Monday, May 03, 2010

Where Have All of Mary Astor's Perfume Bottles Gone?


- Quilts: stitches in the fabric of time : "I confess to loving quilts. The astonishing craft and the stories they hold are a rebuke to our era of churn. The V&A's exhibition, 'Quilts', is packed and the atmosphere is charged with awe, delight and inspiration...." read the entire Guardian blog post

- Amateur antique collector builds own museum : "Liu Bang-xian, 60-year-old private antique collector and resident of Hsinchu County, will soon have a museum to house his extensive collection of 10,000 antiques and cultural relics. As many people throughout Taiwan tore down old buildings and built new structures in the 1970s, Liu, a cement worker at the time, too often witnessed beautiful antique furniture and other furnishings being tossed out along with reconstruction debris, to be replaced with modern furnishings. Liu therefore decided to claim the discarded pieces and take them back home... read the full story in Taiwan Today


May 3, 1844: Richard D'Oyly Carte, English theatrical impresario, was born. "Rising from humble beginnings, Carte built two of London's theatres and a hotel empire, while also establishing an opera company that ran continuously for over a hundred years and a management agency representing some of the most important artists of the day. To that end, he brought together dramatist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan and nurtured their collaboration on a series of thirteen Savoy Operas. He founded the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company and built the state-of-the-art Savoy Theatre to host the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

George Bernard Shaw wrote of Carte's theatrical legacy, "Mr D'Oyly Carte founded a new school of English comic opera; raised operatic inscenation to the rank of a fine art; and finally built a new English Opera House and made a magnificent effort to do for English grand opera what he had done for comic opera."

May 3, 1874: François Coty, French perfume manufacturer & marketer, was born. "Coty was both a talented perfumer and a brilliant marketer. He was the first to recognize that an attractive bottle was essential to a perfume's success. Though La Rose came in a Baccarat bottle, Coty's most famous collaboration was with the great ceramist and jeweler René Lalique. Lalique designed the bottles for Coty's early scents, such as Ambre Antique and L'Origan, which became bestsellers."

May 3, 1906: Mary Astor, Academy Award-winning American actress, was born. "Most remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) with Humphrey Bogart, Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. She eventually made a successful transition to talkies, but almost saw her career destroyed due to public scandal in the mid-1930s. Overcoming these stumbling blocks in her private life, Astor went on to even greater success on the screen, eventually winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Sandra Kovak in The Great Lie (1941). She was an MGM contract player through most of the 1940s and continued to act in movies, on television and on stage until her retirement from the screen in 1964. Director Lindsay Anderson wrote of her in 1990: "...that when two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress of special attraction, whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played."

May 3, 1919: Pete Seeger, iconic American folk singer & activist, was born. "A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably the 1950 recording of Leadbelly's "Goodnight, Irene", which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of The Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, and for environmental causes.

As a song writer, he is best known as the author or co-author of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)" (composed with Lee Hays of The Weavers), and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world. Seeger was one of the folksingers most responsible for popularizing the spiritual "We Shall Overcome" that became the acknowledged anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement, soon after folk singer and activist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960."

Jim Musselman (founder of Appleseed Recordings), longtime friend and record producer for Pete Seeger: "He was one of the few people who invoked the First Amendment in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Everyone else had said the Fifth Amendment, the right against self-incrimination, and then they were dismissed. What Pete did, and what some other very powerful people who had the guts and the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the committee and say, "I'm gonna invoke the First Amendment, the right of freedom of association...." I was actually in law school when I read the case of Seeger v. United States, and it really changed my life, because I saw the courage of what he had done and what some other people had done by invoking the First Amendment, saying, "We're all Americans. We can associate with whoever we want to, and it doesn't matter who we associate with." That's what the founding fathers set up democracy to be. So I just really feel it's an important part of history that people need to remember."


“The World of Amish Quilts”
By Rachel & Kenneth Pellman.

A marvelous visual survey of antique Amish quilts in a wide variety of styles. The quilts are interspersed with photos and information about the Amish and their lives.



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