The Rest Is History

Tidying up tombs and rooms with help from museums and self-help gurus past and present.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, January 25, 2019

Head of Tutankhamun, c. 1336 bc. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1950.

• On the excellent Mary Austin. (Outside Online)

• King Tutankhamun’s tomb has been restored! (Daily Mail)

• A long history of tidying up: “Are our houses cluttered with disguised liabilities, rooms we don’t effectively use, pictures we don't see (and likely, are not worth seeing), useless furniture and bric-a-brac we haven’t the courage to get rid of?” (

• When using maps to convince people to buy a fur coat: “ ‘You’d bring in the fur buyers from the department stores, and they can see this beautiful illustration of where the sources are,’ Byrd says. It could also have been a tool for training sales people, she adds, ‘so they could say to anybody who’s passing through the doors, I know what this animal is, and where it comes from.’ ” (Atlas Obscura)

• The controversy over a painting that might be of a young Jane Austen continues. (The Guardian)

Robert Caro remembers the first time he ever peered into the archives: “Each discovery I made that helped to prove that was a thrill. I don’t know why raw files affect me that way. In part, perhaps, it’s because they are closer to reality, to genuineness—not filtered, cleaned up, through press releases or, years later, in books.” (The New Yorker)

Aristotle as self-help guru. (The New York Times Book Review)

• This week in obituaries: a photographer of cats, a former senator, Diana Athill, and Russell Baker.