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  • Treasure of the Month
    men would draw names and whichever maidens they chose became their lovers for the upcoming year As Christianity began to spread in Europe during later centuries great efforts were made to end these types of pagan rites Since the feast day of St Valentine fell during mid February and he was known to be an advocate for sweethearts and married couples it is believed the Feast of Lupercalia evolved into Valentine s Day as we now know it The History of Valentine Cards The earliest written valentine now in the collection of the British Museum is attributed to Charles Duke of Orleans who was serving time in the Tower of London in 1415 While in prison he wrote rhymed love letters and sent them to his wife back in France Another early valentine card was composed by the fifteenth century English poet John Lydgate at the request of Henry V King of England The king commissioned Lydgate to create a romantic prose for his future wife Catherine of Valois Valentine cards became enormously popular during the Victorian era Advancements in printing technology brought about the transformation of valentines from simple handwritten notes to ornate and beautiful works of art During the early nineteenth century paper manufacturers and stationers created valentine greetings embellished with lace silk or satin ribbons and hand painted designs Some valentine makers used perfumed paper and incorporated elaborate gilding silvering and embossing techniques to their work While paper makers in England and Germany had been producing valentines for decades the first domestic valentine cards were created by Esther Howland the daughter of a successful Massachusetts stationer in 1848 What began as a small scale craft project in her family s home eventually grew into the New England Valentine Company American s first commercial valentine manufacturing firm Howland

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/02-valentines/valentines.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution E Irving Couse was among the original founders of the Taos Art Colony which was established in 1898 New Mexico s unique blend of Hispanic and Pueblo Indian cultures set against a dramatic mountain and desert landscape appealed to many American artists Couse along with Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips was among the first members of the Taos School A second generation of artists beginning around 1915 included Georgia O Keefe Marsden Hartley and Robert Henri This later group tended to be more modern in their approach many of them influenced by the European Impressionist movement E I Couse s work was first shown in Galveston in a 1926 exhibit at the Rosenberg Library In an article from the Galveston Daily News dated April 12 of that year it was reported that the library had on display eight reproductions of Indian paintings by Couse These reproductions were used as marketing tools by the Santa Fe Railroad The Santa Fe Railroad was the chief sponsor of the art colony at Taos and the company purchased many paintings and had reproductions made to use on promotional materials to lure travelers West Galvestonian George Sealy purchased a painting entitled Pueblo Fireplace directly from the artist in 1929 He became interested in Couse s work after seeing it on a calendar produced by the Santa Fe Railroad The railroad s 1929 calendar featured a reproduction of E Irving Couse s The Blanket Sealy who was a prominent businessman in Galveston was on the board of directors for the Gulf Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Sealy wrote to Couse in January of 1929 inquiring about the painting featured on the 1929 Santa Fe Railroad calendar and expressing a desire to

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/03-couse/couse.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    he also served as the Galveston Quartet Society s first director The earliest types of drinking vessels known as steins date back to the 16th century Most scholars and historians credit the Germans for this invention Steins also referred to as tankards are containers with handles and hinged lids These lids were used to protect the liquid contents from flies and other pests a sanitary measure taken after millions in Europe fell victim to the bubonic plague Steins were made in a variety of shapes and sizes and the decoration on the vessels ranges from primitive designs to elaborate masterpieces During the 16th and 17th centuries steins were usually made from brown clay and were hand painted using several colors From the early 18th century on raised relief decoration and more color were added By the later half of the 19th century stein making had reached its pinnacle becoming a true art form In addition to clay pewter porcelain colored glass silver and even ivory were used to craft beer steins Etched or painted scenes on steins portrayed figures drinking dancing and hunting Character steins were cartoon like vessels in the shape of animals or vegetables with expressive facial features Some hand painted vessels depicted exceptionally realistic military or occupational scenes Companies such as Villeroy and Boch Merkelbach and Wick Marzi and Remy and HR began mass producing beer steins during the 1800s Most of these manufacturers stamped their steins with distinctive makers marks and many steins were engraved with the words musterschutz or geschüzt on the base This meant that that particular design was patented and that its duplication by another company was prohibited by law Steins that have the word Germany on the base indicate a production date after 1892 At that time national law mandated the practice

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/04-steins/steins.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    officials Four island establishments The Hollywood Dinner Club the Turf Athletic Club the Sui Jen Café and the Balinese Room offered cocktails gambling and entertainment Some of America s most popular artists including Frank Sinatra Peggy Lee and Bob Hope performed in Galveston clubs The Hollywood Dinner Club located at 61st Street and Stewart Road opened its doors in 1926 The club outfitted with elegant crystal chandeliers and a large hardwood dance floor offered fine dining and top notch live entertainment Nationally known bands orchestras and singers performed regularly at the Hollywood Dinner Club Although gambling was illegal at the time it was permitted at the club The Turf Athletic Club and was another local hot spot situated in downtown Galveston The three story building which was located on 23rd Street between Market and Postoffice housed a nightclub a restaurant a casino a gym and a betting parlor for sporting events The posh Studio Lounge at the Turf was touted as being one of America s first air conditioned clubs In 1923 the Chop Suey restaurant and gambling parlor opened on Galveston Island Built as a pier overlooking the Gulf of Mexico the Chop Suey later called the Grotto was located at 21st Street and Seawall In 1932 the facility was remodeled as an oriental café and night club and its name was changed to the Sui Jen pronounced swee ren It was another chic venue for gambling and music and famous American performers were booked there regularly The Sui Jen was completely remodeled and renamed the Balinese Room in 1942 The Balinese Room was a restaurant and nightclub with a South Seas inspired décor Its interior design featured bamboo and reed wall coverings neon and copper palm trees and colorful murals Things began to change in Galveston when Will

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/05-gambling/gambling.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    roots Karankawa men were expert hunters and fisherman The Karankawas crafted pottery baskets and weapons including the long bow The bow and arrow was their primary weapon for hunting and warfare Karankawa men were reported to have been unusually tall and heavily tattooed They pierced various parts of their faces and bodies Karankawa women also tattooed their skin and wore body paint Their clothing was fashioned from animal skins or Spanish moss While many accounts allege that the Karankawas held elaborate cannibalistic ceremonies this claim has been disputed by some scholars While ritual flesh eating of one s enemies was not uncommon among Indian tribes in Texas and Louisiana there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that the Karankawas were among those groups which practiced cannibalism The Karankawa Indians first appeared on the historical record in 1528 Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca a Spanish explorer was among the shipwrecked survivors from the Panfilo de Narvaez expedition These men landed on a small island west of Galveston that was inhabited by Karankawas Cabeza de Vaca lived among the native peoples for several years and much of what we know about the Karankawas comes from his written accounts In 1685 Rene Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle led a French expedition along the Texas Coast Near Matagorda Bay he established a colony for France and named it Fort St Louis Soon after the Karankawas attacked the settlers killing all but several children whom they took captive These children were later rescued by Spanish explorers in the early 1690s and their accounts of life among the Karankawas provide a great deal of insight into the customs and culture of these people France and Spain continued sending explorers along the Texas Coast and by the early 18th century the Spanish had organized a number

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/06-karankawa/karankawa.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    the Civil War These civilian men were incorporated into the state militia as Company A First Texas Regiment A small collection of Washington Guards memorabilia was donated to the library by Josephine Goldman in 1925 Among these items is a ceremonial sword from 1874 as well as an assortment of ribbons and medals from events associated with the Guards The Washington Guards were first established as a state militia in Galveston in 1871 Recognized as an elite and highly regarded organization the Washington Guards were superior in drill exercises and won numerous competitions There were four separate companies in Galveston all with distinct names and insignias The Guard members blue dress uniforms which they wore on special social occasions were said to have been unusually colorful with attractive brass buttons In 1875 and 1888 the Washington Guards won three first place blue ribbons for drills at state encampments In 1874 a ceremonial sword was awarded to the Guards for superior drilling at the Texas State Fair The Washington Guards chief rivals were the Houston Light Guards established in 1873 Both companies were credited with upholding law and order in Texas and each was recognized for its excellence in interstate rifle drills Membership into the prestigious Washington Guards was usually based on family tradition Admission into the group stemmed from the earliest days of the Galveston Artillery Club The Artillery Club evolved into the Washington Guards which in turn evolved into the Sealy Rifles Eventually the body came to be known as the Galveston Artillery Company in the 1920s By the early 20th century interest in the local military organization had waned and the Washington Guards disbanded in 1908 In 1925 the Washington Guards Veterans Association was created for the purpose of preserving the traditions of the Guards and to prevent

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/07-guards/guards.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    in 1898 by the Plank Company The slides depict various scenes from daily life in a European village to fairy tale characters to biblical tableaus Magic lanterns are the ancestors to modern slide projectors Athanasius Kirchner a Jesuit priest is credited with inventing the first magic lantern in 1671 The device consisted of a box containing an oil lamp which illuminated painted glass slides through a lens The images on the slides were projected onto a screen or a wall and were magnified to appear much larger By the 1800s magic lantern slide shows had become wildly popular forms of entertainment Projectionists would travel from town to town hosting shows for eager audiences Themes of the shows varied widely but military feats cartoons fairy tales and bible stories were among the most common While early slides were hand painted by skilled artists the invention of photography allowed for the inexpensive creation and mass production of slides for magic lantern projectors Photographic slides of famous landmarks foreign lands and important people were readily available for viewing Many of these slides were sold in series and were used to convey uplifting stories or to teach moral lessons After the invention of moving

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2007/12-lantern/lantern.htm (2016-04-26)
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  • Treasure of the Month
    images of children at Junior Mardi Gras during the 1930s Colorful invitations dating back to 1873 could be seen as well as detailed design sketches for Mardi Gras costumes from the 1930s through the 1950s An exquisite Queen Isabella II costume from the 1952 Court of St James was also on display Galveston s first Mardi Gras celebration was held in 1867 Festivities that year included a masquerade ball and a performance of Shakespeare s King Henry IV By 1871 Galveston s Mardi Gras had become a much more elaborate event Two rival krewes the Knights of Momus and the Knights of Myth emerged Each krewe hosted its own parades and lavish balls The general public was welcome to participate in the parades but the masked balls were invitation only parties From the 1880s to the early 1900s Mardi Gras was scaled down due to the enormous costs associated with the event However in 1910 a new Krewe the Kotton Karnival Kids organized a revival of the more elaborate Mardi Gras traditions Mardi Gras was discontinued during the time of World War II but it resumed in 1949 City sponsored Mardi Gras celebrations ended after the mid 1950s because they

    Original URL path: http://rosenberg-library-museum.org/displays/treasure/2006/01-debs/debs.htm (2016-04-26)
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