Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Very First Civil War Attire

This is one of my first outfits I purchased from Littlehuggs Costumes. I made the waist coat shorter, added under selves and a Civil war bonnet to complete the look,

Littlehuggs Reenactment Costumes make Lady's and Girl's Civil War and Victorian costumes and clothing.

* This includes Victorian and Civil War reenactment costumes like Civil War nurse and mourning dress, pioneer / prairie, maid, and other Victorian costumes and underclothing for theater and reenactments. Littlehuggs Reenactment Costumes also makes other custom historic costumes like pilgrim and buck skinning "living history" costumes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Old Home

This is the house that I had mention in my previous post. The home of Edward Mitchell Bannister.  Today I went to take a closer look at this amazing house. 

It is so sad to see a historic home just sit with on life, abounded, lost memories and forgotten. It is my duty as a living history re-enactor to bring life back to this house and preserve the memory of times gone by. 

As I did a little research, I found that the house belongs to Brown University. I was shocked that they have let it go by the way side. 

I have an interest to see this home restored for the preservation of my African American heritage.  We must keep history alive for our youth. They need to know of this great man and how people lived in the 1800's in New England. Seeing the house like this tells the story of Rhode Island. Let's make it a positive one. I want to show them how Edward Mitchell Bannister achieved his dream even back in the 1800's.

I must  bring this home back to life.

'The Vault' on Benevolent St. remains closed, for now - The Brown Daily Herald - Serving the community daily since 1891

'The Vault' on Benevolent St. remains closed, for now - The Brown Daily Herald - Serving the community daily since 1891

Monday, January 16, 2012

African American Victorian of Providence College Hill.

After taking a tour of historic College Hill given by Mr Ray Rickman, I know I had to do my own research on these historic place and people. This area has always been an interest of mine. As I would stroll though the street looking and admiring these beautiful Victorian and Colonial homes, I would wonder who use to live there and what they were like.

As an African American, I wanted to know did they ever live in this erea. Well come to find out that there were quite a few. I wanted to know who they were.

One  that has interest me first was, Mr Edward Mitchell Bannister.
He was born in Canada in 1828. His farther was black and his mother was white. He had a happy childhood until the death of his parents. Trying to make his own way he ended up in  Boston in 1850,
He became a self taught artist at an early age. He lived in Boston, Mass. for some years and became apart of the Middle class community there. He was doing well in selling his art and married a fine business women named Christiana Carteaux. They married on June 10, 1857
 This is a portrait done of her by her husband

 Now, Christiana was born 1820 in Rhode Island. She was African American and Narragansett Indian.
This may have been why the couple moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1870.

This lovely little home at 93 Benevolent was there home. Sad to say, today it is all boarded up sitting with no future. The couple never owned it right out and they had no children to inherit it.

One of this paintings,   "Cows in Meadow"

Here in Providence, he was one of the founders of the Providence Art Club. In this photo you can see a silhouette of Mr Bannister on the wall.

Edward M Bannister (1828-1901)

After his death in 1901, the Providence Art Club created an exhibition of 101 of his paintings. Today, much of his work can be seen at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. and in Rhode Island at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. In Providence, Rhode Island College's Art Gallery is named in his honor.

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My Victorian Hostess Gown

Honorable Mention:

Costume Contest USA Entry 29.) Dress: Historic Hearthside House Hostess Gown Victorian Costume Contest

Victorian Dress Costume ContestComment by JUDGE Lisa Schnapp: 8/15/2010

"Lovely, glowing creation blended of soft, feminine hues. A stunning gown that embodies Victorian style femininity..."

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