A Renaissance Merchant’s Life in Clothing

I’ve just finished reading Ulinka Rublack’s Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (Oxford, 2010) and came away from it with a newfound appreciation for how truly odd early modern clothing was — and how important these clothes were in people’s daily lives. Rublack, a Cambridge history professor, is very shrewd in noting that obsolete sartorial choices like […]

Art and Architecture of the Dogon

The Dogon people inhabit a rocky and mountainous territory in the center of the West African state of Mali. Their settlements range along the massive Bandiagara Escarpment, a sandstone outcrop of some one hundred miles that divides central Mali in two. Bandiagara Escarpment, central Mali. Map showing Dogon settlement patterns. Dogon migration into this inhospitable […]

Image of the Week 4: Elizabethan Shipwreck "Poesy Ring"

I recently came across this image while browsing through the website for an exhibition entitled “Lost at Sea: the Ocean in the English Imagination, 1550-1750” that is currently being held at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. This artifact is one of those things that makes me love history — an object infused with […]