Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Kent State Museum, among other historical goodies...

This is a pretty belated post. Five months, to be precise.

Summer has regularly been pretty slow for me, costume-wise, but history is always on my mind. There just seems to be so many other things going on, during the summer, that I can't quite find a spare moment to pick up a needle and thread. Though, I have had a bit of 18th century inspiration lately which is quite welcome.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post...

Back in February, my family and I had an unexpected diversion in life and I had to run off to Ohio for a couple weeks. We had a family member at the Cleveland Clinic, and my husband and I spent the longest two weeks of our life in Cleveland. Long story short, the person is totally fine now, so it was time well spent.

While we were there, we had a lot of free time, so naturally, I tried to find things to do. I was lucky enough to come across this in a tourist magazine...

I nearly had a heart attack.

Kent State Museum?! I live in Vegas; I don't think I would ever plan a trip here. I guess it was fortuitous... that means lucky. Bonus points for whoever loves that movie, too... ;)

So, one day we took a cab from Cleveland to Kent to see the museum. 

Oh my gosh, it was SOOO worth it. Unfortunately, I couldn't take photos, but if you ever get the opportunity to visit the museum, please go. There were barely any other visitors and I was able to get within inches, practically, of the garments. So amazing for study. I took a notebook to sketch in. It was the first opportunity I have had, in ages, to get that close to an 18th century gown. Definitely worth the trip. And the shop wasn't bad either!

Another great find was the Loganberry bookstore, in Larchmere. I was lucky enough to find some 1860's Godey's to bring home!

See that empty space... All mine now! Eeeeeee!

More up my husband's alley, was the Westside Market, Cleveland's oldest food market, which boasts origins back to 1840. It was delightful. I wish we'd had a kitchen to cook with; there were so many amazing meats and things to buy!

Another major bit of awesomeness was the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The museum was added onto in modern years, but they kept the original facade, and enclosed it, making a lovely respite from the snow.

The museum had tons of things to see: Egyptian and Greek artifacts, Medieval armor, Tiffany lamps, Regency paintings, early American furniture, two stools, in Chine a la Branche, designed for Marie Antoinette, a very snazzy 1830's man in some delightfully steampunk spectacles...

Portrait of Nathaniel Olds, 1837, by Jeptha Homer Wade

Even one of the hotels we stayed in boasted some interesting history.  The Tudor Arms, which is now part of a modern chain, was once a men's sports club and was boarded up through the years to accommodate other uses. The most recent owners started tearing down drywall and came across lovely early 20th century woodwork and other architecture. The hotel is currently undergoing some restoration to get back to it's former glory. I was lucky enough to take a "backstage" tour and was even able to see the old pools and bowling alley! Very cool.

All in all, Cleveland was delightfully surprising. I had never considered going, until I was there, my plane landing in feet of snow. There was history everywhere, though I think the highlight was definitely the Kent State Museum. Golly I wish I could have taken pictures to share! Oh and, I swear, some of the best fish and chips I've ever had was at The Pub at Beechwood. Better than England, and it takes a lot for me to say that!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a lovely summer and I hope I get some sewing inspiration soon. In the mean time, back to the horses. On a good note, I've been getting a lot more proficient in my side saddle riding...

Cheers all!