Guest Post: Fashion from Japan and France: Nightgowns in Colonial Brazil

Le_diner._Les_dèlassemens_d'une_aprés_diner

Jean-Baptiste Debret, “Les dèlassemens d’une aprés diner,” from Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Brésil, vol. 2 (Paris: Firmin Didot Frerès, 1835)

Today’s guest post comes from Rachel Zimmerman (Ph.D., University of Delaware), Assistant Professor of Art History at Colorado State University-Pueblo. She has been studying the art and architecture of the Brazilian town of Minas Gerais since her first trip to the region in 2006. She began examining consumption in colonial Brazil for her dissertation, “Global Luxuries at Home: The Material Possessions of an Elite Family in Eighteenth-Century Minas Gerais, Brazil,” and is continuing research for a book project on elite material culture in the city of Mariana. Follow her work here.

According to the early nineteenth-century English merchant John Luccock, it was customary for Brazilian men to discard stiff outer layers when at home and wear only a cotton shirt, often unbuttoned, knee-length breeches, and clogs.[1] Brazilian standards of decorum permitted informal dress in domestic settings, even when receiving guests. Examination of colonial-era probate inventories from Minas Gerais, the gold mining district, reveals that a small number of educated elite men transformed their state of undress from ordinary to stylish with the addition of a nightgown. Continue reading

The Junto Guide to Early America at #AHA2015

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4d8/41615394/files/2014/12/img_0422.pngHappy New Year from all of us at The Junto! We hope you had a restful and enjoyable holiday break. For historians, the turn of the calendar to 2015 means that many of us are en route to the AHA Annual Meeting in New York City. Having grown up in the area, I’d like to welcome you all to New York, where the bagels and pizza are really just better, and we stand “on line” for coffee, not “in line.”

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Revolution Not Dead

If “The American Revolution Reborn” conference proved anything, it’s that the Revolution is in no danger of getting old. So much is still left to be told. Topics that few Revolutionary narratives have fully considered—ambivalence, religious dissent, hindsight connections to Scotland’s union with England in 1707, and future links to the Latin Americas—beg for further research. And those are only the issues that were discussed on the first day.

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The Week in Early American History

TWEAHIn Rome, art restorers have uncovered what they say are American Indians in the background of a 1494 fresco in the Vatican’s Borgia Apartments. Some commentary on the imperial-religious context is available here.

“Unity,” writes Ilan Stavas, “is the great elusive dream of Latin America, and Bolívar is its Don Quixote.” A review of Marie Arana’s new biography of El Libertador reflects on his contradictory legacy in Latin American politics.

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