Now that you’re singing that song….do you like door bells and sleigh bells? and schnitzel with noodles?
With Christmas and the New Year right around the corner, we decided to ask the staff what their favorite thing is about Liberty Hall. This could be a favorite artifact, event, room, building, ANYTHING. We all have worked at Liberty Hall for different lengths of time, we do tours differently, and we interact with the property differently. This was a fun post because we never talk about what we as individuals love about Liberty Hall. It’s interesting to see what the staff has for their favorite things.
So, here are some of our favorite things…
Janice, Museum Educator: “As they gaze out at visitors, I am inspired by the portraits of former owners of the house and their legacy. It is also delightful to view all of the wonderful Christmas decorations through the house which bring fond memories of Christmas past.”
Cynthia, Museum Educator: “My favorite space at Liberty Hall is the Colonial Kitchen. Upon entering this space I feel brought back in time, very connected to the Livingston family and the colonial way of life.”
John, Museum Educator: “The German music box we put out at Christmas time. It dates to the 1870s, and is a great hand made piece in the collection.”
Rachael, Collections Manager: “There is a very pretty and ornate plate we have on display in the Butler’s Pantry that I absolutely love! It’s meant for the game course. It amazes me that someone took the time to make this elaborately decorated plate, only to have food served on it! I also love getting to hide Johnny the Elf during Christmas – it’s fun to try to find new hiding places for him!”
Norene, Membership Coordinator: “I love the view out of the window of my office, it is such a beautiful landscape and grounds. I also love the Governors’ Path and Serpentine Path – those are my favorites places to walk. The Rose Garden in spring!”
Elma, Wonder Woman: “I love being in the main house and decorating the house for the different holidays, particularly Christmas!”
Bill, Director of Museum Operations: “My favorite item in the collection is a ladies traveling piss pot. It’s in the shape of a bicycle seat in which the lid is removable. I remember bringing it out for visitors, even though I wasn’t really sure what it was, when a visitor told me! I went on to do tons of research to make sure that the visitor was right. And she was, it is a ladies traveling piss pot. It’s a fantastic piece that conjures up a million questions of how to use it.”
Dan, Museum Educator: “My favorite artifact is the Tiffany & Co Favrile Glass Champagne and Tot set. I love the idea of Roman glass in history of the home and decorative arts. I don’t know if the story is true but I heard about Tiffany & Co and favrile glass but when the excavations of the Pompeii became more in depth they had uncovered large quantities of rainbow glass. They thought the Romans before the explosion of Mr. Vesuvius produced it. It was in fact the chemical reactions that occurs when hot magma and ash is mixed that resulted in this rainbow glass However you cannot convince American aristocracy that they can’t have what they want – favrile glass. Tiffany & Co produced favrile glass and whether or not the story is true, it’s nothing but fun to think about.”
Lorraine, Coordinator of School Programs: “When we do the “Deck the Halls” Christmas tours, I love the 1940s/World War II Christmas room. I love how patriotic the room is. And this year in particular with the “Toys Through Time” exhibit, it’s so fun to hear about how Christmas was celebrated and then visitors can go upstairs and see all the toys that were made in the decade for the war effort. I also love this room become it brings back memories of my parents and how they may have spent their Christmases in the 40s.”
John, last resident of Liberty Hall: “I love the saluting cannon in the Great Hall. My favorites places as a child were the children’s dining room, the nursery, the wagon shed: always had such fascinating machines, and the stable where “Ben” the white horse lived!”
Lena, Museum Educator: “My favorite thing at Liberty Hall is absolutely teaching the 1940’s room in the Changing Childhood program. It’s my favorite decade in American History, I know a lot about it, and I can go all out for that room. I do my hair in the Victory Roles, I do the make-up; I even have music from the 40s playing on my phone when the kids come into the room (my phone is well hidden behind the radio). I especially like that room because it’s at the end of the students’ day, so I can ask them which decade presented they would want to go back and visit for a day. Our education programs are so fun and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for history with the students, and they seem to really take to it.”
Isbett, Museum Educator: “There are many things at Liberty Hall that are my favorites, including the feeling that one gets when you walk in the gates of peacefulness and being somewhere completely different than middle of busy town. My favorite things from outside is the beautiful Magnolia tree in back of the house it just looks beautiful as first sign of Spring as well as the Rose Garden and how you can actually “stop and smell the roses”. My artifact is the Doll House and how I can imagine myself as a child playing with it, and let’s face it as an adult as well.”
Ken, Family Archivist: “My favorite thing is the horse troughs we have on the property. I like the old reminders of what used to be on the property. I also love all the fruit trees and bushes we have on the property particularly the raspberry bush.”
Gary, Volunteer: “My favorite thing is watching the lightbulb go off in a child’s brain on tour and how excited they are to learn about the history of the toys from the toy exhibit. It’s also fun to see them interact with the toys in our exhibit space and how excited they are to play without technology.”
Lacey, Coordinator of Museum Programs: “My favorite thing is how the museum is set up. It’s as if you just missed the Kean family when you enter the house. It’s as if you really are visiting the family because all the rooms are displayed as if they are still living there, with their real items. It’s rare for a historic house to have the original furnishings and Liberty Hall does and that’s what makes us so unique and special.”
We hope you enjoyed reading about the staff’s favorite things! Come for a tour so you can decide what your favorite thing is! This will be our last blog post for 2015, so we’ll see you all in 2016 for even more fun and amusing blog posts!