Choosing a wedding gown by William Mulready 1786-1863, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The painting was inspired by the opening sentences of Oliver Goldsmith's novel The Vicar of Wakefield: "I had scarce taken orders a year before I began to think seriously of matrimony and chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but for such qualities as would wear well." Mulready had already provided a frontispiece for an 1843 edition of the novel - the composition on which this painting is based. Mulready's painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1846, where it was a great success. The painting was donated to the V&A by the industrialist and collector John Sheepshanks (1787-1863), who owned 31 of Mulready's paintings.
Speaking of weddings, my daughter Jordana and her boyfriend Keith have become engaged! As they seem very happy together, David and I are pleased for them. They will plan a wedding, after Jordana's graduation this spring and after both Jordana and Keith begin new jobs in a new city. As Jordana is a talented seamstress, she will probably design her own wedding gown. Lots of exciting changes on the horizon for 2008 and beyond...
Update 11 p.m. Just spoke to Jordana in Cincinnati and she managed to charm the airline personnel at Charles de Gaulle into putting Keith on her flight! They had originally been scheduled on separate flights en route to the US and planned to meet at the airport in Savannah later tonight. These next few months will be a busy time for Jordana, who's preparing a project by request of a prospective employer, as well as producing her senior collection. I will be the proud mom cheering her on at a special showing this spring, followed a few days later by her graduation.
Hope 2008 is off to a good start for you!