Friday File

Happy Friday! For the past week I’ve been thinking about my hair here and there. I’ve come to the realization that it may be time to grow it out. I’ve had my current cut since November, and I’m ready for something different. It’s a demanding style that requires frequent trips to the salon, and it would be nice to save a little money by not going so often.

I’m thinking a nice chin-length bob will serve me well. It might be a bit tricky to grow out, though, since the cut is asymmetrical. I might need to get the right side trimmed in order to even it up. We’ll see how patient I am too. It’s much easier to make a decision to cut ones hair, because you can act on that right away. Growing hair out is a whole other ballgame.

What’s been on your mind this week?

Now for a quick hit of links from around the web:

Artist Christopher Coppers knows how to take an X-Acto knife to a magazine. He literally carves into them to create some cool effects.

Bill Cunningham went to Massachusetts to cover Victorian Weekend. I always get a kick out of people dressed up in costume, not for reenactment, but just for the fun and love of it.

The National Museum of American History tackles the problem of displaying a 100-year-old suffrage banner.

The Cut rounds up some great photos of retro flight attendant uniforms.

A Program to Preserve Black History

I need to share a great initiative by the National Museum of African American History and Culture to encourage the preservation of black American history. This coming Sunday, the Brooklyn Museum will host Save Our African American Treasures, a program that “gives residents of New York the opportunity to identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in the attics, closets and basements of their homes.”

There will be experts, including my friend Sarah Scaturro, conservator-in-charge of the Costume Institute at the Met, giving free consultations. Attendees can bring up to three personal objects that are no larger than a shopping bag for review — things like garments, books, textiles, toys, and photos.

Along with the consultations, activities will teach how best to store and preserve family heirlooms and historical artifacts.

The event takes place at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York. It runs from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Here’s the schedule:

11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Hands-on Preservation
In this hands-on activity, participants are invited to learn how to properly store letters, pack garments and prepare photographs for preservation storage and presentation.

Community Partners Expo
Learn more about the wonderful resources available in New York! Community Partners will distribute materials and answer questions from members of the public.


12:00 p.m.
Why We Collect: Even More Stuff than You Have at Home
Kevin Stayton, the Brooklyn Museum’s Chief Curator, will offer a tour of selected galleries in the building and discuss the ways in which the history of the building and the history of the collections have run parallel for over a century in the formation of a great institution.

1:00 p.m.
Basic Clothing & Textiles Preservation
Learn to store your textiles like a museum professional! Get practical tips to help you preserve special clothing such as family uniforms and wedding dresses along with quilts, needlework, lace, and other fabric objects. Find out how to avoid damage, when to seek expert assistance, and how to store these pieces for the next generation. Plus, see a demonstration of how to pack your textiles.

2:00 p.m.
Saving Your Family Photographs and Papers
Great Aunt Mary left you with the responsibility of preserving the family photographs and papers – now what do you do? Learn how light, heat, and humidity affect your family collections. Discover some simple things you can do to be a good steward of your family paper and photography collections.

3:00 p.m.
Preserving Digital Memories
Digital photographs and other new media are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. As new technologies appear for creating and saving our personal digital information, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Find out more about the nature of the problem and learn some simple, practical tips for preserving your digital memories.