Farnsworth Blog

The Feather Trade and the Formation of the Audubon Society

In the Farnsworth Art Museum exhibition Elegantly Attired: Victorial Apparel and Accessories inCoastal Maine, there are many examples of feathered fans and hats. Feathered hats made their way to American by way of Europe through the popular fashion magazines of the era. The January 18, 1868, issue of  Harper’s Bazaar mentions, “A few of the feather and fur bonnets, now so fashionable in Europe

Late 19th century fixed feather fan with hummingbird. Gift of Mrs. Fred
Whitcomb, 1966

Curator's Notebook — An Interview with Historic Sites Curator Janice Kasper

 An interview with Curator Janice Kasper about the exhibtion Elegantly Attired—Victorian Apparel and Accessories in Coastal Maine

Q: How did you get the idea for this show?
A: The idea came from Helen Fisher when she was curator here. The museum had this wonderful collection of nineteenth-century fans and it was her thought to do a China Trade in Maine exhibition but then we received the clothing collection from the Bailey family. After Helen left and it became my show I thought that I would prefer to do a Victorian apparel exhibition. It was also a chance to bring out the Farnsworth family jewelry. It was last on display in 1995. I also believe that Lucy Farnsworth had requested that the family jewelry be on display from time to time.

Q:How did you go about planning the exhibition?

The Farnsworth Library Mantel

The comfortable reading room of the William A. Farnsworth Library is enhanced by a marble mantel originally imported for the U.S. Capitol. Initially one of a pair, the mantel eventually found its way to the Farnsworth Library after having been installed for a time in the 10,000 volume library on the second floor of the Washington, DC home of Supreme Court Justice Horace Gray.