Thursday, October 27, 2011
Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession
An Illustrated Presentation By
4:00 - 7:00 PM
Lecture at 5:30 PM
French cemetery scene with hair from Sophie Henry, deceased, age 21, (1881).
Collection of John Whitenight.
In nearly every Victorian parlor, beside the overstuffed furniture and heavy draperies, stood the Parlor shade, a glass jar protecting treasured objects - natural history specimens, waxworks, automatons, and tableaux made of human hair, feather, and shells - from dust and curious fingers. Parlor dome collector and scholar John Whitenight will trace the art, history, and allure of these miniature worlds under glass. The lecture will be illustrated by domes from his spectacular private collection, including his "Morticia Collection" of baboon-armed candlesticks and tiny cemetery scenes.
John Whitenight, artist, educator and antique collector, has pursued his obsession with Victorian parlor domes for more than 30 years. His private collection consists of more than 175 domes and he has become an expert on the domes and the art form they contain. His forthcoming book, Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession, will spotlight these wonderfully whimsical, and sometimes eccentric, creations.