Something light and bright, fluffy and joyful and merely decorative for Valentine’s Day: I wanted to use the occasion to reaquaint myself with some decorative arts databases. Between my last book project and the two that I’m working on now, and teaching, and being frequently frustrated with Salem heritage and preservation issues (as you know all too well here) I don’t have much time for wandering about in digital image archives. But I gave myself permission to do so this weekend, and here are the results! If you have a universal symbol like ♥♥♥ as your keyword, you’re going to get thousands of results: I limited mine to textiles, and then just chose my favorites by purely aesthetic standards. Whether these fabrics were created for the table, or the wall, or a person, they are more about adornement than adoration.
Above: Furnishing Fabrics from Alsace, c. 1840, Metropolitan Museum of Art, A.C. Pugin, 1851, Victoria & Albert Museum, France, later 19th century, The Design Library, C.F.A. Voysey (who clearly loved hearts!), 1900-1929, Victoria & Albert Museum, and a heart handkerchief by Sylvia Chambers, 1940s, Glasgow School of Art Archives. Below: “Hearts & Flowers” from Folly Cove designer Peggy Hamilton, 1955, Cape Ann Museum.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Great sites for exploring decorative motifs (not just HEARTS) here.