Monday, February 1, 2021

Ladies' Manual of Art

The Ladies' Manual of Art was published in 1887. 

The title page appears at first to be about dainty, decorative artistic pastimes—until you get to the end and it mentions taxidermy.

The final chapters give detailed descriptions of skinning and stuffing serpents and crocodiles, preserving spiders, and dealing with the skins of large mammals. 


Wendy said...

Huzzah! The solution to our rapidly rotting collections of spider corpses has been resolved! Rejoice ladies!

Cccaubin said...

One wonders what the “etc.” refers to :-)

Smurfswacker said...

I've always loved old art instruction books. I haven't seen this one before. Though the copyright is 1887 the layout and typography make it seem even older. It certainly explores the question, "Can one learn art from an art book without art in it?" Despite the title few of the subjects are aimed specifically at women. Many, like Ornamental Glass Sign Work, seem to be money-making projects. There are so many forgotten processes I've never run into before. Many are best forgotten--I'm thinking of coating a panel with several coats of white lead, sanding it, then covering it with powdered marble. Wear your hazmat suit!

James Gurney said...

Yes, Smurfswacker, or cleaning the noxious oils out of a beaver pelt. We were also puzzling over many of the un-illusrated descriptions, such as doing a “crayon” drawing by grinding up Conte sticks.