fancy items displayed 80 to 160 years ago?
[The] fairs were the most important vehicles for debuting advancements in modern living, democratizing design as never before. Inventing the Modern World showcases approximately 200 examples of the most extraordinary works of furniture, metalwork, glass, ceramics, textiles, and jewelry produced by leading international artists and firms, including Lalique, Herman Miller, Sèvres, and Tiffany. These exceptional and singular objects—some never before seen in the United States—represent the pinnacle of scientific and artistic achievements of their time. Inventing the Modern World breaks new ground in its exploration of innovation in decorative arts.
As an aside, the first World's Fair was brought to fruition mostly by the efforts of Queen Victoria's consort Prince Albert.

The exhibition is set to open to the general public on October 13 at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

Jonathan's Facebook campaign, meanwhile, is just meant to be fun.  This is the caption that he ended up using via roflbot:

image source: Carnegie Museum of Art Facebook Page


  1. Always wished I could have seen what was exhibited at the Crystal Palace - you know, if one had a Time Machine or something. Always wished I could have worked at an Art Museum, too. ;o)

    1. I wish I could have seen all of the exhibits at the Crystal Palace as well. It's such a shame that the Palace itself burned down in 1936, before real proper photos could be taken of it to be able to see and get some inkling of an idea of what the Great Exhibition was like.


      You can always volunteer at an art museum if you want. It can sometimes lead to a job, if you have or develop skills that they need. :)