Monday, June 30, 2008


One would think that after spending years at Winterthur, I would be sick of historic house museums.  Nope!  I love them!  And Sunday and Monday turned into a celebration, a'palooza' or 'fest' if you will, of the house museum.  Unlike college 'fests' such as UD's famed Chapelfest, there is no resultant hangover for House-Museum-Fest, only sore and tired feet.

First was the Theater Museum.  The Theater Museum aspires to teach the visitor about what goes on behind a theatrical production.  The permanent collection was small but fun; the best part being a small curtain chamber that the visitor goes into, where he/she can press buttons to have different lighting/sounds happen.  (This is to illustrate the influence of light/sound on the production).  A whole new dimension of fun is added when the labels of the buttons are in Dutch!  The museum itself is located in two beautiful adjoining canal houses, one built in 1638 and the other in 1617.

One room had some amazing flocked wallpaper.  If you've never encountered flocked wallpaper, I'm sorry for you.  It's fabulously ridiculous.  

Adhesive is applied in the shape of the desired design and then bits of fluff/fuzz/lint are wafted towards it so that it sticks on the adhesive, creating a velvety wallpaper!  I learned that in graduate school.  Let's hear it for advanced degrees!

The central staircase in the Theater Museum.

One of my favorite parts about the canal house museums, apart from being able to peer into other peoples' houses, is that they have private gardens attached.

I think this was my favorite: Museum van Loon.  The original van Loon was a co-founder of the Dutch East India Company.  I also like saying van Loon

The van Loon Museum had a nice video playing of the current van Loon patriarch, an ancient and extremely tall and thin gentleman.  In the video he walks around to the various rooms and tells what the room was like when his grandparents lived in it, and stories from his childhood.

This is the garden of the Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, built in 1687.  The garden was the best part of the house.  The guide I spoke with said it was the most beautiful garden ever.  I was like... right...  I said, "Oh yes, absolutely lovely,"  but in my head was thinking, "Those du Ponts sure knew a good garden though..."

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