B for Brass in the A to Z blogging challenge. It’s all about online jewellery collections.
So you discover an online museum collection. How do you even start looking among thousands of pieces? You don’t even know what there is to look for.
In an online collection, you make your own walk, and you get to see so much more than the selected pieces that are on display in the museum. Perhaps you are looking for something specific, or you just do some online strolling, to see what you find.
Just to give you an example, here are a few things I found when I searched for “brass” in different collections.
In the digital collection of Nordiska Museet I found quite a few bride crowns. This one spoke to me. Brass and silver. Elegant and simple. A Mrs Lydia Flood sold it to the museum in 1924.
In the collection of the the Museum of Fine Arts Boston I found this folding fan. From France, 1880’s, given to the museum in 1976 as part of the Oldham collection. Do you know what, I’m tempted to read the archive text as poetry:
“White silk gauze leaf
with brass and steel sequins
in conventionalized design;
gilt-silver and yellow silk yarns
Twelve carved ivory sticks
with brass and steel piqué work.”
Finally, at the Museum of New Zealand, I found a pendant made by perspex. What’s that? Well, I didn’t know either, but I do now, after reading about it. With this pendant, we can imagine the stories of love and war, of waiting and desperate longing. That urge in us human beings to create, to craft with what we have at hand, to express and give objects meaning. See and read about the “Sweetheart” pendant directly on the museum website.
All this just to say that when you enter huge online archives, one single word can bring you in any direction. Stay open for what you come across.