Dolls From A to Mitzi

Jacqueline Kennedy Mitzi Doll, 1960-1962Ideal Toy Company (1907-1997); Hollis, Queens, New YorkPlastic, paint, and fabric; 11 ½ in.37944Gift of Mrs. Lilian Norman Gally Doling out Doll Facts Barbie (2023) has driven its dream car past a biopic on the father of thermonuclear weapons to become this summer’s biggest blockbuster film. While dolls ...

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NFTs at the Bowers Museum

Composite made with NFTs (39135)Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence R. Macaray Way of the Future Are NFTs the way of the future? Many of the smartest minds of today feel that NFTs may one day find their place among other cutting-edge developments of their day like Betamax and HD DVD. Given that these burgeoning assets run little risk of disappearing in...

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Monkey Business: Simian Orchestras and Meissen Mix-Ups

Monkey Orchestra (Affenkapelle), early to mid 20th centuryAelteste Volkstedter Porzellanmanufaktur; Rudolstadt, GermanyPorcelain and enamel98.6.1a-nGift of Mr. Randall Balch Imitation Game Monkeys make for lively subjects and, as anyone who has studied a monkey (even if only on social media) will attest, they are remarkably human in many ways, not ...

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Christmas Greenings: A Brief History of the Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Decorations, early to mid 20th CenturyUnknown Maker; EuropeCeramic and fabric; various dimensions75.22Gift Maxine A. Miller Tree for the Price of One The practice of bringing trees and outdoor greens into the household has been practiced for centuries during the winter season. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, and Druids, for e...

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A Streamlined Thanksgiving

Bowers Thanksgiving Showcase83.33.18a,b, 88.33.34, 359276.6-.7 and 32873.8-.9Gifts of Mr. & Mrs. Edgar L. Marchesini, Miss Muriel Anderson, and Dr. & Mrs. Emory S. Moore, Jr. #FoodMotivated Thanksgiving is on the record as being a day about giving thanks, but a quick analysis of the time your average American gives thanks on the holiday as ...

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Bite-Sized Bowers Miniatures

Miniature Painting and Easel, 20th CenturyPossibly Claire M. Doret (Swiss-born American, 1887-1982)Oil on canvas and wood; 6 x 4 in.,.7Gift of Mrs. Katherine Hotchkiss Small World After All With some of the Bowers Museum’s most impressive objects unarguably being the largest, it can be all too easy to let smaller objects in the collection...

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Raising Flags: The Stars and Stripes of the Bowers

Quilt, c. 1920Maker unknown; United StatesCotton, fabric and flannel; 47 1/4 x 40 1/4 in.32147AGift of the Fredda Barger Estate Murky Territory Aside from the places we have traditionally seen the American flag since it was first introduced in 1777, it seems like every year it appears in more and more unexpected situations. In 2020 one is as likely...

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Spring Spookfest: Creepy Objects from the Bowers

Prisoner of War Guillotine Model, 1770-1825Maker UnknownBone and pigment; 15 1/2 x 14 x 5 3/4 in. 2011.25.73Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink Halloween in May With the very possible exception of May gray, there is not much particularly unsettling about the spring months. In fact, they are stalwartly reputed to be upstanding months by most definit...

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Doing it by the Brooks: A Foray into Modernist Jewelry

Necklace, 1964George Brooks (Czechoslovakian-born American, 1925-); Santa Barbara, CaliforniaSilver, 18 kt yellow gold, ebony and pearls2020.3.1Gift of Mr. George Brooks Jade Laden, Never Jaded Modernist jewelry exploded into popularity between the 1930s and 1960s as a counterculture movement to the highly organic Art Nouveau and rigid Art Deco sty...

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Whatsits and Whatnots: Bowers Permanent Collection Oddballs

Detail of 2003.50.37Gift of William R. Moran  Weird and Just Downright Weird As part of an ongoing project to classify the Bowers Museum’s collections, our Collections team has reached many an oddball object that does not easily fall into standard categories. Many more have outlandish or wonderfully rare names. Today’s post is a celebration of...

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To the Trinity and Beyond: Jesus at the Bowers

Pilgrimage Souvenir, 19th CenturyJerusalem, modern-day IsraelMother-of-pearl; 8 ½ x 8 ½ in.31521Gift of Mrs. John Carruthers Getting a Rise out of Spring Spring is a time of rebirth. Winter’s chill recedes, new flowers bloom and trees seemingly come back from the dead. Branches which for all the world appeared to be deceased are given Lazaran life,...

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Shards of Fabric: Crazy Quilts of the Bowers Museum

Crazy Quilt, c.1900Sarah Ann Hinkley Tucker; Whitehall, WisconsinSilk and velvet; 60 x 75 in.80.35.1Gift of Mrs. Marjorie H. Carr Quilty as Charged One of the earliest, largest, and most-often exhibited collections of Americana at the Bowers is the museum’s collection of quilts, ranging in date from our nation’s independence to the end of the 20th ...

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Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware

 Two Meiji-era Japanese exposition objects (2017.6.1a-h and 36756) on view in the Dr. Wan-Lin & Assumpta Kiang Family Foundation Rotunda.Globalization in the 19th and early 20th Centuries in many cases led to the butting of heads on a national scale, but the conflict served as a fantastic motivator for both art and tra...

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Crimped on these Jagger Seas

Pie Crimper, c. 1890Unknown artist (American); North AmericaSperm whale ivory and wood; 4 5/8 x 3 1/2 x 6 in. 2011.25.15Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkPies are made all over the world in sizes ranging from large table pies to small palm-sized pies, and for every size twice as many flavors exist. With all the variations, bakers need a way of dif...

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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)

Jar, 1931Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942); Hano Pueblo, Hopi Reservation, ArizonaClay and paint; 7 x 8 x 4 1/2 in.36809.3Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Earl SandersWhat the Railway BroughtThe late 19th Century’s introduction of the rail to the Southwest was a gift and a curse for Southwestern United States’ Pueblo Territories. The immediate influx of cheap East Coa...

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Bowers Museum's Unofficial 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Consul the Educated Monkey, 1916-1918William Henry Robertson (Educational Novelty Company)Tin; 5 ½ by 6 in.30780aGift of Mrs. Anita L. AlexanderFor a Fistful of DollarsOriginal 1915 patent for Consul the Educated Monkey.Festive and wonderful as they all are, the holidays can be a time of much consternation when it comes to gift-giving. Especially c...

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They Sold Shell Hearts by the Sea Shore

Sailor's Valentine, late 19th CenturyProbably New Curiosity Shop (1879-1925); Bridgetown, BarbadosShell, wood and adhesive; 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. 2011.25.80Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkFrom a Whaler’s HeartDespite whaling now being a somewhat romanticized New England tradition, romance was hard to keep alive during multi-year hunting ex...

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Fair Weather Friends: 19th Century Parasols

Parasols, 19th and 20th CenturiesPossibly Paul Poiret (French, 1879-1944) and Unknown Makers; France and EnglandWood, metal, silk, cotton and pigments; Various dimensions32172C, 7992D and 7992AGift of Mrs. G. W. Pike (32172C) and Irene P. Cutter Memorial Doll Collection (7992D and 7992A) Parasols for Paris Souls The science of selecting t...

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