Skip to main content

tv   American Artifacts  CSPAN  April 10, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT

6:00 pm
boston college law school professor discusses "medicine's hand." which takes a critical look at the notes that james madison wrote during and after the constitutional convention. >> madison took those notes on sheets of paper and he folds them in half. he writes across the front, the middle, and on the backside. at some point, he sold them together-- sewed them into a manuscript. one of the last things we noticed down there was the last quarter did not match with the earlier one which confirmed my suspension that the end had been written later. but you cannot see that on the microfilm. it was a wonderful thing to see that in person. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. et q&a.
6:01 pm
march the 125th anniversary of the daughters of the revolution. 'sxt on "american artifacts," visit to the dar museum in washington, d.c. to learn about their anniversary exhibit, remembering the american revolution. this is part one of a two-part program. campbell, is heidi am the museum director and chief curator of the museum. the curators and i were talking about what we should be doing for this anniversary. we started looking at the objects in our collection and how many of the objects that came into the collection in the first years of the organization had strong connections to the american revolution. then we started talking about, why is that the case?
6:02 pm
obviously it has to do with the members being descendents of people who supported the american revolution, but they survived until they were given to us in the late 19th and early 20th century. then we started talking about how the american revolution was remembered. that's why we came up with the title, and the theme of the exhibition about remembering the american revolution to these objects. some people might ask, why do we start in 1776 when the revolution started in 1775 with lexington and concord? the reason why is, we decided 1776 was when the declaration of independence was signed, and that was when the fortunes of the revolutionaries were really
6:03 pm
put down on paper. the is looking at declaration to say, these people are involved. before, it could've been called an uprising or an armed conflict, but now this is a revolution. there is a stated reason why this is happening. that is why we start at 1776. we go to 1890 minute because of the anniversary of the dar. it also encompasses the 19th where most of our concepts of the american revolution, our imagery is really being formed and take root. marking theess of significance of the revolution and the significance of the
6:04 pm
memory. things,o show you a few we have the exhibition divided into three sections. we have over 130 objects. it took some doing, deciding which objects to include and not to include. we have more objects but some of them were too fragile to exhibit. even with that, we have over 130 items. some things were as swallows a pen or a button and some things as large as an american flag and a sofa. it was a bit of a challenge to put that together and to make it make sense to visitors. i would like to show you a few things that i think that are interesting. 130, buttalk about all you really should see the exhibition and i'm sure that you'll pick something that you will like that i didn't talk about. in the first section, we have
6:05 pm
some subsections. this subsection we call a reminder of the war. these are things that revolutionary war soldiers owned or created, or carried during the war. my favorite item is this wallet. men and women carried while it's like this during the 18th century to keep paperwork as well as money altogether in their pocket. this wallet was owned by corporal christopher catlin of pennsylvania. it was probably made by a female family member for him. it was very colorful as was the custom in popularity at the time. it was saved by his family and hisde of it, it includes oath of allegiance. he signed it in 1778.
6:06 pm
from the revolution, we have his wallet and his oath of allegiance that he signed. it was kept together through all of these years. it is a piece of paper that some people carried with them. others did not. during this time period, you wanted to be able to identify yourself as a friend or a foe. when some people come to the dar perhapsthey think that they're going to see a lot of revolutionary war items. that is not the case. the museum was started to preserve early american objects. as an americaned revolution museum, which means that, surprisingly enough, we do not have a lot of militaria in the collection.
6:07 pm
they saved a lot of what was meaningful to them but also what they had. if a woman came from a family, and she had a brother, the odds are that great great grandfather's revolutionary war musket went to the brother and she got an automatic -- an item like a teapot or something more gender specific to her. we have this musket in the collection that was owned by john mackey. musket charlottesville which means that it was made in france. withs likely brought to us when heuee to lafayette came to support the american revolution. what is interesting about the at at is that on its butt later date was engraved or
6:08 pm
johns, great-grandfather mckee, which connects it directly to the american revolution. the dates are his life dates. what else is interesting about the musket is, if you know anything about firearms, you can see it is not in its original condition. at some time, it was modified. the stock was cut down so you can soon the barrel extending way beyond the stock and this the 19thbeen done in century or after the revolution to make it lighter and more manageable to use as a hunting weapon instead of a military weapon. in this case, we have some items that we call touched by
6:09 pm
greatness. these items include some clothing. the waistcoat at the end is quite elaborate. it is silk and hand-embroidered and was not something you saw on the battlefield. owned and mourned by joseph lauren. .- joseph warren he was the leader of the boston sons of liberty at was the person who dispatched paul revere on his favorite ride. he was considered one of the first martyrs of the revolution. he was killed at the batter of bunker hill in 1775. some of the other clothing objects in this case, includes this coat. coat was saved because it
6:10 pm
was thought to be a coat of the american revolution, a soldier's uniform coat, when in fact it is from the early 19th century. because it wass saved for its believed relationship to the american revolution. we have a few items like that in it wasn'ttion because necessarily saved because it was in the revolution, but people believed that it was. they were searching for something to tie themselves to the american revolution. this object did that for them. it does look like a uniform for the continental army, it has the right colors and generally the but it is probably from around 1810.
6:11 pm
the other connection to the revolution is not just mistaken identity, but that after the revolution they did not want a standing army. they were not in favor of a standing army. many militia throughout the new state grew up. many militia's adopted the continental army uniform as their uniform. blue comes upthe in militia uniforms. back to the revolution and has this very tangled story that goes along with it, but we wanted to fact, wehis when in know that there are only two uniforms known to exist that were documented to have been worn during the revolution.
6:12 pm
no exhibition about the revolution could be had without some discussion of washington. george washington was a universally liked individual. very unique in american history. hissure that he had detractors. his exploits.ut these objects relate to him specifically. of the very interesting items that we have is a light mask of washington. by don, theed original being at mount vernon. thethis mask was created in 1830's who was advertising at he time in philadelphia that
6:13 pm
had the mold and was making plaster busts and this is one of those made from washington's life mask. made for the artist emmanuel lutes, who made it the same as washington crossing the delaware. it has a really interesting art connection to the revolution, as well as, you are at what washington actually looked like. because the life mask was taken from his face. finish this section with the inauguration of washington. in 1789.cted president
6:14 pm
one of the interesting items that i find is these inaugural buttons. he's souvenirs. we have several inaugural buttons in our collection. arranged on the items that they may have been worn, in a manner in which they have been worn at the time. these are large buttons. a gentleman could put these buttons on his coat if he wanted to, but typically, these kinds commemorative buttons were bought in single, maybe double thislaced on a hat like holding up the edge to create a tricorn hat. or on a rosette that could be
6:15 pm
worn on a hat, or a coat to show your support of the new government and new president. these are interesting because thatinclude some wording reaches back into the earlier history of the country in a because it was one of these buttons that says god save the president, instead of god save the king. itemswere commemorative for the coronation of king's in england. because so many of our customs come from england, that might be the case. -- youse you could say couldn't really call these campaign buttons, so the campaign is over when in fact, with washington and early
6:16 pm
president, campaigning was not -- their little buttons, their actual buttons are not pens, with thick of them as campaign buttons. these are real buttons that are sewn on, and used in a commemorative matter. in -- there is a connection, but not to our usage of campaign buttons. over here we have a gown that was worn to washington's inaugural ball. her father was a general in the continental army and what's interesting about this down is it has been changed very little over the intervening two sentries. literally is
6:17 pm
connected to the revolution when the daughter coming down in successive generations would wear the down and have their pictures taken in it. donors of this down to the collection only give it to us about five years ago. through all of that time, they kept it safe, taking it out of the house. a female family member would put it on and have her picture taken. the 1920's.from the 1920's a woman even put on a white wig from that one. we have one from the 1950's with the classic 1950's era hairstyle. we have, throughout the 20th century example the members of
6:18 pm
who were these gowns only once and are now having their picture taken. it is a wonderful down and we are very happy to have. we are the second section of our exhibition in the 19th century and we started with the death of washington in 1799, washington dies at mount vernon. nationwideto a period of mourning. it was something that happened spontaneously. circulated at the former president was dead, people from around the country had funerals, parades, and
6:19 pm
created items to remember the former president and very popular hero of the revolution. discuss someon, we of that literal remembering and commemorating of washington himself. one thing that stands out at this time period is this creation of imagery of the apotheosis. the apotheosis is an old concept. it goes back to ancient times god-likearrior is made by lifting him up and celebrating him. when we start seeing is, for jug made inthis staffordshire, england, is an image of washington. you see him with his arms
6:20 pm
outstretched, in taken to heaven by angels. , sacredorner, we have to the memory of washington. jug or objects like this this picture, i large print showing the same imagery, showing him being taken up to heaven. this is language that 19th century americans understood. education, their context takes them back to age in greece and rome. they understood these symbols being used to celebrate washington. made sove objects being that people can purchase them and hang them in their homes to remember him and to warn him as well. interesting that this
6:21 pm
jug for instance and many of the aremics in the exhibition coming from england at this time. business people in england, just like every country -- not everyone was necessarily supportive of what their government was doing at the time. we do have english people who are supportive of the time,tion, though at thelike ey they probably did not talk about it too much, but as business people, they saw an opportunity. a new market. now it isn't just another colony, it is a market. so they start making consumer goods that would be attractive to americans. what is attractive to americans? washington is attractive to americans. so we have these objects that show washington both in a in ang context -- both
6:22 pm
mourning context, but as a decorative motif on objects. the 19th century, we have what i think is one of the most trysting things about -- most interesting things about this time. period. the creation of imagery of the founding fathers relating to the revolution that continues to this day. when we think of george washington, we immediately get a picture in our heads. that picture was created at this point in time in the 19th century. -- we have aalking section called the cult of the founders. dies, and aston the 19th century moves on,
6:23 pm
people are looking for images, personalities relating to the revolution, they are remembering people, people are starting to die who were directly involved. that includes the founders, but not just the founders. the men and the women who helped when the revolution -- they are starting to die. people are looking beyond washington for images. what we find, what i find interesting is that the image of washington is created, as well considerage of what we a founding father, that is created during the early part of the 19th century. we have a portrait here of george washington that was painted, likely in france. it doesn't exactly look like
6:24 pm
george. not our imagery. we might say that kind of looks like george washington, but it also kind of looks like a french officer. the image that we see of george and imagine of george comes to us through rembrandt peel who created this portrait of washington that takes your attention right away when you come to this section. paints washington in the 1790's for the first time, then he continues to paint washington. portraits of washington during his lifetime. some of them show him in military uniform, like this one. some of them show him in civilian clothing as president. this is the portrait, this is
6:25 pm
the image of washington that most people think of when someone says george washington. aroundinting dates to 1850. it is one of the later versions. peel found that this was a lucrative enterprise, so painting 70 of them was good business for him. , we have some of the other founders. it is not just about washington. in the early 19th century, we see discussion and remembrance and commemoration of other founders that were influential in the revolution. one of them is benjamin franklin. we have this print and this medallion that shows franklin in his coonskin cap that he liked to wear, particularly over in
6:26 pm
of being frommbol america, being an american. franklin, with his round spectacles and his cap, starts to become another image in the american revolution, of a revolutionary. an early american gentleman, of a founding father. we have these types of objects, they are all consumer objects. there are things that people bought because they wanted to have an image of franklin in their homes. these were all created for sale. i think that is also something that we are talking about in the 19th century, as the industrial revolution started to really take hold and things could be
6:27 pm
created in larger and larger quantities which means that they are more affordable to people and more people can purchase these items. business people are looking for ways to make things attractive to americans, and again, they are looking for other images. washington is wonderful, but what about these other people. we have things with franklin, items and images of thomas jefferson. and other revolutionaries. we hope that visitors take from the exhibition several things. this remembering of the revolution is an ongoing process. itemslso, the saving of -- we ask people, what do you
6:28 pm
say? -- save? we do not have any items to show if families did not save things. saving and collecting is two different things. we talk about the collecting of primarily what we see here are items that have been saved. they were saved from the american revolution, but also the 19th century because of some connection. either the imagery, or the connection to a relative to the american revolution. is anothersaving message that we would like people to come away with. course, we want them to appreciate the fact that these images of our founders are the ones that we have today. also the fact that we are happy
6:29 pm
to have these objects here. that the daughters of the american revolution have created this museum to save these things and share these things. >> this is part one of a two-part look at "remembering the american revolution." >> monday on "the communicators," federal communications chair tom wheeler in his first interview on c-span since being nominated by president obama. issues facingt the fcc including net neutrality, set-top boxes, expansions of the lifeline phone program to the internet, regulation of privacy, and the spectrum incentive option that is just beginning. about howr also talks he views the future of telecom
6:30 pm
and the internet. he is joined by a technology reporter from the washington post. enough i was fortunate to do in the cable industry and why are industry is to be involved as they were bringing great change to the american economy and the way that people live their their lives that is what we are dealing with the sec. we are dealing with the great network revolutions full-time is to say how are we dealing with the changes that are happening around us as a result? monday night communicators on c-span two. american history tv brings you all credible coverage of presidential riches. -- archival coverage of the presidential races. just days ahead of the new york primary, tor


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on