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Historic Preservation Month: First Annual Save Your Spaces Festival

Tanzy Ward

Historic Preservation Month: First Annual Save Your Spaces Festival

The heart of historic preservation is its community. Many unsung stories and legacies are overlooked and not preserved properly. These intricate stories and spaces are deeply rooted in the identity of America. Unfortunately, many historical Black spaces are not being celebrated and registered as official historic sites. Save Your Spaces, Georgia’s first annual historic preservation festival, aims to spread the awareness of protecting Black spaces. The festival provides education, activation, and inspiration for historic preservation efforts. I am honored to be a presenter and panelist at the innovative and exciting festival, which is a first of its kind.  The first...


The Pearl Age: The Classic Gem's Fascinating History & Ongoing Legacy

Tanzy Ward

The Pearl Age: The Classic Gem's Fascinating History & Ongoing Legacy

Long before diamonds became highly sought after and more accessible during the 19th century, pearls were one of the most treasured organic gems in the world. Before cultured pearls were invented by Kokichi Mikimoto (1858-1954) in 1893, naturally grown pearls were extremely rare and very costly (more expensive than diamonds). Historically, various cultures have used pearls to create jewelry for thousands of years. During ancient times and in the age of antiquity, pearls often represented a symbolic or sentimental act of adornment. Pearl artifacts can be found in ancient civilizations worldwide, such as Egypt, Rome, the Middle East, and China. It...


Victorian Times: The Non-Mourning Tradition of Hairwork Jewelry

Tanzy Ward

Victorian Times: The Non-Mourning Tradition of Hairwork Jewelry

Although hairwork jewelry is synonymous with mourning mementos of the Victorian Grand Period (1861-1880), the trend extends beyond its lamentation inspirations. Historically, some of the earliest forms of hairwork jewelry originated during the Middle Ages (500-c.1450). King Christian IV of Denmark (1577-1648) gifted his queen, Anna Catherine of Brandenburg (1575-1612) a gold bracelet with braided strands of hair belonging to him. It was not uncommon to use human hair strands to emphasize adoration and love for a loved one. Hairwork jewelry was also less costly and more accessible than gemstone accessories. Consequently, hairwork jewelry was also a sentimental cost-effective option for...


Unsung Portraits: Anonymous Images of Black Victorians & Early 20th Century Ancestors Book Release

Tanzy Ward

Unsung Portraits: Anonymous Images of Black Victorians & Early 20th Century Ancestors Book Release

Black Americana encompasses more than inaccurate caricatures and stereotypes. African Americans used photography to showcase themselves in a dignified and authentic light. Unsung Portraits: Anonymous Images of Black Victorians & Early 20th Century Ancestors honors the diverse portrait collection that reflects accurate Black Americana characterization. Every photograph is an original copy from my carefully curated personal collection. Although the photos do not contain the names of the subjects, each portrait allows us to visualize parts of their stories through the descriptive details. It is critical to preserve these captivating photos and honor their legacies. The portrait collection spans the Civil War Era,...


A Retrospective of Art Deco Era Jewelry Designs & Influence

Tanzy Ward

A Retrospective of Art Deco Era Jewelry Designs & Influence

One of the most inspirational & enduring historical jewelry periods is the Art Deco Era (c.1919-c.1939). Although early Art Deco designs were created before its designation, the movement adopted its official name from the Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925.  After the Art Nouveau Movement declined, there was still a highly sought after market for Art. However, more emphasis was placed on modern industrial designs instead of artisan handcrafted work. The French exposition celebrated & highlighted the newest styles in decorative arts throughout the world. The Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes Official poster, designed...