SCRC’s Exhibition Now Open at the Muscarelle Museum of Art

On February 11 the exhibition, Written in Confidence: The Unpublished Letters of James Monroe, opened to the public. Featuring 12 letters from the recently-acquired 28-letter collection of correspondence between James Monroe and William Crawford, the exhibition is on display at the Muscarelle Museum of Art on William & Mary’s campus through May 14, 2017. FullSizeRender

Continue reading

The Library of Lady Jean Skipwith: “a small, but well-chosen library”

The recent acquisition of seven letters written by Sir Peyton Skipwith and one by Sir Gray Skipwith reveal what Sir Peyton thought of his wife Lady Jean’s library. The library is featured in an exhibit, Exceptional in Any Age, at Swem Library that will run through October 2016.

Continue reading

Four Math Problems and a Question

(Fig. 1) Question 32: “In the rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=9 and the difference of the other sides that is the segment BD=3. Required the sides AC and BC severaly[sic].” Question 33: “In the Rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=5 and the sum of the other sides AC+BC=25. Required the sides AC·BC ¬¬¬severaly[sic].” The Cabell Family Papers, Series 2, Box 11, Msv#15.

(Fig. 1) Question 32: “In the rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=9 and the difference of the other sides that is the segment BD=3. Required the sides AC and BC severaly[sic].” Question 33: “In the Rectangle Triangle ABC is given the base AB=5 and the sum of the other sides AC+BC=25. Required the sides AC·BC ¬¬¬severaly[sic].”
The Cabell Family Papers, Series 2, Box 11, Msv#15.

Interspersed among the survey notes of Dr. William Cabell (1699-1774) within the Cabell Family Papers, 1693-1913, are mathematical problems ranging from standard arithmetic to algebraic equations. The majority of the inscriptions are in an unknown hand, possibly one of Dr. Cabell’s children, but we cannot be certain.

Continue reading

A Sculptor’s Sketches

While his family was busy with operating the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Norfolk-born Alexander Galt, Jr. (1827-1863) possessed artistic aspirations. His main ambition was to become a first-rate sculptor—and indeed he completed several sculptures in his brief life of 36 years—yet Galt’s sketchbook, housed in the Special Collections archives, is a testament to his mastery of drawing not only portraits and the human form, but also animals, architecture, and landscapes. In 1860, Alexander took the sketchbook with him on a trip to Florence, Italy to study sculpting, and in it he produced numerous beautifully detailed pencil drawings of men, women and children, many whom he names. A detailed sketch of a sitter’s hair falling above her ear reveals Galt’s careful attention to the most intricate curves and details of his subject.

Continue reading