Oriental dance, Arabic dance, raqs sharqi (Eastern dance), la danze serpiente. It’s a dance of many names, but one in particular is the most enduring: belly dance, translated from the French danse du ventre. Coined in 1864, this name haunts the present – like a nineteenth century ghost.Continue reading “Danse du Ventre: Belly Dance’s 19th Century Ghost”
Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz was on my reading list for a while. This would be an enlightening read at any time since the book’s publication in 1998, but seemed especially relevant now in 2020, a tumultuous period of national reckoning.
Of all the historic houses I’ve seen, the Armour-Stiner Octagon House in Irvington, New York has become a new favorite. I am absolutely enamored by its bold color palette, stunning interior, and unique structure. Its preservation story is also quite heartwarming.
How do two weeks jam packed with historic houses and museums sound? If you can enthusiastically answer yes, then you should consider attending one of the Victorian Society in America’s summer programs. The deadline for summer 2019 has passed, but I highly encourage anyone passionate about historical architecture to consider applying in the future.
“Now this is how you engage with a piece of furniture!”
exclaimed Ian Dungavell, course leader for the Victorian Society in America’s London Midlands tour. Only amongst a group of decorative art and architecture enthusiasts would an intense discussion on furniture not only happen, but also be so stimulating.
Only an artist could dream up a house like Olana, the Victorian Middle Eastern-style home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church. The artistic oasis overlooks the Hudson River and it’s easy to see what drew Frederic Church to the landscape all those years ago. Today, visitors flock to the site to marvel at both the landscape and what lies within Olana’s beautiful archways.
A compendium of weird medical history? Yes please! (Disclaimer: if you just ate or are about to eat, you might want to read this later…)
Among the many historic houses dotting New York’s Hudson Valley, Staatsburgh State Historic Site is a must-see. Otherwise known as the Mills Mansion, this Gilded Age beauty was the home of financier and philanthropist Ogden Mills and his wife Ruth Livingston Mills. Originally a Greek Revival house, it was expanded and enhanced in the Beaux-Arts style in the 1890s.