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NGA- Lady Wearing a Large White Cap

NGA- Lady Wearing a Large White Cap

Sweet cap, right? It all started because it’s cold this morning here in RI and I thought about skating when I went out to get the Times, and that led to Gilbert Stuart, which led to the National Gallery.

They have a fun search option, similar to the Tate Britain’s subject-search, but not quite as elegant.
You can start with a subject search, and then add a sub category. Results (stability not guaranteed) show you things you would not have otherwise expected, and that’s one more reason to love online catalogs & databases.

NGA Screenshot

NGA Screenshot

The results give you little unexpected galleries, and the juxtaposition or similarities of the thumbnails help you see the work differently. Black dresses and white collars are prevalent on this page: why? Is this fashion alone, or are these mourning garments? they’re earlier than the Civil War, but maybe it’s time to re-read This Republic of Suffering.

NGA- Sarah Cook Arnold knitting

NGA- Sarah Cook Arnold knitting

But wait–who is this? It’s Probably Sarah Cook Arnold, Knitting. (Probably is not her name, smartypants, it’s an adverb.)

She’s knitting in the round, by the way, on three incredibly tiny pins from an invisible ball of yarn, possibly swallowed by the cat hidden in her skirts. (I know a woman who can knit with these skinny quadruple-ought pins, but they are a hazard in my hands.)

I would not have found Sarah Cook Arnold knitting without using the random subject search, nor would I have found Fabulous Cap at the top. Sometimes you need to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.