The International Museum of the Horse and the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry invites the interested public to a Shareback Session on Thursday, June 13, from 6–7pm in the Lexington Public Library, in Lexington, KY. This free presentation is a follow-up to their History Harvests events held in April and May, which invited people to share their stories and artifacts related to the history of African Americans in the horse industry. At the Shareback Session, organizers will share some of the discoveries, mementos, documents and stories that contributors brought. For more information about the History Harvests, see this blog post.
The goal of the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry project is to create an online, interactive archive to house and display photos, documents, artifacts, and oral histories of African Americans who have worked, and continue to work in equine industries. Its users will be able to connect the past to the present. It is funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and housed at the International Museum of the Horse.
The UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, one of the EHC 2018 sponsors, is hosting a conference on animal images in medieval bestiaries, “Beastly Imagery in the Medieval World”, complementing a new exhibit at the Getty Museum Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14-August 18, 2019).
Beastly Imagery in the Medieval World, CMRS Conference at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (May 19, 2019)
On view at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14 through August 18, 2019, Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World explores the bestiary and its widespread influence on medieval art and culture. This exhibition features one-third of the world’s surviving Latin illuminated bestiaries and gathers together more than 100 works in a variety of media from institutions across the United States and Europe, including manuscripts, paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages.
[Dis]Information: American Indians Through the Lens of Roland Reed”
March 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
Colorado Springs, CO
“[Dis]information” is a new exhibit that has just opened at the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum and will run through January 2020. The striking image here is just one of dozens of pictorialist photographs of American Indians taken by Roland Reed in the early twentieth century. Reed saw himself as both an artist and an ethnographer, and his images are strikingly beautiful but deeply problematic as romantic scenes situating American Indians in an imagined past. [Dis]Information includes original artwork and commentary by Gregg Deal, Pyramid Lake Paiute, in addition to contemporary American Indian photographs. Combined with Reed’s photography, the exhibit encourages visitors to examine the role “retrospective photography” plays in shaping our understanding of American Indians, and celebrates the power and beauty of photography while challenging misconceptions and stereotypes of indigenous people.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum: “Ignite Your Curiosity. Discover Your
Story.” The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum’s mission is to
build a lasting connection to the Pikes Peak Region by preserving and sharing our cultural history. Admission is free.
The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) contains multiple collections of interest to equine history researchers, and offers short-term research fellowships for scholars. As Frankfort is conveniently located in central Kentucky, the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland Library, Ashland (Henry Clay Estate), and other potential places of interest are also accessible. The 2019 funding cycle deadlines are March 1 and October 1. For more information about the fellowship guidelines and how to apply, see https://history.ky.gov/for-researchers/research-fellowships/fellowship-guidelines/.
Collections of interest include, but certainly are not limited to:
Alexander Family Papers/Woodburn Farm
Stephanie M. Lang (Associate Editor, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, and Coordinator, KHS Research Fellowship Program) informs us that this is one of the largest collections at the KHS, and equine history scholars have found it to be of particular interest; research with this collection has included the development of Thoroughbred bloodlines, Civil War horses, and modern veterinary medicine. The letters with the horse image in the KHS fellowship flyer above are from this collection!
African Americans in the Thoroughbred Industry Oral History Project
From their website: “This series focuses on the experiences of African Americans working in the thoroughbred industry in Kentucky. The majority of interviews focus on backside occupations including hot walkers, exercise riders, and groomers. Other occupations include trainers, clockers, and jockeys. Interviewees discuss employment opportunities for African Americans in the racing industry, individuals they have worked with including owners and trainers, living conditions at the track, how they were trained in various occupations, working on horse farms, family life, race horses they have worked with, and the Kentucky Derby. Most of the interviews were conducted in Louisville with individuals who have worked at Churchill Downs.”
Frank Bradshaw Collection
From their website: Frank Bradshaw “bred, and showed saddlebred horses at many horse shows across America from the 1950s until the 1980s… This collection consists of photographs, both color and black and white, of Frank Bradshaw and his work as a breeder, trainer and shower of saddlebred horses. Several of the photographs are of him and a horse he was showing in a horse show. One of the most famous saddlebred horses he showed was ‘My My.’ The collection also has 0.5 cubic feet of manuscripts that were mainly his business records regarding breeding and training horses on his horse farm. There are also several periodicals relating to horses, horse shows and the saddlebred horse world. Frank Bradshaw and the horses he showed are included in several of these publications. There are also rare books and pamphlets related to horse shows and saddlebred horses.”
Ronald Morgan Postcard Collection
This collection contains about 11,000 Kentucky postcards dating from the late 19th century to the present, and includes a variety of horse postcards.
Read about some of the equine history available at the Linda Hall Library (fellowships available). Written by Kat Boniface. I spent the last week and change as a travel fellow at the Linda Hall Library. I highly recommend them, especially for agricultural or early 20th century history. General Information: Deadline: this year was Jan. […]
The deadline for the John H. Daniels Fellowship at the NSLM is fast approaching! Still on the fence about applying? Here is an overview of the fellowship and the Library to help you decide.
Deadline: June 15.
Letters: one. Response time: Early Fall (I heard back Sept. 2). Who is eligible: pretty much everyone. Concerned? Ask the staff. They’re fabulous. Dates: Up to two months in the following calendar year; you list two choices on your applications. Funding: Up to $2,000/month, paid biweekly while in residence. Housing: Provided. Travel: Plan on a cab, etc. from Dulles airport. 30 min.
Application Process The hardest part of the application is getting all the pieces into a single pdf. Save yourself the headache and look for an online tool that can combine multiple file formats into a single pdf. There are lots. Make sure you look through the catalog, but keep in mind that not everything has been entered. If there is a topic you are investigating that you think fits the NLSM, but you can’t pinpoint your sources in the catalog, ask the staff. Don’t forget to look through the art collections and archival finding aids.
Scheduling I ended up having a minor scheduling conflict, as my students’ final was scheduled much later than I’d expected. I had to arrive a day late, and since there was no one due to come in right after me, I was able to add that day at the end of my stay. I only applied for two weeks. I should have applied for a month! It’s worth checking the schedule and seeing what exhibitions and events are planned before deciding on your dates. There may be something you want to see! While I was there, I went to the “Coffee with the Curator” for the Andre Pater exhibit at the Museum.
The closest airport, as mention above, is Dulles. My flight came in at midnight, so Istayed the night in a hotel by the airport, and took a lyft down to Middleburg early the next morning. I was perhaps a bit excited, and arrived bright and very early before any of the staff. I strolled around the grounds a bit, exploring the various equine sculptures. The area is absolutely beautiful. The Library and Museum are two separate, neighboring buildings. The Chronicle of the Horse offices are nearby.
Living The little cottage where fellows stay is behind the Museum, and set slightly into the hillside. It is surprisingly private. There is a sitting room with a couch, desk, hardline internet connection, and a fabulous view: Audubon bird paintings adorn the walls next to windows looking out on birds chattering the the trees. The kitchen has a full stove as well as microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and fridge. Dishes are provided, and the cabinets accrue leftover dry goods from past fellows. There is a Safeway a few blocks away. I went shopping every few days, partly so I didn’t have to carry much back and partly just to stretch my legs. Towels are provided for the shower, and extra blankets and pillows for the bed. The mattress is a bit old, if you have room to bring a topper with you it might be worth it. The cable for the internet will (just barely) reach into the bedroom, which was great, since jet lagged as I was I definitely wanted a movie before bed. There is a cleaning service for the cottage, and I was told laundry is available in the Library building somewhere, though as I was a short stay I didn’t avail myself of it. The NSLM is also just a few blocks from the Middleburg Tack Exchange, which somehow I still haven’t been to.
Research The important stuff, right? I spent several days reading the Sporting Magazine from its initial publication through 1866 (being the period I’m researching). As first, I did read every equine or breeding article, and skim the rest, but once I had the rhythm of the publication I started just taking photos; invest in a good pdf scanner before you go! Still, I wish I’d had more time to just read through them. Even those couple of days changed the direction of my research. While many of the Sporting Magazines are available on googlebooks, they’re often misnumbered or otherwise mislabelled. Going through them in order was amazing. I also explored the open stacks (and found my nemesis),
and checked out a few of the books there to read in the evenings when the Library was closed. The Library itself has wifi, so it was easy to take notes, look things up, livetweet some of my reading, and have the catalog at my fingertips.
The bulk of my visit I spent downstairs, with the rare books and archive, which is not open to the public. This isn’t an option everyday, so I tried to save my general reading upstairs for days the archives were closed. The bulk of the rare books were 18th and 19th century, which suited me well, but earlier works are well represented. The archival papers are mostly 19th and 20th century, which wasn’t useful for me but I’m sure there is still plenty of work to be done with them. Again, and as with any research trip, when in doubt ask the staff. Even when not in doubt, ask the staff. They know answers to questions we don’t know to ask.
I am still finding new things in the scans I took while I was there.