Friday, 11 September 2009

American Museum Part 2

Why is there an incongruous tipi in the middle of the English countryside?
It's the American Museum near Bath, which I visited yesterday.

This lovely museum and its gardens gained a special place in my heart, when I went there in 1992, just when I was about to take voluntary redundancy from a job I disliked, and start a more creative career. It became associated with that feeling of freedom and creativity. I have visited it regularly ever since, and now I try to visit it every year, to see the annual exhibition. This year's exhibition featured American folk art. They have a wonderful permanent collection of folk art, which has long been an inspiration to me. They also have an extensive collection of beautiful American quilts. I'm afraid photos were not allowed, so I can only share some of the outdoor delights. Like the gardens in the September sun...


Some architectural details in the gazebo...

Tree roots in the arboretum....

And finally, the 'Tussie Mussie' posies they sell. They are full of sweet scented flowers and herbs, and the ladies used to carry them to church as a nosegay.

5 comments:

Hens Teeth said...

I have visited the American Museum very often and it is special to me too. So it was lovely to see and read your post.
One of my happy memories is sitting in the garden under falling blossom of a cherry tree on a warm spring morning. Thank you for stirring the memory.

TK said...

Why did ladies need a nosegay for church? Was it stinky?

jaboopee said...

i hadn't heard that description NOSEGAY before ...what a lovely name for a 'bunch of sweet scented flowers.'

Kitsch and Curious Elaine said...

Yes, I think the tussie mussies were used to combat bad smells, but they could also convey meaning.
See http://www.rhs.org.uk/Learning/Publications/pubs/garden0702/tussiemussie.htm

Did you know carrying a tansy meant 'I declare war'?

TK said...

I'd forgotten about the Victorian language of flowers. Did the women really know all the meanings? There are so many. And the men would have had to know them too as a lot of the messages were love-related. Far more complicated than using emoticons! But then, Victorian ladies had a lot of time on their hands - you can't spend all day every day embroidering, doing water colours and swooning.