|Checking out the lovelies on the iPad waiting their turn|
But it paled in comparison with the storage. First you walk down an aisle of state of the art library
|Ultra high res picture of stumpwork|
|The long walk in storage - hey is there any|
embroidery in here? Everyone was very
nice not to grab a handle and turn to see
what was behind door #1! You know we
all wanted to!
We had a total treat and many of the participants stopped dead in their tracks and gasped - some had never seen an embroidered cabinet in the flesh before and here were five really outstanding ones on the table and two had contents that were laid out. We had an extra whitework sampler, a special request by Judy. It helped our host, Emily Taylor, to combine her request with our visit to reduce the number of appointments for the week. And then everyone got to enjoy the bonus piece!
|Emily opening a casket for everyone|
When I go on my pre-tour, I think a lot about choosing not just objects that are of the class we are studying but also objects that build to tell a story about the 17th century. Sometimes I can't get out everything a museum owns so the point is to curate so we are never in a position of thinking 'oh another one of those...' by the end of the tour. It always needs to surprise. There were many, many surprises during the tour. Sometimes I pulled an object that I knew people weren't aware of and it usually blew their mind. Either quite spectacular in workmanship or surprising as a way to treat these objects in a new way.
|Their arms got so tired - once one was open, it might be ten|
minutes of taking pictures and rotating through as well as
removing drawers and finding all the secret spots. After four
groups the curators really deserved so much thanks.
|You can see the 'toys' that were in the double casket in the box|
We are dogged about taking off our jewelry, name tags, scarves, camera leashes, etc. We all fill out any paperwork beforehand on the bus and
|Camera everywhere! I send out discussions on taking photos|
for best results as well as the dangers of iPads for photos (too
big and they bump objects).
- crowding in to see something is hazardous for bumping. And after 55 minutes - it is time to go! I have read that when concentrating intensely - that is the human brain's limit and after that your visual overload makes you really tired (we could vouch for that!). You no longer have interest and people start standing around and talking. That is the most dangerous time for touching or bumping an object so we limit the storage time to 55 minutes -- and every session goes that way and the last five minutes people are just so overwhelmed. Any more time and we would make the
The bus did a steady business of going back and forth to take people away to go to the real museum as when we were done, we had a special lecture by Naomi Tarrant in the museum set up. Naomi was the former textile curator and author of two wonderful books: Textile Treasures (the double casket and its toys feature in this book) and the newly published Remember Now Thy Creator. This new book catalogs and treats the subject of Scottish samplers. So we asked Naomi to lecture to us about Scottish samplers and it was lovely.
We combed the museum for textile objects and then closed the museum and sat down outside, exhausted from our first real day of storage visits!