I hope everyone is sartorially ready for March.
Yes, I’m still talking about the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum has good information. They’ve got a free audioguide app for your phone (and free wifi in the museum for downloading it), or you can get a physical guide there if you’ve forgotten your headphones or whatever. There are also placards hanging alongside the artwork with information (not just the name or the work and artist). And then, as a third option, in case you didn’t have enough, they have large laminated sheets (like 11x17s, except whatever size is equivalent in Europe) with details about the most famous works in the room—pointing out the minutia you might otherwise miss.
So, the Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp. What did the Rijksmuseum think was one of the most important aspects of this work to focus on?
Yes! I found a photo I took from the “New for Now” exhibition of which I couldn’t find the original in the Rijksmuseum’s collection. This is the painted version of the Arlequine print seen here. This was on display not on the wall, but laying horizontally in a display case under glass. That is why you can see my outline as I tried to shade the image to get as little glare as possible. If only my head were wider!
I have spent many an hour “curating” my collection of fabulous, and I think I’m finished for the time being. 158 images, many of them fashion plates, but also a lot of actual physical fashion—dresses and accessories from the Rijksmuseum. Here is the link to the collection!
And here are a few highlights.
This image+caption made me laugh, because it reminded me of a cosplay group from about ten years ago. The gals from HCC had done these massively impressive Rose of Versailles costumes, and yeah. Going through doors was definitely a sideways proposition! (My friend Lydia and I had been lucky enough to share photoshoot time with them at the Palace of Fine Arts while we were shooting costumes from a different series.)
I especially liked this caption because “Wedding dress with extremely wide, puffed sleeves” is basically saying “Eat your heart out, Anne Shirley!” (I cropped this image because the original weirdly wrapped mannequin head was kind of off-putting.)
And finally, boatwigs.
BOATS. WIGS. BOATS IN WIGS. BOATWIGS.
(The placard attached to the first image included the following information: “Ladies’ hairstyles were ingenious works of art, built around a core of cushions and horsehair. Hair was piled high in curls and twists (chignons) and adorned with feathers, ribbons, artificial flowers, tulle and jewels to create various fancifully named poufs. Because the hair was dressed using animal fat and powdered with wheat flour, these poufs attracted all manner of insects. Far from hygienic, they moreover did not last long.”)
Fashion is weird.
(I haven’t been skiing since 1993, but obviously this is what I’ll be wearing on the slopes next time.)
The Rijksmuseum’s website has this neat feature where you can create an account and save really high-res images of their collection. Well, I say it’s neat, but I’ve spent a few hours this afternoon trying to recreate the gallery I made yesterday (and since there were 6500 images in the main tag I had been using—”fashion plate”—it’s taken a while). I think what happened is that I duplicated a few images going through the first time, and then when I tried delete one of the images, it deleted both? I’m not sure. It’s damn annoying, is what it is.
Anyway, it’s pretty much made redundant a lot of photos I took on my trip. But it’s for the better, since my Shaky Hands ™ did not take as clear images as theirs.
In addition to being able to save albums full of cool things, they also encourage you to use their images to make stuff. I doubt I’ll be doing that, but it’s a nice feature.
You can see my collections here! So far I’ve just got two, one for fabulous fashion, the other for works of art featuring saints and their attributes (because I am me, and that is the sort of thing I love). I’m still working on them, because as I mentioned earlier… 6500 images, and that’s before I get start searching for more saint stuff.
When I was in Amsterdam, I invested in a Museumkaart, and therefore visited Rijksmuseum to my heart’s content (probably five or six times). One of the temporary exhibits I saw (which has since closed) was called “New for Now: The Origin of Fashion Magazines”. It was really, really cool to look at all the artwork from these early magazines.
This flipbook animation was the opening exhibit. I tried to keep as steady as possible, but good ol’ Shaky Hands Sarah strikes again. I found a few more videos on YouTube of the animation (here, here, and here.
Also, here is the weird promo the Rijksmuseum made for the exhibit.
I’ll probably be posting some images over the month of some of the things I saw. It was a hoot and a half.