Thursday Thoughts – Saving the Past: The Thomas Cook Archive and What Should Be Saved

 

With sadness the world learned about the demise of the world’s oldest travel company; Thomas Cook after a last minute bid to secure the company’s future failed on Sunday. Stories of people trapped abroad and airline staff learning they had lost their jobs whilst in the air have littered the news over the past few days. As an historian the first thing that came to my mind was what is going to happen to the Thomas Cook Archive?

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Bauhaus 100: Otti Berger, Lost Woman of the Bauhaus

Otti Berger, photographed by Lucia Moholy, 1927, design-is-fine.org

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus; the seminal art school that would change how we perceive and interpret art forever. The Bauhaus is seen as one of the most important influences on how art, design, architecture and arts education was perceived, developed and created in the twentieth century and twenty-first century. The Bauhaus embraced both crafts and fine art to make a complete piece of art. However, as pioneering as the Bauhaus was they were not as pioneering in their attitudes towards women students with many being forced into the weaving workshop. Although, one such female student became enthralled with weaving and went onto become one of the twentieth centuries most famous textile artists; Otti Berger.

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Through the Lens of a Woman: Eva Chichester and Amateur Photography c.1890-1920

 

Eva Chichester was a Sunday School teacher born and raised in Newcastle, County Down c.1872 and passed away c.1955. Her life spanned the end of the 19th century and saw the advances for women from the early 20th century to her death in 1955 aged 83. Eva was born into a well-to-do middle-class family and appears from photographs to be her parents only child. Although it is worthwhile noting that little is known about Eva’s life outside of her photographs, albums and travel journals that are now deposited in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). A systematic problem that is all to common with women’s history that scant details of their lives exist and we are left to pick up the pieces from what records do survive from their lives.

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It’s Vintage Darling! : The Why and How of Building a Vintage Wardrobe.

I have been obsessed with everything old from a young age. Some of my earliest memories are watching such classics as Gilda and How To Marry A Millionaire with my grandmother who grew up in the generation that those films were made in. My grandmother taught me how to pin-curl my hair, give myself a manicure with red nails, how to wear seamed stockings and most importantly for every vintage aficionado how to choose your colour of red lipstick and how to apply it properly.

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‘I want to be let alone!’ A room of one’s own and time to oneself, necessary or not?

Greta Garbo is often misquoted of saying ‘I want to be alone’ in the 1932 film Grand Hotel whenever she said ‘I want to be let alone’ according to John Gainbridge’s 1955 book entitled Garbo. Garbo’s character utters these words before other character’s leave, and she relishes her ‘aloneness’ when she closes the door to her hotel room. The satisfaction in her face is palatable as she finally relaxes after a hectic ordeal but how realistic is this satisfaction for women who crave, indeed need, as Virginia Woolf describes both a room of one’s own and time to oneself in order to pursue hobbies, self-employment or any other activity that requires time alone?

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