Homewood House Museum
Homewood House Museum will examine late 18th and early 19th century advances in lighting technology with its 2003 focus show, O Say Can you See? Revolutions in Lighting Technology, opening Thursday, Jan. 16, with a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the museum, located on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.
Light was a commodity; the appearance of historic interiors was perhaps influenced more by this than by any other factor. Paint colors, furniture finishes and hardware, mirrors and gilt picture frames, cut glass and silver objects were all designed and chosen for their ability to reflect limited light. Even the siting and plan for Homewood acknowledge that any light other than daylight had an associated cost. Some of the earliest advances in lighting technology were devices designed to improve candlelight by preventing flickering of the flame or by magnifying the light cast by a lighted candle with a silver or mirrored reflector. Oil lamps were another widely used form of artificial lighting and many innovations to the wick, the fuel, the burner, and the fixture itself revolutionized the way that people lived after sunset.
The exhibit includes examples of the wide variety of lighting devices that would have been available to Charles Carroll Jr. as he furnished Homewood in the early 19th century. Lectures, lighting demonstrations, and gallery talks will further illuminate the subject. The exhibit continues through March 30. For information, call 410-516-5589 or visit Homewood on the Web at www.jhu.edu/historichouses.
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