In My Opinion
I’ve just learnt about a very peculiar ritual. It started in the Middle Ages, it’s European, it takes two or three years to complete, and it is performed by artisans such as carpenters and joiners. It checks all of my boxes – but I’d never heard of it.
A Sanctuary for Tiffany: St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baltimore
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk and ordained priest in the Church of Rome, sent 95 theses to his bishop, in which he disputed the forgiveness of sins through the practice of indulgences. For his efforts, Luther was excommunicated by the pope and declared an outlaw by the Holy Roman emperor. As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is marked this month, churches continue to evolve, adapting to the needs of modern congregations.
Women Cutting it as Jewelers: A man’s world admits women
Out of the public eye, and mostly under the ground, there are some 300 ancient stone structures scattered around New England. Nobody knows for sure who built them, when or why, but that has done nothing to stop the proliferation of possible explanations. Far from it.
Top of the Mountain: A history of Capodimonte porcelain
Though fine porcelain, born of love, passion, and intrigue, was the glory of Europe for centuries, its tale begins in ancient China. When Portuguese traders introduced tea to Continental Europe in the mid-1600s, the wealthy served this piping-hot infusion in tiny, imported, translucent, vitrified bowls. This glazed, costly “chinaware,” decorated in blue, became known as “porcelain,” from porcellana, Italian for the translucent cowrie shell.
Go Local: Museums on my doorstep
There’s an odd quirk that I think affects many of us: we take what’s local for granted, and tend to think that a museum that is some way away, and that requires thought and planning to visit, is inherently more significant than the local museums we drive past to get to it. We seem to need guests showing up to spur us to take them to see a museum that’s just down the road.
Lisa and I were enjoying dinner at Salt Kitchen and Rum Bar (our favorite restaurant in Ipswich, known to all of us as “Salt”) when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. It was a member of our Board of Selectmen who wanted a bit of history. He was slated to give a few remarks at a ceremony on our Town Wharf, and wondered if I could give him some historical tidbits to engage his audience. I told him to sit down, have a glass of wine and be careful what he wished for – I can talk the hindleg off a donkey (that’s my grandmother speaking) once I get started on our history.