‘Jane Austen in Vermont’ wishes you all a Grand & Green Day!
[Vintage Postcard, printed in Germany L. & B. Serie 2230:
-domestic mail one cent, Foreign two cents!
-from the author’s collection]
Cut! Costume and the Cinema has been showing at the Columbia Museum of Art since November and closes today February 19, 2017. The exhibit takes us chronologically through the various fashions made for the movies by COSPROP, a London-based designer of authentic period costumes.
Step into the exciting world of costume design with CUT! Costume and the Cinema. Through more than 40 period costumes we will expose the art of making costumes for film. The exhibition will reveal how film costumes set the scene and establish authenticity in films. These perfectly crafted costumes uncover clues about a character’s status, age, class and wealth as well as their role in the story. The films represented in the exhibition depict five centuries of history, drama and comedy with period costumes worn by famous film stars Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Uma Thurman, Angelica Huston, and many others. In all, more than 30 actors will be represented from 26 films…
World-renowned British costumer Cosprop Ltd. earned its first Academy Award for Costume Design in 1986 in A Room with a View. Since then, the costumier has been nominated more than a dozen times. In 2007 three of the five Oscar nominees came from the Cosprop shop, only to be topped by winning the following year for The Duchess. Like their period prototypes, these opulent costumes are crafted of sumptuous fabrics and decorated with intricate embroidery and lace.
[From the distributor’s website: http://www.exhibitsdevelopment.com/Cut!.html]
Watch this youtube of the exhibit when it was at the BYU Museum of Art:
This exhibition has been traveling for the past ten years and finally made it to South Carolina. Joyful that I could take pictures (no flash), and as alas! there is no exhibition catalogue, I here offer a good sampling of what was on view. A picture cannot nearly capture the exquisite detail of these fashions – they must be seen up close and personal. And quite amazing to see how tiny some of these actresses (and actors) actually are! It also offers a terrific list of must-see movies, some that had somehow fallen through the cracks and others to be revisited with a new-found appreciation for the costumes.
The costumes are arranged chronologically. And YES, there is a Jane Austen, but alas! only one … we begin in the Renaissance period with this stunning dark green velvet: (you can click on any picture to enlarge it and see more detail)
Angelica Huston in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
The Georgians: outlandish (and to-die-for) fashions from The Duchess (2008):
And a close-up of Keira Knightley’s Whig-inspired outfit, and this helpful description from the “Family Guide” to the exhibition:
Finally Jane Austen! Kate Winslet as Marianne in Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Victorian times with Dickens:
The wedding dress in the 1996 Jane Eyre (with William Hurt)
And the all important hoop for Victorian ladies:
Phantom of the Opera (2004) gives us these two stunning outfits, worn by Emmy Rossum and Minnie Driver:
We now head into the later 1880s and beyond with this from Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady, here a dress worn by Nicole Kidman (I want this!)
and this worn by Scarlett Johansson in The Prestige (2006)
– one of my favorite movies…
Finding Neverland (2004) with Kate Winslet yet again and Rahda Mitchell as Mrs. Barrie (look at the detail in this dress!)
We’ll give the men a short nod here with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes (2009):
In Love and War (1997) with Sandra Bullock (left) and
Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
And finally, the costume that headlines all the publicity, this from The Land of the Blind, a movie I confess to knowing nothing about other than it starred Ralph Fiennes and had this gorgeous dress!
Movies included in the exhibition but my pictures were not worth posting (all movies worth seeing!):
Join the discussion: What are some of your favorite fashions from period movies or TV?
The first order of business today, on this 241st birthday of Jane Austen, is the annual publication of JASNA’s Persuasions On-Line Vol. 37, No. 1 (Winter 2016). Click here for the Table of Contents to yet another inspiring collection of essays, some from the 2016 AGM in Washington DC on EMMA AT 200, “NO ONE BUT HERSELF” – and other “Miscellany” – all about Jane Austen…and perfect winter reading material…
Here is the link: http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol37no1/toc.html
Here are the essays: (you might especially notice Gillian Dow’s essay on the Emma exhibition at Chawton House Library this year (website under redevelopment til Christmas) – for those of you who could not attend, this is the next best thing to being there!)
“Small, Trifling Presents”: Giving and Receiving in Emma
Divas in the Drawing Room, or Italian Opera Comes to Highbury
Jeffrey Nigro and Andrea Cawelti
Multimedia Emma: Three Adaptations
Linda Troost and Sayre Greenfield
Discerning Voice through Austen Said: Free Indirect Discourse, Coding, and Interpretive (Un)Certainty
Laura Moneyham White and Carmen Smith
Curious Distinctions in Sense and Sensibility
Looking for Mr. Darcy: The Role of the Viewer in Creating a Cultural Icon
Austen at the Ends of the Earth: The Near and the Far in Persuasion
Jane Austen Bibliography, 2015
Let’s look at what Austen’s father wrote about her arrival on December 16, 1775:
You have doubtless been for some time in expectation of hearing from Hampshire, and perhaps wondered a little we were in our old age grown such bad reckoners but so it was, for Cassy certainly expected to have been brought to bed a month ago: however last night the time came, and without a great deal of warning, everything was soon happily over. We have now another girl, a present plaything for her sister Cassy and a future companion. She is to be Jenny, and seems to me as if she would be as like Henry, as Cassy is to Neddy. Your sister thank God is pure well after it, and send her love to you and my brother, not forgetting James and Philly…
[Letter from Mr. Austen to his sister Philadelphia Walter, December 17, 1775, as quoted from Deirdre Le Faye, Jane Austen, A Family Record, Cambridge, 2004, p.27.]
Happy Birthday Miss Austen! – you continue to inspire, intrigue, and offer insights like no other!
There has been a good deal to write about this year’s terrific JASNA AGM in Washington DC on Emma – but while it always takes me a good while to re-emerge into the 21st century after these events, little time has been accorded me to actually write anything about it. But I did want to give you a quick summary of the books and other “stuff” I bought this year – less than usual because I bought a DRESS and a SPENCER, which did my pocketbook some serious damage…(see the image below*).
But to the matter at hand, here are the books, etc. – most would make fine holiday gifts for your favorite Austen follower, or for your own stocking for that matter… except this first one which would not in any way fit:
Very excited to have this, completing my collection of these beautiful Harvard editions. The book was released during the AGM and thankfully Jane Austen Books had copies. I have only skimmed through it, but it promises to live up to the other Harvard editions with an insightful introduction and notes by Lynch, and color illustrations throughout that give you the sense of time, place, and history that surround the adventures of Fanny Price. A must have and a perfect holiday gift for your Austen friends (and at $35, this is the best book deal out there, bar none…)
2. Alden O’Brien, et al. ‘An Agreeable Tyrant’: Fashion after the Revolution. Exhibition Catalogue. Washington DC: DAR Museum, 2016.
The catalogue that goes along with the fabulous exhibition at the DAR Museum that many of us at the AGM were privileged to see. Ms. O’Brien spoke at the AGM to take us through the history behind and the creation of this fashion exhibit – complete with characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice found in the “Pemberley Room” – it runs from October 7, 2016 – April 29, 2017 and is described on the website as: “…displaying men’s and women’s clothing from 1780 to 1825 in a dozen period rooms throughout the museum. It considers how Americans fashioned a new identity through costume; on the one hand, Americans sought to be free from Europe, yet they still relied heavily on European manufacturing and materials.”
The catalogue is quite lovely, showing full page color illustrations of fashions of the time as well as photographs of costumes in the DAR Museum collection. A must-have for every good Janeite with any fashion sense and perhaps in need of a new dress idea…it also contains various patterns in the back. You can purchase the book through the Museum’s website here. And my friend Kelly has written about the exhibit on her blog Two Teens in the Time of Austen.
Here are a few of my shots of the exhibit:
3. Chawton House Library – their new brochure and guide, text by Helen Cole, et al. CHL, 2016.
This is Lovely! It tells the history of the Chawton Great House, Jane Austen’s connection with it, the development of it as a learning centre for the study of early women’s writing from 1600 to 1830. There is much detail with fine illustrations of the house itself: the Library; the various rooms and staircases; exhibition and conference information; the furnishings, art and portraits; the gardens and grounds; and a bit of the history of women writers and their place in our literary heritage. For $12 you get to armchair-tour the house at leisure, and then you will add this to your next-trip-to-England itinerary, as well as a commitment to become a valued Friend of the Library (also a nice gift in a friend’s name).
[Note that the CHL online shop is currently experiencing the dreaded tech difficulties – if you would like a copy, please contact me and I will get one to you.]
Portrait of Mary Robinson, by John Hoppner c1782 (at CHL)
Also from the Chawton House Library – their table at the AGM was jam-packed with goodies – I bought their collection of 8 botanical cards from Elizabeth Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal (frameable!) – you can also “Adopt” this book as a way to support the Library!
Also couldn’t resist this book-fan “The Rules for Love,” by book artist Angela Thames from Aphra Behn’s 1686 La Montre – (you can read about Ms. Thames as artist-in-residence at CHL here).
[Image from: a-n The Artists Information ]
4. Susannah Fullerton, Amanda Jones, and Joanna Penglase, ed. Georgette Heyer: Complete to a Shade: A Celebration. JASA, 2016.
Exactly what the title tells us and another must-have – a collection of essays from various JASA folk who have long-been or are new to the joys of reading Georgette Heyer, based on their conference on Heyer in August 2016. Complete with lovely contemporary illustrations, this was just off the press in time for the AGM – $12 (I think) – you can contact JASA for information on how to purchase.
Alas! I was very disappointed not to find a single book on London that I didn’t already have at either of the book stalls – but did find a few oldies worth perusing:
The tale of Jack Peregrine, a regency rascal to say the least, who arranges a marriage of convenience for himself to help him through a financial crisis, and then finds himself the heir to an estate in Barbados – all based on the true story of Sam Lord and his Castle (most recently a hotel in Barbados*) – who cannot resist a story of such a man (Heyer couldn’t)! First published in 1937 by Hutchinson, it gives a glimpse of Regency-era life in both London and the Colonies. Will see if it lives up to the hype… [*The property was run as an exquisite hotel for many years but unfortunately it was destroyed by fire in 2010 – it is currently being reconstructed and will open in 2018 as a Wyndham Grand Resort. The 450-room resort will feature 3 restaurants, meeting facilities and a luxury spa] – sign me up!
Just because I am a sucker for carriages and highwaymen tales!
(now, doesn’t that peak your interest just a little?)
8. Joanna Trollope. Sense and Sensibility. New York: HarperCollins, 2013.
Only because I haven’t read this first of the Austen Project retellings and my Vermont Jane Austen book group has scheduled an S&S re-read this year and thought we would try this to compare…(though I know we will likely be gravely disappointed…)
9. Jack and Holman Wang. Jane Austen’s Emma [Cozy Classics]. Chronicle Books, 2013.
This to add to my other board books, and a generous gift from the author. He attended my talk on “Illustrating Emma” and I could not have been more embarrassed to have not included this cover in my talk! (caveat: I did not include any of the covers of the many recent renditions due to lack of time – I have added them to the talk for those times where I can speak longer than the time-constrained AGM) – so with hearty apologies to Mr. Wang – this is of course a simply delightful addition to anyone’s Austen collection!
I have a friend who recently gave a talk on women and bicycles and my daughter is an avid cyclist – I bought this at The Folger Library shop (there seeing the simply amazing Will & Jane exhibit) as a gift but am now loth to give it away! Women and bicycles have an interesting joint history – here is a worthy account of the whole phenomenon here: http://www.annielondonderry.com/womenWheels.html
So, as usual, I have my reading cut out for me – I would love to hear what YOU bought at the AGM this year…
*and here is my new costume – I am with my Good Buddy Marcia, who is wearing a Regency dress for the FIRST TIME!! (we bought our fabulous fashions at Matti’s Millinery & Costumes (visit their site here and have fun shopping!)
Mark your calendars! The “Jane Austen & The Arts” Conference, scheduled for March 23-25, 2017 at SUNY-Plattsburgh has just announced its speaker line-up – a terrific group! – here they are alphabetically: (and note that our very own Hope Greenberg will be sharing her thoughts on Fashion!)
More info here: https://janeaustenandthearts.com/
UPDATE #2: watch “Will & Jane: The Movie” – 6 minutes on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pevAsxvhts
UPDATE #1: new images from the exhibition have been added!
The Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library is garnering a good deal of press (as it should!). Apparently there are record crowds wanting to get a glimpse of their two favorite Literary Heroes and how they have shown up in popular culture for the past 200 years – and “The Shirt” is no small part of this (a.k.a. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy) – no, no, don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Firth is not part of the Exhibit (though he would be most welcome…), but rather the shirt worn for the endlessly-youtubed scene of Darcy emerging from a pool of standing water at Pemberley is on display in a locked glass case where it can be on view but protected from the expected mass hysteria of, well, the masses… Kissing a glass case is not quite the same as stroking a cotton shirt, albeit hanging rather listlessly from a plastic form… but it is still a must see if you can get there! Grown women have been known to faint away, despite the message from a young Jane to “run mad as often as you chuse; but do not faint…” I do hope the Folger is up to the task of a gallery full of shirt-mad persons… (and dare I add that though I am NOT one of the shirt-hysteric Janeites who think this scene is the best in all of the nearly 6 hour film, I do confess a strong interest in getting a glimpse of the actual shirt worn by Colin Firth…)
If you are able to attend the JASNA AGM this year, to be held in Washington DC, October 21-23 (but do allow extra days for all there is to see and do) – you will get a chance to go to the Folger and see what all the fuss is about – the two curators (Janine Barchas of the University of Texas at Austin, and Kristina Straub of Carnegie Mellon University) will be on hand to tell us all about it. If you are not at the AGM, the exhibit runs from August 6 – November 6, 2016 and admission is free. In the sad event you shall miss it entirely, there are also various articles to read – see the links below.
Today however, I welcome Janine Barchas, who most graciously answered a few of my questions about how the idea of this Will & Jane grouping came about… if you have any questions, please comment below and she will get back to you. As an incentive, and especially for those of you unable to make it to the Folger, Janine has provided us a copy of the 18-page exhibit brochure – another piece of Jane Austen celebrity “stuff” we all like to collect! (see below for details)
JAIV: Tell us how this exhibit came about?
JB: This was a case of classic academic one-upmanship. In 2012, Michael Witmore, the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, came to the University of Texas at Austin for a conference about the fate of books in a digital world. Over a meal, I joked that Jane Austen was “giving Shakespeare a run for his money” and asked what he was planning to do about it. As Mike and I continued to spar about the differences and similarities between the fan cultures around these two famous authors, an idea was born: “Will & Jane.”
JAIV: How did you and Kristina Straub come to work on this exhibit together?
JB: Our partnership was the result of solid academic matchmaking! Mike Witmore was her former colleague at Carnegie Mellon University, so Kristina’s name came up right away in the context of her deep knowledge of Shakespeare’s reception in the 18th century. She and I had never met before our work on “Will & Jane” even though we are both 18th-century scholars and know many of the same people in what is a smallish field. This exhibition has been a full three years in the making, during which time we have grown very close. I look at our publications and label text and cannot tell you what sentence began as mine and which was first drafted by Kristina. Given that academics are known for their social awkwardnesses and a tendency to work best when alone, our partnership on “Will & Jane” has been an extraordinary intellectual experience – even outside of the unique content of the show.
JAIV: You mostly talk and write about Jane Austen, but also the book itself as part of the material culture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. What was the biggest challenge in taking on this exhibit that largely deals with the artifacts of celebrity created and collected over the past 200 years?
JB: The dominance of non-book artifacts in this exhibition (ceramics, paintings, odd assortments of relics, tchotchkes, and souvenirs) may seem at odds with a serious library of rare books such as the Folger. However, although both Shakespeare and Austen are fundamentally admired for their great literary works, the history of their afterlives and the nature of their modern celebrity is not just about steady streams of new editions but about the material objects that ordinary fans crave and collect. This exhibition took us out of the usual library stacks of books and into art vaults and collections of so-called “realia.” Part of the challenge, then, of putting this exhibition together was for two academics who were used to talking about the language of plays and novels to learn how to think and talk about non-book and wordless objects and the stories they can tell. Mixing high and low culture in this exhibition (books with bobble-heads, so to speak) has been both a joy and a challenge. In practical terms, today’s objects that celebrate Jane Austen at her 200-year mark lack the historical patina of those Shakespeare “relics” and souvenirs that have been carefully preserved for two centuries. And yet we wanted these authors to stand together as potential equals. This meant that every juxtaposition of old and new objects, every comparison between the afterlives of Will and Jane, had to show similar impulses across centuries of fandom – in spite of any obvious differences between current market values of the materials shown.
JAIV: What most surprised you in your findings?
JB: We initially thought that in order to fill 20 large display cases, we might have to stretch the comparison a bit here and there. But we were amazed by the tight parallels between, for example, the public spectacles that celebrated Shakespeare around his 200 mark (e.g. a museum dedicated to the Bard and a Jubilee) and today’s BBC bonnet dramas that, in essence, do some of that same work to promote Jane Austen. Also, we were genuinely surprised by the manner in which Henry and Emily Folger resembled, in their dedication to all things Shakespeare, the collecting impulses of Alberta and Henry Burke, the couple who amassed the world’s most significant Jane Austen collection (now split between the Morgan Library and Goucher College). One thread across the exhibition is how these two American couples, collecting decades apart and focused on two very different writers, pursued their purchases in the same way.
JAIV: What do you hope visitors will take away from this exhibit?
JB: A sense of fun. We hope the combination of whimsy and scholarship is infectious and will help folks to see that even pop culture benefits from a larger historical framework.
JAIV: What has been the response so far?
JB: A lively and lavishly illustrated review across two pages of the NYT weekend section on opening day surely helped to boost visitor numbers as well as raise our curatorial spirits. The public seems genuinely curious about a show that pairs these equally famous but very different authors. So far, we’ve had some record numbers in terms of daily visitors and received enthusiastic feedback from Folger docents. The docents are the well-informed volunteers who lead daily group tours and have their finger on the pulse of true public reaction. When they remain enthusiastic, you know a show is doing well.
JAIV: Who besides Shakespeare and Jane Austen has had such an impact on our celebrity-obsessed culture?
JB: Modern movie stars (and before them the starry thespians of the 18th-century stage) have glammed up both Will and Jane. Our exhibition features a number of film actors who have their feet in both Shakespeare and Austen camps and whose own celebrity is in a symbiotic relationship with these authors. From Laurence Olivier (photo stills and movie clips) to Emma Thompson (she loaned us the original typescript of her Sense and Sensibility screenplay), objects about and from movie stars adds a bit of Hollywood sparkle throughout the exhibition.
JAIV: What is your next project???
JB: Hopefully another project with Kristina. It will indeed also be very hard to go back to a steady diet of “just books” after this. I suspect that odd bits of material culture will cling to all my research from now on. I see both Will and Jane differently now. They are each bigger than their written works alone.
Thank you Janine! – very much looking forward to seeing you and Kristina at the Folger in October!
If you would like to comment or ask Janine a question, please do so in the reply box below. Deadline will be Wednesday August 31, 2016 at 11:59pm – winner will be announced on Thursday Sept 1, 2016. Domestic only, sorry to say (our postal rates have soared).
Janine Barchas is Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2012). Her first book, Graphic Design, Print Culture, and the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Cambridge UP, 2003), won the SHARP book prize for best work in the field of book history. You can visit (and spend hours browsing!) her online digital project What Jane Saw (www.whatjanesaw.org) which includes the gallery of the British Institution that Jane Austen visited on May 24, 1813 and the “Shakespeare Gallery of 1796.” Barchas, along with colleague Kristina Straub, is currently curating an exhibition at the Folger on Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity.
“Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity” runs August 6 through Nov. 6, 2016 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street S.E., Washington; 202-544-7077.
Dear Readers: Today I am posting Part III on the Heraldic windows at Chawton House Library, this post giving details on the shields in the Great Hall, as well as two more family pedigrees, and a very short course on the meaning of the various colors in the heraldic crests.
And again I thank Edward Hepper, one of the Chawton House Library’s invaluable volunteers, for sharing with us his expertise on heraldry! Please comment if you have any questions or anything to add to any of these three posts.
Chawton House Library and Church
[Image: DH and DigLibArts]
Part III: The Great Hall
Various painted shields show the arms of different branches of the family since the 17th century. Some of those above the fireplace include Knights and their wives from the early 20th century. They were probably painted for Montagu Knight in the years just before the 1st World War. [You can see portraits of these named in the previous two posts.]
Edward Knight (jr) & Adela Portal: Thomas Knight (jr) & Catharine Knatchbull
Charles E Knight & Emma Patrickson (?): Lionel C E Knight & Dorothy Deedes
Jane Monk; Thomas (Brodnax) Knight (sr)
Pedigree: Knight Family
The Chawton Manor Succession:
The Meaning of the colors: a brief summary, and please note that there is a wide variation in assigning a meaning to a color, with many experts disagreeing…
The Austens had their own crest:
[From Ron Dunning: JA’s Family Genealogy]
If you have an interest in heraldry, you might like to visit some of these various sites:
Here’s my very own“caro sposo’s”: (apologies for fuzziness – it is scanned under glass, but you get the idea…)