Preservation blog Margaret Muza week in links

Wetplate Photographer based in Milwaukee

After my sister and I bought a 100 year old church in Milwaukee this past Winter, I’ve been doing a lot of renovations. I got an Audible subscription so that I could listen to books while doing mindless work like painting and scraping off old linoleum (glued to hardwood floors !%$*). Even after all the big jobs were done, I still like to listen on my drive to the gym or while on a long walk. Up next is a classic that I’ve never read before- Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. 

Also on repeat at our little sanctuary, Cedars of Lebanon incense from Milwaukee church supply store, Stempers. Light the lump of coal in an old pendulum style burner, and once it’s glowing red, you sprinkle the sap incense on top. Sweet smoke pipes out the top, and you're transported back to church on Sundays with your siblings, not paying attention at all, really just dreaming about the hot ham and rolls you're gonna get on the way home. Memories aside, I like to light it before I have a guest coming to get their tintype portrait made at the church studio. 

I was sad to learn of the passing of one of America’s greatest photographers, Robert Frank. An immigrant from Switzerland, Mr. Frank’s images from the 50’s and 60’s challenged the ugly American obsession with conformity. His New York Times obituary offered an informative window into his early life and career, as well as a romantic glimpse of a New York City from the past. As a photographer, I understand the sentiment when he said “When people look at my pictures, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of poetry twice.”

Earlier this month, when the temperatures dipped a little and rain clouds collected, I made a variation of my favorite bread recipe by Jim Lahey. Watch this video of him on Martha making his carrot/cumin bread a few years ago, and see if you can concentrate on anything other than how many times she cuts him off or tries to correct him. Gotta love her, though. 

As summer comes to an end, I’ll be adding warmer layers to my outfits. Underneath it all I’ll still be keeping it colorful with my favorite Wisconsin garment gal - Niffich (Helen Groom Poser). She turns her beautifully marbled fabrics into high waisted undies, reversible bodysuits, and quilted sweatshirts. 

I’ll be driving West to California soon, and hopefully will have time to stop for a night in Cisco, UT. My sister Eileen has been the only full time resident of this ‘ghost town” for almost 5 years now. You can stay the night in the original post office, which she converted to a little Airbnb, and check out the first Artist in Residence this October! Vice recently put out a short piece about her pioneering out there in the high desert. Lots of inspiration to be found here. And hopefully it won't be long before I'm back taking tintypes at my favorite spot in Des Moines, the beautiful Preservation shop! 

Photo courtesy of Margaret