Women belt out the blues to help preserve Austin history

Clifford Antone (1949-2006) slung sandwiches as his first Antone’s endeavor in Austin, but by 1975 the blues had taken over. He opened Antone’s downtown to showcase the best blues artists around. Susan Antone recalls her brother always wanted Antone’s to be a place where you could take your little baby or your grandmother.

The blues slingers came, and, in the early days, Susan would fill them up with a home-cooked meal before they went on stage. For posterity, she made sure to photograph them as well, creating a lasting story of the blues in Austin.

Susan Antone was the honored guest at a benefit Friday night presented by Songwriters across Texas for the Austin History Center Association – Women of Antone’s. The association is a nonprofit organization raising funds for the Austin History Center. Dedicated to preserving the history of Austin and Travis County, the center is a division of the Austin Public Library and is located in a 1933 building on Guadalupe Street that once housed the main library itself.

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Biannual roundup of your favorite posts

Above photo from Postcard from Toulouse, France: Falling in love one quirky detail at a time

The year 2022 brought a reshuffling of what blog entries caught your attention. You dove back as far as 2010, an indication of how long I have been blogging.

You politely made one of the stories drawn from research for An Ostrich-Plumed Hat, And Yes, She Shot Him Dead your number one favorite, clearly attracted by Texans’ love of pralines. You continue to support efforts to populate Brackenridge Park with ghosts, and thanks for welcoming a post about my new hometown focusing on the history of Zilker Park. And the quirkiness that is Toulouse sparked your attention. In other words, your interests are as unpredictably wide-ranging as my posts.

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Caste discrimination woven into Spanish Colonial art of the Americas

Above: “Virgin of the Tailors,” Cusco, Peru, circa 1750, on loan from Museo Pedro de Osma, Lima

Late-colonial New Spain was awash with conflicting energies: American-born Spaniards (Creoles), like their North American counterparts, felt a growing desire for independence, yet needed their identification with Europe to cement their sense of superiority over the racialized indigenous, African, and mixed-race lower classes….”

“Casta Painting and the Rhetorical Body,” Christa Olson, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Fall 2009

And 18th-century fashion statements as recorded in paintings and sculpture became a tool to exhibit the claimed superiority of those with pure, or at least high, percentages of Spanish blood flowing through their veins. On display at the Blanton Museum of Art through January 8, Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America focuses on the societal role of textiles in conveying class distinctions.

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