I can’t find a photo of the kid in the bucket. You’ll have to go the Peabody Essex Museum.

This weekend we visited the lovely Peabody Essex Museum. It made me hungry for another trip to the MFA in Boston. I was entertained by unformed novel ideas popping into my head as we looked at maritime portraits, merchants’ china, models of ships. (“Yes, you are a very intriguing beginning. But what happens next?” I asked these ideas. They had no answer.)

My favorite really enjoyed the Yin Yu Tang house, transported from China (click on the site – you can explore the house online!). The rooms were quite small, but people had fewer belongings back then so there wasn’t any clutter. Everything seemed very purposeful, thoughtful, designed according to feng-shui and spirituality, prosperity, all of those good things (as opposed to whatever is available at IKEA). But life wasn’t idyllic; in the audio tour, a new bride accounted being brought to the family and basically acting as a servant to her new in-laws. (Chamberpots here involved). However, they also had a genius contraption called a “child minder”. Basically a tall bucket in which you put your child while you tend to your daily tasks. Yup.

In other news, today’s First Page Panda is Freestyle by Monica S. Baker. It involves a dream portal and time travel. Awesome!

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. After reading this post (and promptly reading most of it aloud to my roommate) we did a google search for the child minder.
    Was this what it looked like?

    • YES! This is it, the child minder! The child would stand on a grate and they would put charcoal underneath, so it was heated. They had a photo of a toddler in this thing. He looked warm. And confused.

      Thanks for the photo!

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