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Autumn Inspiration

A little visual and aural inspiration for my favorite time of year. As a September baby and dyed-in-the-wool New England witch, it's impossible not to adore fall.



Still Life with Insects and Amphibians, Otto Marseus bon Schrieck, 1662.


Votive offerings of rosaries and strips of cloth tied to branches, found at St. Kieran’s Well in Clareen, Offaly, Ireland. Old Celtic magic: The well is believed to have healing properties. When the rag has disintegrated, the person prayed for will be cured. From the Science Museum in London.


Paul Wilhem Keller-Reutlingen. Jugend cover 1896.


Virginia Woolf, c. 1880s.


Le Cocon (Il vit) by Meret Oppenheim. Made in multiples. I would love to have one! Inside a wood and plexiglass box are autumn leaves, twigs, and a satin pillow filled with mercury. You can feel the mercury moving when you handle it: The cocoon is “alive.”


Cutlery designed by Claude Lalanne for a “Dîner Cannibale” in 1970. I can find no photos of this dinner, which is weird. Looks a lot like Dalí’s cutlery, actually.


Sunday Times, Charles Pfahl, 1946.


Box assemblage by Joseph Cornell c. 1940s.


The Haunted Wood Arthur Rackham, 1903.


La Place Clichy, Eugène Carrière, 1900.



Margarethe, Anselm Kiefer, 1981.


Sphinx Philagriel, Leonor Fini, 1945.


Sainte Genevieve, Kiki Smith, 1999.


1840s silhouette painting of a child playing with a thaumatrope. From the collection of Peggy McClard Antiques. Wish it were mine!


Apparition in the Forest, Moritz von Schwind, c. 1850s.



This playlist is a little all over the place, but full of songs that always remind me of fall. Some of the songs were autumn releases and carried me through the season that year, like Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials. Other favorites, like Emma Ruth Rundle's entire back catalog, I simply fell in love with during fall. Almost all of them are tied to a specific year and place. Radiohead's "Optimistic" reminds me of evening art classes at the DeCordova Museum when I was in middle school. "Burn" by The Cure reminds me of my last autumn term at college, surrounded by the beautiful Vermont foliage and mountain air. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis's soundtrack for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" reminds me of a brief but bizarre stint at a ramshackle consignment store in Allston during my mid-twenties, while "Metal Heart" by Cat Power reminds me of the year I managed a different consignment store on Newbury Street, the happiest I ever was at a job. "Horses for Hearses" reminds me of a trip to New York for a Kurt Weill-themed Dances of Vice party almost ten years ago. It's funny how music sticks with you.




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