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9/21/09

Of Riches and Art, Both Hi- and Lo- Brow


our eclectic weekend started with a tour of Hamilton House in South Berwick Maine. the house sits on the high knoll above the Salmon Falls River



when it was built, South Berwick, now a sleeping little town, was a vibrant working port.  the original owner was a merchant ship builder in the 1700s.  but from 1900 to late 1940s the home belonged to the Tyson family of Boston who used it as a summer home in the town they referred to as 'South B'. obviously wealthy, their social circle included Elizabeth Stuart Gardiner.  among their artistic friends was Sarah Orne Jewett, who convinced them to purchase the property

the Tysons were 'colonial revivalists' and during their ownership returned the home to its former grandeur and  built amazing formal gardens that overlook the river. it is now owned by Historic New England, a preservationist organization that maintains the buildings, grounds, artifacts and records of a number of homes.

Back of Beyond and out of sight.  the Tyson's employed a staff of servants to manage and work this large estate:  gardener, chauffeur, upstairs maid, downstairs maid, cook, laundress.  this was the focus of Saturday's tour: the back rooms, bedrooms and lives of the servants as researched by the Historic New England staff.



Of Blues and Barbecue at the Muddy River Marketplace


 to keep things interesting, when we left the stately manse of the Hamilton/Tyson's, we drove south on the highway to  eat fried pickels, chicken, ribs and corn bread.  Oh yum and yum!

  eclecticity continues!  back to culture and art . . .


in York where the art association had its annual artist show and sale at Moulton Park across from the association building.  this is a small but very nice show of artist/vendors from around the northeast.  i fell in love with a marvelous piece of amber jewelry.  i can dream and i did

Telluride By The Sea at  Music Hall in Portsmouth NH

is an annual film festival that runs from Friday night through tonight.  last night the feature was Jane Campion's Bright Star i was wild to see it and thrilled to get a ticket.  Coco Beyond Chanel was on friday and sold out before i could get my ticket.  
when i arrived for the show, Market Square was filled with people, energy and excitement for the weekend's activities that included: the Seafood Festival, the Fairie Tour, Telluride by the Sea, and the Centuriun, a bike race.  there was music in the square by street musicians, the last of the bike racers were coming and, three lines for the Music Hall came down the street and around the corner. 
i was a bit dismayed but found that after only 15 minutes of wait time, the theater opened it's doors to non-weekend pass holders and it moved along quickly. 



Bright star,

would I were steadfast as thou art---


the story of unconsummated love between the poet John Keats and his neighbor Fanny. she is an accomplished designer and seamstress.  he is the poet who feels a failure due to unfavorable critique.  they love but longingly:  he is a poor poet, in debt and without resources to marry.  but love they do and so poignantly
 
the film was all and everything i'd imagined it would be.  how could it not coming from Jane Campion (The Piano whose directorial skill, screenwriting, and artistic voice have no equal (in my opinion).
John Keats died at aged 25 in 1821 from tuberculosis.

6 comments:

Phyllis said...

What a fun post to read and travel with you vicariously. Such in incredible home. I loved the art of Elizabeth Stuart Gardner and one of my favorite books is by Sarah Orne Jewett, Country of the Pointed Firs.

This film looks beautiful. What a story. I think Keats died in Rome if I can recall. Thank you for the early morning travel. Good way to begin a day!

Pat said...

oh how nice of you say.....yes, it was Rome. one knows he will die. and yet the tears come freely. and i hadn't brought tissue. i recommend this film if it should come your way......

we did have a lovely day altogether on saturday ....

T said...

Gosh Pat you get around. What a fantastic day. Historic homes, and romance films. My idea of a perfect day out. It all sounds so interesting, think I need to get out more. Thanks.

xt

Pat said...

it was a nice day, T. your right, a chick flick, a little romance and little daydreaming .......

Deb G said...

Well I think that movie made my too see list.

I won't forget my hankie!

Pat said...

you will LOVE it. romantic. sentimental. beautiful. artistic. what more could a viewer want from a film

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