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Confessions Of A Kept Woman: BUST True Story
The other day I had to ask my husband to spot me $20. He smiled and shrugged nonchalantly as he reached into his wallet. This scenario had become the norm in our house after I stopped working to stay home and care for our two young daughters. This scenario was beginning to bother me, as it was a blatant reminder of: 1) my lack of financial independence 2) my impulsive tendency to spend and thus my inability to save money and 3) the (growing) imbalance in our partnership.
Women and men alike, in 2016, are often uncomfortable talking about an issue that we believed to be long gone in society. Many women today hold positions that were once thought unattainable for our gender. Women everywhere are fighting for equal pay. Several women I know have a Masters or PhD. We are moving in the right direction. Or so I thought. I have completed a higher level of education than my husband yet here we are living like it’s 1956.
This didn’t happen overnight, nor was it an imposed upon idea. My husband and I made the decision together five years ago when I became pregnant with our oldest daughter Cali that I would stay home until she was in school full time. I had been raised in a merry go round of daycares from ages two thru four as my single mom did her best to balance full time work and parenthood. I didn’t want the same for my daughter.
From the moment we got together, ten years ago, my husband’s job as a diplomat determined where we would live and for how long. This ensured an unpredictable professional path for me, and little to no job security. I was on board because I was madly in love and have a wanderlust nature and two very transportable skills – teaching and writing. I foolishly believed that there would always be options.
When we married in 2008 nobody was surprised that I chose this path, as it would allow me to explore countries and cultures all over the world with a man who shared my passion for adventure. We support each other emotionally, and tend to be each other’s sounding board on all things personal and professional. Before babies entered the picture, we were equally earning and enjoying financial partnership. We both paid for dinners out, trips to Bali and the down payment on our first house. I still had savings in 2013 when our second daughter, Elle, was born.
And then something unexpected happened. I became consumed by and lost in the role of stay-at-home parenting. I gave everything to everyone – my love, my energy, my body, and my mind – all while allowing the most important thing (me) to fall to the sidelines. This neglect of self was not intentional. I would escape my exhaustion thru online shopping while the baby napped, spending on items I didn’t love nor need. I mistakenly believed that these things would fulfill the missing link in my life. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the most important item was myself where I fit in outside of my role as a mother and wife.
I was still writing and being published, which was great but didn’t help pay the bills. We were living on one salary, and for the first time, we were stressed about money. My response was to spend more. I ploughed thru my savings in a year-and-a-half. It’s not something I’m proud to share. As an adult woman who over the years watched my mother work hard to give me everything – new clothes, dance classes, holidays abroad and a post-graduate education I should know better.
In January of this year I realized that I did not have my own money to buy a birthday gift for my husband. He knew this, gave me $50 and said, “Go buy me something you think I might like.” It was pitiful. I could sense his disappointment. But it was nowhere near the magnitude of shame I felt when he donated ten dollars towards our four-year-olds dance-a-thon fundraiser event at school. As he put the money in the envelope Cali looked at us and asked, “Why doesn’t mommy have her own money?” Even our four-year-old understood that daddy is in charge of money in our house. I had hit financial rock bottom. But sometimes hitting rock bottom is what shakes us out of a rut.
The above two events is what pushed me towards the realization that I needed to instigate the change that would move me towards financial independence. The next occurred early in the New Year when Cali brought home a class book project in which each student said what career they would like to have when they grow up. There on the big white page was a photo of my daughter holding an awkwardly oversized pencil with the words, “Writer” scrawled across the top. My heart melted and I knew that I needed to make financial independence happen – if not for myself – to model it for my young daughter. I had already modeled for her the importance of pursuing one’s passion – she understood that writing is what her mommy loved to do – now mommy had to find a way to make writing a feasible source of income.
The next push happened during a monthly catch up call with my best friend D. D and I bonded fifteen years ago over vodka shots, techno rave music, and a mutual attraction to Aussie men. She married one and I moved on to marry a German. But our taste in men aside, it was D’s endless stream of positivity that kept us close over the years. No matter the distance between us, we maintain a solid bond with weekly calls and Skype sessions when time zones and kids allow. D has been my biggest cheerleader (after my husband) when it comes to writing. She reads everything I send her, and offers up constructive feedback. When I casually brought up the idea of going back to school she shrieked with joy. I could see her beaming thru the phone line across the country, her eyes lit up like they do when she gets excited about something. “You should totally do it!” she practically screamed into the receiver.
It’s been three months since that conversation with D. Last week, I sat down with my husband and told him I wanted to go back to school. Knowing money was tight, and that we are scheduled to move to Manila this summer, I was unsure of his response. I sensed his hesitation and held my breath. “I think it’s a great idea,” he said matter-of-factly. What? Really? He continued: “We have a lot of expenses coming up with the move, but you’ve been working hard building a portfolio. Writing is something you love and are good at.” Was I asking permission? Kind of it felt more like a mutual decision.
Before I could commit to a program and the fees involved in such an undertaking, I had to first get real about where that money would come from. In a whirlwind of a week or two, I packed up and sold several pairs of gently used designer shoes and boots on Kijiji, organized and returned the “unloved” and “unnecessary” items to their respective stores, and put together a half dozen bags of clothing that I could bring to any H&M store for five dollars per bag towards future purchases. It was a drop in the bucket, but a move in the right direction nonetheless. We also decided that once settled in Manila, I would begin to look for part-time writing opportunities, which would allow me to balance coursework and practical (paid) hands on experience.
Was I crazy going back to school after forty? Maybe. It was, I believed, crazier to continue this cycle of dependency. The irony is that thirteen years ago, I turned down my acceptance to a Masters in Journalism program. At the time I didn’t have the confidence to pursue writing. The path to professional fulfillment can be a long and winding road. As I research a variety of online programs, I feel both giddy with excitement and fearful of the unknown. I know that freedom, not just financial freedom but personal and professional fulfillment is possible, and that is the best I can model for my two girls.
The Surprising History of Women and Pockets
There’s a scene in the 1917 film Poor Little Rich Girl when Mary Pickford, the adult actress portraying the 11-year-old title character, is punished for naughtiness by being forced to turn in her frilly dress for a suit of boys’ clothing. Standing before a mirror, she pouts at first, then sticks her hands into her pockets—and discovers what a fine, freeing, and powerful thing menswear can be. Pickford’s face radiates joy as she rises on her tiptoes it’s a glorious moment.
By then the pocket had, for centuries, been a potent symbol of gender politics. According to historian Barbara Burman, the presence, absence, style, and number of pockets in men’s versus women’s clothing reflected such esoteric concepts as privacy, agency, and earning power. A man’s business suit in the early 1900s had as many as 13 pockets in its trousers, waistcoat, and jacket. The wearer could store keys and a wallet, and negotiate the world hands-free. At the same time, women’s pockets were more ornamental than utilitarian, leaving them to juggle a “reticule” (a tiny drawstring purse) along with shopping bags, babies, and children.
Sewn-in pockets were added to European and American menswear around the mid-17th century. But women used pockets of the type seen here, which were tied around the waist and hung between layers of petticoats underneath the outer dress. Slits in both allowed the wearer to slip her hand into the pocket. They were utilitarian: a woman could swap out a single set of tie-on pockets under multiple dresses, and they could hold enormous amounts of things. Burman found that women pickpockets in 17th-century London stuffed bills, coins, “gloves, jewelry, watches, buttons, earrings, and mirrors” along with other plunder into their tie-on pockets.
Tie-on pockets largely fell out of style in the late 18th century, when the clingy fabric of newly fashionable neo-classical dresses made lumps and bumps all too obvious. As the 19th century progressed, hoopskirts and crinolines allowed vastly more real estate for pockets, but the argument that these would ruin a fashionista’s profile persisted. Skirt pockets remained “impossible,” the British fashion magazine Queen told readers in 1882, because “if they contain anything beyond the finest of handkerchiefs, they bulge and make themselves ungracefully apparent.”
Pockets became overtly political as women fought for the vote. A proposed “suffragette suit” of 1910 featured “seven or eight of them,” all easily accessible. “Fancy a man without pockets! He would drop his handkerchief and run around looking for things like a helpless woman,” wrote Virginia Yeaman in Vogue in 1918. The article’s title “Pockets for Women” was a twist on the suffragist slogan, “Votes for Women.” Now that women “could vote,” Yeaman hoped they would “vote for pockets.” (Yeman’s chronology was a little off. The 19th Amendment passed the House of Representatives in 1918, but failed in the Senate by two votes. It was eventually ratified in 1920.) The “likenesses and dissimilarities” of men and women, she wrote, would never “be revealed until the contents of their pockets may be compared.”
By Lynn Peril
Modeled by Amy Mills
photographed by Lanna Apisukh
Dress by I Do Declare
Tattoo by Leslie Karin at Black Iris tattoo
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
A Comprehensive History Of Women's Underwear
Though men throughout history wore underwear (Charles ll was a fan of a silken boxer short, FYI), it was considered improper for a lady to have anything between her legs.
The Tin Man can’t even face the idea of something between a woman's legs. That is the level of scandal.
The only ladies who dared buck this trend were scandalously rich Italian women in the sixteenth century. But sadly not everyone in history was richer than Midas yet poor in morals so medieval ladies wore one long underdress (sexy), which later evolved into slips and petticoats.
By the early Victorian era, we started to see “drawers” being worn by women. Queen Victoria was a fan and as with any regal fashion, it soon became synonymous with class…which meant soon enough, everyone was clammering for a pair of drawers.
Within one century, drawers went through a full style evolution from a fashion irregularity to the norm. They went from functional to frilly, sexed up and colourful.
By 1901, only the poorest women weren’t sporting drawers every day. But the evolution didn’t stop there: within the next 20 years drawer hemlines went up and, thus, the knickers we know today were born. In fact, by the 1940s, what was once a fashion novelty was now deemed so essential that during WW2, women opted for wearing home-knitted knickers rather than going commando!
Much like knickers, men sported this underwear trend way before women. Long socks were worn by Vikings, Celtics, and Saxons as a way to combat chilly weather and prevent chafing from shoes (believe me, if you think your new shoes pinch, they haven’t got shit on medieval footwear!)
But it wasn’t all practicality: long, almost stomach-high stockings were a sign of fashion and nobility for men at Tudor Court. One lover of the stocking was Henry Vlll, who was known to proudly comment on the attractiveness of his calves.
Those calves. I can hardly contain myself!
In this era women also wore stockings, but theirs stopped at the knee. Elizabeth l was a massive fan of silk stockings worn in as many bright colours as possible! People who weren’t queen obvs couldn’t afford this fancy, expensive, dyed silk goodness, so most just made do with plain old wool stockings.
Now, I’ll be blunt, stockings-wise things stayed pretty much the same for the next few centuries…so let’s fast forward to the 1930s! By this era, hemlines in general were MUCH higher. And with their legs now on show and open to the elements, women needed a strong stocking more than ever.
Sadly, they had silk stockings, which:
But then, some beautiful bastard invented nylons.
This bastard, in fact. Meet Wallace Carothers, inventor of nylon, stealer of hearts.
Within 2 days of hitting New York department stores in 1940, nylons had completely sold out, and this phenomenon wasn’t limited to NYC, with women across America snapping up the incredible new invention. Finally, women were able to strut their stuff without fear of ladders!
And then Pearl Harbor happened…
Thanks to the war, nylons were rationed in 1942, with the material only to be used to help the US’s defense.
Women resorted to staining their legs for the illusion of stockings, with canny beauty brands selling liquid stockings (AKA, shit fake tans). When the war was over in 1945, the first thought in women’s minds was celebration, quickly followed by:
“OH MY GOD I NEED TO GET ME SOME NYLONS!”
Almost immediately, nylon riots spread across America, as women stormed department stores in the name of underwear. In Pittsburgh over 40,000 people descended upon one store, desperate to get their hands on 1 of just 13,000 nylons.
Okay, so we have the basics down, knickers and tights – but now we need to get us some body!
But how does one achieve that hourglass shape that history has persisted in telling us is IT? Well first you go in, and then you go…out…
From Punch Magazine, 1856.
I’ll be brief. Here’s all you need to know:
Crinolines were a fashion staple in the 1800s, beloved for their ability to create an hourglass shape. Sadly, there was one big downside, you see:
CRINOLINES HATE YOU AND WANT YOU TO DIE.
Seriously, no other underwear has a thirst for blood quite like these voluminous contraptions of death.
In 1864 one London doctor estimated that 2,500 women had died as a direct result of wearing crinolines. You see, the garment had a habit of catching onto things after all, it was bloody enormous. Sadly, the thing crinolines mainly caught onto was fire.
That’s right, crinolines led to thousands of women being burned alive in their dresses.
But the danger didn’t stop there. As said earlier, crinolines were out for blood!
There are accounts of women’s crinolines getting caught on moving carts and carriages, resulting in the unfortunate lady being pulled down the street after it.
I’ll leave you with this: one summer’s day in Herefordshire, one lady was out enjoying the sun. When she went to sit on the grass, part of her crinoline’s steel supports snapped – sending a jagged piece of metal into a very very uncomfortable place and inflicting severe internal injuries.
Nothing is EVER worth this.
Crinolines weren’t the only underthings causing grievous bodily harm. Corsets were also more than happy to fuck women’s bodies up, both internally and externally!
You know that she is in so much pain.
The great-great-great-grandmother of the corset we know today is the cote, a tightly-laced bodice worn by medieval women to acquire an hourglass silhouette (gotta get them child birthing hips!).
Around the 16 th century, people started using stiffening materials like wood, whalebone, and steel to create a much more tighter waist than would be possible with just lacing. And thus, the corset was born!
The corset’s design was not just to create a waspish waist, but also to lift the boobs, emphasis the hips, and create a rod-straight posture.
For the next few centuries women would be squidged, pulled, and generally forced by any means into tighter and tighter corsets. With the Victorians desperate to make the average 28-inch waist a frankly terrifying 16 inches.
Prince is not here for your mangled ribs.
It’s the Victorian corset that remains the most iconic. In this era the empire waists of earlier periods were dropped and, with more emphasis now on the natural waistline, the corset really came into its organ-crushing stride.
On that note, let’s do some myth-busting:
CORSETS WILL NOT KILL YOU.
I know, they should. Corsets literally squeeze your organs and shuffles them about…but it turns out that bodies are pretty hardy and the typical tightly-laced corsets worn by Victorian women were not lethal. Uncomfy? Yes. Deadly? No.
That’s not to say I’m endorsing wearing something that mangles your skeleton, tosses your organs around, and is generally the most uncomfortable thing ever. I’m just saying that it won’t kill you. Which is good, because everyone in Victorian England wore corsets. Even pregnancy couldn’t stop the corset!
The Edwardian era sought to rectify some of corsetry’s comfort issues with the invention on the S bend corset (because everyone wants to wear an S bend…).
The S bend was designed to lessen the pressures on the stomach, whilst still nipping in the waist, pushing the boobs and giving a nice posture.
This was the result:
Soon, corsets were packed full of extra enhancements to help women achieve the monumental feats that Edwardian fashion demanded from their bodies.
My personal favorite of these is the lemon cup, sort of a mix between chicken fillets and a push up bra. These small cotton cups were full of horse hair with a coiled spring attached to whalebone hidden inside. When all these elements combined the wearers breasts were buoyantly pushed up and out.
Arguably, when you’re attaching springs to your tits, things have gone too far.
Edwardian fashion agreed. As designs that worked with the bodies natural curves came in, corsets starting to go out. Making room for underwear that allowed women to actually do shit, like dance, walk, and move without creaking.
This article originally appeared on F Yeah History and is reprinted here with permission.
The Bust of Queen Nefertiti
The bust of Queen Nefertiti is one of the most famous pieces of ancient art, and arguably one of the most beautiful. It was crafted by the Chief Sculptor of Akhenaten, Tuthmose and was discovered in the workshop attached to his house in Akhetaten (Amarna).
It is formed from limestone coated in layers of panted stucco. Only one of the quartz inlaid eyes remains, but other than that it is in remarkably good condition. The bust does not bear a name, but the identity of its subject is not really in doubt because of the presence of the blue crown with which Nefertiti was so closely associated.
The reign of Akhenaten and Nefertiti is characterised by a shift away from the traditional models, including a rejection of the national god Amun and the construction of a new capital dedicated to the Aten at Akhetaten. This change found expression in the exaggerated and fluid forms of Amarna Art. However, the bust of Nefertiti conforms to the classical Egyptian style.
Tuthmoses would certainly not go against the wishes of his patron, so this was clearly intended. Yet, it was found with numerous other fragments of faces, busts and statuettes, prompting Egyptologists to suggest that the bust was either a modello (to be used as a template for official portraits) or a model to allow Tuthmoses to prove his skill to potential clients. Tuthmosis would have had to move his studio to Thebes when Akhetaten was abandoned, leaving behind anything he considered worthless – including the bust of Nefertiti!
The bust of Nefertiti has an enigmatic quality which has engendered much speculation. It is perfectly symmetrical, a vision of preternatural beauty, prompting Camille Paglia to comment the proper response to the Nefertiti bust is fear. However, a CT scan of the bust confirmed that under the stucco lies a more realistic depiction of the queen, with less prominent cheekbones, a bump on the nose and wrinkles.
This raises a fascinating possibility. Did Tuthmoses plan from the outset to use his prodigious skill to create a bust of a beautiful, but imperfect woman and then hide it under a mask of divine and unattainable beauty? The observer cannot know that beneath the flawless complexion and perfect symmetry there lies a real woman, but that was perhaps the point. If so, why was the bust abandoned?
The mystery does not stop there. Because of its light complexion, her name (The beautiful one has come), and her supposedly un-Egyptian appearance it has been proposed by some that Nefertiti was of foreign birth. Proponents of this view generally consider that she was either Tadukhepa, the daughter of Tushratta the King of Mitanni, or a princess from a Mediterranean culture such as the Minoans. However, most Egyptologists now agree that she was Egyptian, although her parentage remains obscure and unconfirmed.
We know that her wet nurse was the wife of Ay, but he does not claim to be her father. We know almost nothing about her death. Some have suggested that she became pharaoh under the name of Neferneferuaten, others that she died in disgrace. To some, she is the Elder Lady found in Tomb KV55, while others hope her tomb is still to be found.
The bust was discovered by the German team, led by Ludwig Borchardt, who were excavating Amarna in 1912/13. At that time artefacts uncovered in Egypt were subject to partage – a system where the finds were shared between the foreign excavators (who provided the expertise and money to fund the works) and the Egyptian state. Egypt retained the right to veto the removal of specific items, but Borchardt allegedly described the piece as a gypsum bust of a princess and showed officials only a substandard photo of it. It does seem highly unlikely that had any Egyptian officials seen the bust they would have been happy to let it go. Unfortunately, Gustave Lefebvre (who had the job of assigning finds) did not leave any record of his decisions regarding the bust, or if he did they have been lost.
The bust of Nefertiti was transported to Berlin to the home of Dr James Simon (who financed the dig) and another unfinished quartzite bust stayed in Egypt. While most of the pieces from that expedition went on display in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, the bust of Nefertiti made only a brief appearance at the opening of the exhibition. Museum records suggest that Borchardt feared the Egyptian authorities would demand the return of the bust – prompting some to conclude that he knew its removal from Egypt had not been entirely above board.
The bust of Nefertiti finally went on display in the Berlin National Museum in 1923, to the great dismay of Egyptian authorities. Negotiations to repatriate the bust commenced in 1924 under the watchful eye of Pierre Lacau, Director of the Egyptian Antiquities service, to no avail. In 1929 the Egyptian Government made an unsuccessful bid to swap the bust of Nefertiti for a selection of other beautiful pieces, but they were turned down. Six years later the Prussian Prime Minister, Hermann Goring, agreed to send Nefertiti home but he was overruled by Adolf Hitler. Hitler approved of Nefertiti’s supposedly Aryan features and planned to make the bust one of the main attractions in the Museum of Germania (his new name for Berlin in its role as the capital of the world).
When Berlin was partitioned following the Second World War, the bust of Nefertiti stayed in West Berlin and became an unofficial cultural symbol of the city. However, Egyptian authorities have not given up hope. Following repeated unsuccessful requests for its repatriation they appealed to UNESCO to arbitrate in 2005, unsuccessfully.
In recent years Dr Zahi Hawas has threatened to ban exhibitions of Egyptian antiquities in Germany, tried to organise a boycott of loans to German museums and suggested a deal whereby Egypt and Germany could share the bust to the benefit of each party. German authorities have rejected any suggestion that the bust of Nefertiti was removed from Egypt illegally and claim that the bust is too fragile to be moved.
In 2016 two artists covertly scanned the bust and printed a 3D replica which they donated to Cairo Museum in an act of protest over the high number of Egyptian artefacts housed in museums outside Egypt.
1980s oil bust left a lasting mark
4 of 18 11/21/1986 - One year ago, Alan Hutchinson was president of his own Houston company, an independent oil exploration firm he founded. Today, Hutchinson, 46, can be found waiting tables at Mamies, a new, chic restaurant in the Heights. John Everett/HC staff Show More Show Less
5 of 18 PHOTO FILED: Unemployment-Houston. HOUCHRON CAPTION (07/22/1982): A sign put up by the W.S. Bellows Construction Co. at the site of the 45-story Unitedbank Plaza informs passers-by interested in possible work of some bad news: There isn't any. Bellows officials said that since construction on the $90 million structure began Dec. 14, between two and 20 persons have inquired daily about possible work. The building, a project of Houston developers R.W. Wortham III and Jeffere Van Liew, is scheduled to be completed next summer. HOUCHRON CAPTION (12/12/1999): A sign discourages job-seekers at a downtown construction site during the economic downturn of the 1980s. HOUSTON CHRONICLE SPECIAL SECTION: THE HOUSTON CENTURY. E. Joseph Deering/Staff Show More Show Less
7 of 18 08/30/1985 - The repair and sale of foreclosed property as become a new line of business for Houston lenders. Mary Urech Roberts/HP staff Show More Show Less
8 of 18 1987 - HUD home for sale sign on home foreclosure Jerry Click/HP staff Show More Show Less
10 of 18 03/31/1986 - Steve Zimmerman outside La Colombe D'or Restaurant with "Oil Barrel Special" sign. John Everett/Staff Show More Show Less
11 of 18 02/07/1986 - Harry Bradley of R.E.Q. Management Services installs a foreclosure sign on a residential property in preparation for a VA foreclosure auction taking place Feb. 8, 1986 in Houston. Mary Urech Roberts/HP staff Show More Show Less
13 of 18 02/07/1986 - Harry Bradley of R.E.Q. Management Services installs a foreclosure sign on a residential property in preparation for a foreclosure auction taking place Feb. 8, 1986 in Houston. Mary Urech Roberts/HP staff Show More Show Less
14 of 18 7/5/1979 - Lining up for service station tankfuls. With numerous service stations closed or without gasoline, lines of cars were a common sight in Houston, July 5, 1979. WESLAYAN AND SOUTHWEST FREEWAY. HOUCHRON CAPTION (05/27/2001): Motorists line up at a service station at Weslayan and U.S. 59 in 1979. With numerous stations closed or without gasoline, lines of cars were a common sight in Houston. HOUCHRON CAPTION (05/17/2004): Energy Crisis Dec. 1973 - Sept. 1974. HOUCHRON CAPTION: (08/04/2004): Arab oil embargo, 1973. Mike Robinson/HC staff Show More Show Less
16 of 18 06/1985 - Goose Creek oil field is located in east Houston. Betty Tichich/HC staff Show More Show Less
17 of 18 04/11/1986 - Mainland Savings Association was closed by federal regulators in April 1986. It was the largest thrift failure in U.S. history at the time it failed. This is what remains of the Southwest Freeway location. Ben DeSoto/HC staff Show More Show Less
As the 1980s got underway, Houston's oil industry was in the midst of nearly a decade of opulence, supported by record crude prices that followed the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
Sleek company cars plied the streets of the city. Membership at tony golf clubs soared. Corporate jets stood at the ready to whisk executives to anywhere in the world.
But just a few years later, it all came crashing down with the price of oil. The jets were grounded, cranes dismantled and commercial projects scrapped. Thousands of workers lost jobs and scores of companies went belly up.
"It wasn't much fun," said Patrick Fairchild, a geologist based in West Texas, whose Midland oil company went bankrupt when struggling lenders called his loan in 1986 - even though he was still making payments.
As Houston struggles through the latest oil bust, the 1980s crash remains the downturn against which all others are measured, an epic collapse that forced the region to confront its dependence on a single industry and begin a long process to diversify its economic base. Students of history can argue about which oil bust hit Houston's energy sector harder, but there's little debate that the 1980s collapse did far more damage to the local economy.
The colossal fall in oil prices that began in 1982 and accelerated in 1986 not only sapped Houston's wildcatter spirit, but undermined Houston's economic foundations. Houston lost more than 225,000 jobs, about one in eight, and unemployment rate climbed above 9 percent - nearly double today's rate. Office vacancies soared above 20 percent. Office rents plunged.
Loan payments to banks soon followed. Risky commercial real estate and energy loans went bad and hundreds of banks failed. Construction ground to a halt. More than 200,000 homes stood vacant.
"I remember seeing apartment projects started and not completed, new office buildings just sitting vacant, residential areas where streets got put in but never completed," said Keith Miller, senior energy lender at Mutual of Omaha Bank. "It was a low time for the Houston economy."
After the shock of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, crude prices stayed high as the newly formed Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries controlled production to keep supplies tight. Imported oil prices averaged at a peak $39 a barrel - or more than $106 in 2016 dollars - in the summer of 1981, according to the Energy Information Administration.
But prices began falling in March 1982 amid a decline in oil demand as the United States limped through a recession and Europe and other nations slowed economically, in part because of expensive fuel prices. From January to June 1986, crude prices fell 52 percent, or to about $27 a barrel in 2016 dollars. The price drop accelerated as Saudi Arabia pushed its crude production higher.
The nation's rig count fell from a peak of more than 4,500 in late 1981 to a low of 663 in July 1986. Sales of oil field equipment plunged from $40 billion to $9 billion over the same period, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Drilling rigs were torn apart and sold for scrap, at pennies on the dollar. For people trying to figure out how much the machines were worth, the first question wasn't "How much oil can it drill up?" It was "How much does it weigh?"
Attendance plummeted at the Offshore Technology Conference, one of the energy industry's biggest events. More than 100,000 people had packed the trade show in 1982 two years later, organizers had the conference without an exhibition because so few people would attend. By 1987, OTC attendance reached only 25,000, just one-fourth of what it was five years earlier.
A Wall Street Journal article claimed the most exotic dish served at one Houston dinner party was a plate of cheese balls. The New York Times wrote about a Houston dentist who reported an increase in teeth-grinding problems among the locals.
In the boom years, "you got a free car and all the gas you could put in it," said Mark Parrish, who worked for an independent oil company in the 1980s. "That was the first thing that went away. It was a pretty big hit."
Bigger hits followed. In oil towns like Midland, laid-off oil workers lived in tents, recalled Fairchild, the geologist. One lived in the cardboard box his refrigerator had come in.
The Arab oil embargo leads to rising energy prices and mile-long lines at gasoline stations in the United States.
The U.S. rig count stands at more than 1,200.
The U.S. rig count reaches 4,500 even though oil demand declines after large consumer markets such as the United States and Canada slip into recession.
The beginning of the bust. Demand sinks below daily oil production and crude prices start falling.
The decline in oil prices accelerates, and U.S. crude prices fall by half in just a few months. Baker International and Hughes Tools, two oil field service companies, merge to ride out the downturn.
Harris County has 30,000 home foreclosures.
The worst of the bust is over after more than 225,000 workers lose jobs and 130 Texas banks fail.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
"Houses were just being evacuated," Fairchild said. "It was a crazy time."
In many ways, the oil industry felt the repercussions of this epic oil bust for years. A generation of young petroleum engineers, for example, left the industry and never returned, leaving oil companies to grapple with a middle-age talent gap that persisted even into the recent oil boom.
The searing experience also provided a lesson that political, business and civic leaders took to heart: The region's economy could not depend so heavily on one industry. Efforts to diversify the local economy got underway, and today, sectors like the large and growing health care industry are tempering the impact of the latest oil bust.
Banking in the region has changed, as well. The arrival of interstate banking in 1987 allowed out-of-state institutions to snap up troubled Houston banks, and helped stabilize the local financial system. Most of the region's banking is done by large national lenders, rather than scattered, small independent banks, providing greater access to credit and capital.
The oil and gas industry has again been battered, this time by a slide in prices that began in the summer of 2014. More than 170 North American oil producers and oil field services companies, many in Texas, have gone bankrupt, according to Dallas law firm Haynes & Boone. Tens of thousands of oil and gas jobs have been lost. Many companies continue to struggle under the weight of some $500 billion in high-interest debt that independent firms ran up during the latest boom.
The broader economy, so far, has held up much better than 30 years ago. The Houston area is still adding jobs, albeit barely. The real estate market is cooling, but not collapsing. Sectors such as health care and petrochemicals are still growing.
In an interview in 1989, the University of Houston economist Barton Smith said the oil boom of the 1970s and early '80s caught the city by surprise, and it perhaps grew too far, too fast, which intensified the bust.
"But we've learned a lesson," he told the Houston Chronicle. "All we need to do is remember it."
Some women with this deviation becomemodels. Earnings range from 16 to 25 thousand dollars a month. How much Ting Hiafen receives, unfortunately, is not known. But it should be noted that for the model business is not enough just a big breast. It is also necessary to have some character traits, such as flexibility, emancipation and perseverance. Models should carefully monitor themselves. To do this, they are provided with free masseurs, stylists, hairdressers and seamstresses. Most likely, Ting Hiafen decided to try herself in this business. Well, we can only wish her good luck.
Vintage Arnoldo Giannelli " Bust of a Woman in a Medici Collar" / Recomposed Stone / Circa 1960's
I had been looking at this for over two months every time I went to the Goodwill near Cleveland. It was just so amazing in detail and quality. I didn't see any signature so I had them put it back in their showcase. There was a silly little elephant figure by the same artist that was clearly marked and they wanted forty-five dollars for it and it's just the top part of a larger piece ! I found that out researching this one. This was half the price so I bought it this time. They obviously didn't see the signature. Neither did I till I got it in the bright sunlight. It's very faint and the middle is completely gone, but it's A. Giannelli ! I found the piece online, but the prices vary widely. This is the one that shows up the least too. She's really exquisite and heavy with no damage. She's 9 1/2" tall by 6" wide and sits on a black stone pedestal. The bust is finished in a warm aged ivory color. Most of the pieces have a date (1960,70,80) below his name. This one does not .So maybe it's even earlier. I don't know.You can actually still buy this piece new, but it's in pure white stone with a white polished marble pedestal. Not nearly as nice looking. Their website has PDFs of their catalogs. Just really beautiful works of art. No prices listed unless you order. I guess if you have to ask you can't afford it. lol -Mike-
History Courtesy of Egregia factory website:
The pieces that the factory produced originally and today, are in recomposed stone, a mixture of alabaster and marble powder and resin .The result is the weight, texture and coolness of alabaster.
The activity of the factory Egregia starts in Volterra, a city of Italy, in Tuscany, of considerable historic and cultural interest, famous for the alabaster manufacture
The original models of the sculptures have been made by Cav. Arnaldo Giannelli, founder of the firm.
Born in Volterra, Italy in 1907, Arnoldo Giannelli was a keen student of sculpture from the age of 10. He graduated from the Royal School of Art in 1924 and achieved the accolade of "Master" at the Nardoni Workshops. In 1944 he opened his own studio, with work consisting mainly of commissions from the Allied Forces.
For his professional achievements, he was awarded the title of "Cavaliere" in 1970 the Italian equivalent of a Knighthood.
The artist, Arnoldo Giannelli, was an Italian master sculpture and the president of the "Alabaster Craftsman Guild" from 1953 until 1961, his most famous pieces are a bust of Dwight D. Eisenhower and a three meter high totem for Boston University. This is truly a masterpiece by a master sculpture
Bust of a Woman is an oil painting on canvas by Pablo Picasso. The portrait is small in size with a dark palette dominated by brown, blue, grey and yellow ochre tones. It features a female nude presented in half-length format. Her body is angled away from the viewer, turned slightly to her right. She looks down and her shoulders appear slumped. Her upper body is rendered in Picasso’s proto-cubist style, in which her breasts, shoulders and head appear to fracture into discreet objects with almost geometric edges. She is set against a grey and brown background. The shifting directions of the brushstrokes indicate the depth of the surfaces and enhance the model’s facial features such as the conical socket of the left eye. Just as the painting does not offer a superficial likeness, so the sitter remains anonymous in the title of the work. Picasso has signed the painting in the bottom right corner.
Picasso produced Bust of a Woman in 1909, although it is unclear at what point in the year. According to Tate curator Roger Alley, writing in 1981, sometime in the spring is most likely, which would mean Picasso painted the portrait in his studio on the Boulevard de Clichy, Paris (Alley 1981, p.594). However, summer 1909 has also been suggested, in which case Picasso was in Horta de Ebro in Spain (Alley 1981, p.594). Art historian Christopher Riopelle has noted that from 1906 onwards Picasso ‘set about fashioning a self-consciously brusque and unresolved manner of handling paint’ (Riopelle, ‘Something Else Entirely: Picasso and Cubism 1906–1922’, in Cowling, Galassi, Robbins and others 2009, pp.55–67, p.56). This rough finish can be seen in Bust of a Woman with brushstrokes not only left visible (for example on the left shoulder), but forming part of the modelling of shape and depth of space in the image.
As one of Picasso’s proto-cubist works, Bust of a Woman contains the angular stylisation of the model’s features from the artist’s analytical cubist period (which developed in 1908–12) but retains a strong element of figuration. Picasso began to experiment outside the conventions of representation in 1906, particularly by looking beyond the western tradition. As Riopelle explains, ‘he would bring to bear a range of aesthetic allusions far outside the Western canon’ (Riopelle 2009, p.56). One of the sources to which Picasso turned was African and Polynesian sculpture and arguably this visual language had an impact on Bust of a Woman. Alley references a 1976 letter of William Fagg (Keeper of the Department of Anthropology at the British Museum 1969–74), in which Fagg observes that Bust of a Woman ‘looks very much as if it were derived from one or more African pieces, but as usual with works by artists of the School of Paris its source is not easily recognisable’ (Alley 1981, p.594). Fagg may be writing with particular reference to the mask-like representation of the sitter’s features or the sculptural quality achieved through the opaque rendering of the body. Riopelle has argued, however, that despite stepping outside European painting for inspiration, Picasso continued to work in genres that resided firmly within the western canon, such as still life, portraiture and the nude (Riopelle 2009, p.57).
The model in Bust of a Woman is likely to be Fernande Olivier, Picasso’s partner at the time. As curator Jeffrey Weiss has noted: ‘in 1909 Picasso created a group of works devoted to a single subject, that of his companion Fernande Olivier … The obvious paintings, those in which the subject is clearly Fernande, number close to one dozen’ (Jeffrey Weiss, ‘Fleeting and Fixed: Picasso’s Fernandes’, in Weiss, Fletcher and Tuma 2003, pp.1–50, p.4). Weiss does not identify Bust of a Woman as featuring Olivier, but notes that images of her from this time show her hair in a distinctive ‘coil and a topknot’ and with a prominent jaw (see, for instance, Portrait of Fernande 1909, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein–Westfalen, Düsseldorf) – both elements that are also clearly visible in this portrait (Weiss 2003, p.6). Additionally, the model’s noticeably downturned head in this work is a feature specific to the Olivier portraits (Weiss 2003, p.6).The association of Bust of a Woman with this series of work was explored in the exhibition Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier in 2003 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC (see Weiss, Fletcher and Tuma 2003).
More generally, Bust of a Woman sits on a precipice in Picasso’s oeuvre between his working through of lessons about visual perception and his move into analytical cubism. Seated Nude 1909–10 (Tate N05904 ) is an example of an analytical piece from the following year. Bust of a Woman also belongs to the first set of images the artist dedicated to a single subject, and Weiss observes that ‘such intense devotion to repeated representations of a single “portrait” subject is rare in his oeuvre and does not exist prior to 1909’ (Weiss 2003, p.5). As such Weiss argues that these early works initiated Picasso’s longer-term practice of working in series.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery’s Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, London 1981, reproduced p.594.
Jeffrey Weiss, Valerie J. Fletcher and Kathryn A. Tuma (eds.), Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 2003, reproduced p.52.
Elizabeth Cowling, Susan Galassi, Anne Robbins and others, Picasso: Challenging the Past, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery, London 2009.
Supported by Christie’s.
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Queen Isabella ranks as the 45th most searched woman: but there are several Queen Isabellas whom internet searchers might have been looking up. A likely favorite search was for Isabella of Castile, the erudite ruler who helped unite Spain, supported Columbus' voyage, drove the Jews from Spain, and instituted the Spanish Inquisition. But perhaps some searchers were looking for Isabella of France, queen consort of Edward II of England, who helped arrange his abdication and murder, then ruled with her lover as regent for her son. Other possible searches were for Isabella II of Spain, whose marriage and behavior helped stir up Europe's 19th-century political turmoil or Queen Isabella of Portugal, who served as regent of Spain during her husband's long absences.