Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Internship Day At "The Hermitage" 4/10/13

Inside The Mansion
Working on Prints

Here's my walk from the visitor's center to the mansion...

I took the right path

This morning I began my day inside the "Gold Room". I was hoping that I would get to go in the "Lafayette Room", however that was not to be. It is called the "Lafayette Room" because when Lafayette visited, he supposedly stayed in that room. I did get to go in to retrieve the ladder, though. Yay me!

The room that I did work in was the "Gold Room". This is one of the bedrooms in the hallway upstairs, not off the upstairs landing, but literally in the hall to go to the back stairs. This wallpaper is original and has a very large gold pattern (thus the name of the room.) I asked Ms. Shirley who had stayed there, and she said that they also called it the "Boys Room", but she could not be certain who actually stayed in the room. The only original piece in this room, is a rocking cradle. This was made from hickory on the property. The baseboards have the original faux-painting. I really wish that I could take a picture. Alas, I cannot. 

The fireplace is of interest! The mantle is marble, and has three roundels. The one in the center is larger than the two on each corresponding sides. In the center of each roundel is an oval mirror, which is about an inch to an inch-and-a-half tall, and is shorter than long. I assume that the mirrors are original because they are all cracked. They possibly may not be original, of course. Another great point about the fireplace is that in the center of the hearth, there is a brick that has etchings in it. Ms. Shirley told me that the fireplace builders were so proud of their work that they signed a brick as their autograph. Unfortunately, this was illegible. I literally laid down on the floor to see if I could read it. It was to no avail! I think that I made out "III" at the end. So, the builder was a "Third". That is only a possibility, though. Shirley acknowledged that she thought so as well. 

Ms. Shirley. Assistant to the Assistant Curator

After lunch, I went back to the collections department to work on prints. Today, there were two interesting prints. One was of Dolly Madison that my supervisor, Ashley, thought was a man! Wonderful! Another one was a print of Mr. John Overton, of "Historic Traveler's Rest" fame, who was President Jackson's trusted friend and political adviser. "Why was this interesting?", you ask. Ok, so the donor, back in the 60's had tried to "remove the yellow" by either erasing, or literally removing part of Mr. Overton's face and shirt. How do I know this? Because the donor admitted it on the back! WOW! It would have been a cool picture, but with the removal of the parts, no, it was just strange. There was another "card" glued to the back, so that those areas that were removed, were actually the whiter card from beneath. I was just surprised when I figured out what he had done.

Me looking exactly like my mom, working on the Dolly Madison print. 
(Picture taken by my boss, Ashley Bouknight, Assistant Curator)

Ashley Bouknight, Assistant Curator, The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson
Not only is she beautiful, she is brilliant! I am learning so much working for her.

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