We also got to go to the home of an art collector, Marjorie Merriweather Post. She was very wealthy and collected decorative arts. That's stuff you put in your house--dishes, clocks, candlesticks, and all the little things that dress up a house. Her big thing, though, was collecting Russian decorative arts, especially Faberge' eggs and things owned by the last tsarist ruling family, the Romanovs. Maybe you've seen the movie Anastasia?
There was wonderful furniture, beautiful dishes, icons that came from churches that had been destroyed in the Bolshevik revolution, and even a tiara that had been worn during the coronation of one of the Romanovs.
Here are some things to look up on your computer, while you are trying to figure out what to do with yourself this summer:
- What's so important about the Romanovs? Why did their stuff get scattered?
- What is an icon (not the computer kind!)
- What's the story behind Faberge' eggs?
Marjorie Merriweather Post's house is an unusual type of museum, because it is, indeed, a house rather than a big building full of displays. She built special places into her house so that she could show all of the beautiful things she discovered on her travels around the world. There were special rooms with display cases, and little spots with built-in displays to house her massive collection. Many of the things she found in her travels were hidden artworks--for example, this chalice was in a dark room in an antique store in Russia. When she got it home and polished it, it was seven pounds of pure gold!