Hi everybody. Yesterday’s visit to the Norton Museum, was truly wonderful. The journey there was not uneventful, as the car I was travelling in, got forced right off the highway by a huge camper van as big as a bus, towing a 4×4. He just pulled right in front of us from the left hand lane, and I don’t know if he forgot he was towing, or what, but we suddenly had to swerve over onto the gravel at the side of the road. This friend of mine drives really fast, and also tends to talk with her hands. I think I have to learn to find my own way around next time we come over, so that I can drive myself.
We got to the museum in double quick time, so had half an hour to wait for our docent, but she was half an hour late, so we had a whole hour to look around the shop and explore a bit on our own. Of course, some of the women spent the whole time in the shop, and my ‘Flea Market’ friend from the other day, was buying up a storm in scarves and costume jewelry. I was very attracted to these gorgeous evening bags, but at between $200-300, I didn’t pull out my credit card.
The entrance foyer was painted in very bright colours, and was extremely jolly, I thought.
We wandered through to have a look at the glass sculptures, some of which were really stunning, like this huge one called “The Banquet” by Beth Lipman. I wasn’t allowed to photograph it, but got this pic from Google.
The one piece I fell in love with and would have loved to take home with me, was this ” Late Summer cactus,” by Flo Perkins. You’d have to see it in real life, to appreciate its beauty.
We were taken into a small room with seats all around the edge, and sat for a few minutes admiring this amazing glass ceiling made by glass sculptur Dale Chihuly. It weighs 2000lbs and is really colourful, depicting all kinds of sea creatures, including manta rays, sea snakes, sea urchins, shells, etc. I did manage to sneak a photo as we walked out.
The tour of the cocktail culture was so interesting, and had me wishing I’d lived in America through that glamorous era. The beautiful dresses, hats, and accessories were just fabulous. No pics allowed though, but I found one of the dresses on the internet.
The cocktail glasses were so stunning, some with top hats on the stems. The martini glasses were designed with a knob at the top of the stem to prevent the warmth from your hand from travelling up the stem and spoiling the ice cold drink. Quite ingenious. So much Cartier was in those cabinets, cigarette cases and elegant holders in 14kt gold, crystal ashtrays, silver hip flasks and cocktail shakers. No expense was spared when it came to high society’s favourite pastime. There was one rather large solid silver canteen, which was used on Sundays when the liquor stores were closed. It was filled up and hooked up under the coat of one of the men, and then after church, everybody could have a drink to warm themselves up.
We were told that the very first export from America to England, was the cocktail, and there were recipes up on the wall, so I copied down this one for the “Flapper Cocktail”
1 ounce Rum
1 ounce French vermouth
a dash of Angustura bitters
1 quarter tsp sugar
Well shaken of course.
There was so much costume jewelry which came into fashion in the cocktail era because every outfit had to have a set of matching accessories, so they were just made of paste rather than expensive stones. This was the difference between evening dress and cocktail wear. The jewelry to be worn with evening wear was the real thing, not fake.
We saw a photo of the exclusive celebrity “Stork Club.” Here is pic of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth there, and you can see the famous Stork Club ashtray on the table.
I wish I could show you everything I saw, but that would take me forever, and it’s time for bed. Lunch was really tasty. I had poached salmon, followed by chocolate fudge pieces, and we all got chocolates in a heart shaped box, which must have been left over from Valentines day.
The glass blowing demonstration was by Corning, and was outside in the atrium.
All went well, and the guy was making the most beautifully shaped, tall vase, but just as he was about put the finishing touches to the base, it dropped off the rod and bounced on the floor, so he had to start all over again. My friend sitting next to me couldn’t stop laughing, which was quite embarrassing, as she has a very loud cackle. His second attempt, was a much more modest creation, but still really lovely.
Well I’m sorry this has been so long, but I did promise to share my visit with you. Hope you enjoyed. Have a great weekend. Chat again soon.