“The Travelling Tinker” by John Burr

A painting by the Scottish artist John Burr (1831-1893).  Tinkers were originally tinsmiths or "tinners".  One of many itinerant jobs pursued by a class of casual laborers.  These were mostly skilled and specialized crafts like basket making, shoe repair, leather work, and metal work but many poorer workers were migrant farm labor picking hops and …

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Wandering Minstral

Here is a painting by the Scottish artist John Burr (1831-1893) of an itinerant fiddler playing for a family in a Scottish lane probably trying to make enough money to eat or maybe even receive some food for his entertainment.  I can't help but think the father looking out has a skeptical look; possibly wondering …

Banished to New York:

... an interesting historical post about the fate of traveling folk in 17th century Scotland Scotland had draconian laws against travelling folk. Hostility towards “Egyptians” took off under King James VI, who was also famously opposed to Border Reivers, Gaelic-speaking Highlanders, alleged Witches, Protestant religious dissenters and tobacco smokers. Edinburgh, 13 May 1682: ‘His Royall …

Sunday Music

A beautiful and sentimental song by Dougie MacLean, a Scottish artist.  If you've never heard of him you probably know at least one of his tunes.  MacLean's most famous piece is probably  "The Gael", from his 1990 album The Search, which was adapted by Trevor Jones as the main theme to The Last of the …

Farquharson

Maybe it's time to institute Highlander Art Mondays for a while. From James Logan's The Clans of the Scottish Highlands, published in 1845.  Great kilt, bill staff, and some fine pampooties.