The Mercer Museum is a six-storey reinforced concrete castle designed by Henry Mercer (1856-1930), completed in 1916. Henry Mercer was a child of Doylestown who, having started his professional life as a lawyer, went on to become an archeologist, historian, avid collector, dog lover and a successful tile-designer.
By 1897, Mercer realised that handmade objects were being discarded in favour of new machine-made ones, and felt the need to collect and preserve them, and with them, parts of the daily life in America before the Industrial Revolution. He gathered almost 30,000 items ranging from hand tools to horse-drawn vehicles and, in 1913, began working on plans to build a museum to house his huge collection and share it with the world.
Among the oldest artifacts in the Mercer Museum are a 2,000 year old whale oil lamp and Native American implements dating to 6,000-8,000 BC.
A Bauhaus-inspired house designed by Edwin Goodell, Jr. in 1948 for Lawrence and Eleanor Bloedel, avid modern art and furniture collectors of the time, it still is adorned by original artwork inside and out. But the best feature of this most remarkable Bed & Breakfast, is the tranquility it exudes: the gardens with a pond, the walking trails through pastures, a forest, the unobstructed views of Mt. Greylock in the background, everything about it seems to have been designed for calmness, a state of mind that anyone living in Midtown Manhattan so desperately seeks!
An even better shelter (this time from the inevitable -and welcome- downpour/relief from the heat). Gothic Revival at its finest, a mansion worthy of its notable owners: William Paulding Jr., a New York City Mayor; George Merritt, a wealthy businessman; and Wall Street tycoon Jay Gould who updated some of the interior décor by commissioning furniture from the Herter Brothers, windows from Louis Comfort Tiffany, and paintings from the Knoedler Gallery. Thankfully, they still remain intact, and most of the furnishings on view are original.
Sitting atop Smith Hill, overlooking downtown Providence, a grant building of white George marble, in inverse proportion to the size of the State it was built to serve. Designed by the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White and constructed between 1895 and 1904, it is crowned with the fourth largest self supporting dome in the world, behind only that of St. Peter’s in Vatican City, the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
The Senate Chamber, home to the 38 members of the Senate; it’s design was influenced by the Pantheon in Rome.
”Hope” is the official state motto of Rhode Island, inspired by the biblical phrase “hope we have as an anchor of the soul.” This little flag made it to the Moon and back.
Thomas Wilson Dorr, 1805-1854
”The People’s Governor”, thanks to whom Rhode Island adopted a state constitution.
This is the Gettysburg gun from the First R.I. Light Artillery, damaged during the battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 with a cannonball still stuck in the barrel.
The Royal Charter of 1663 granted by King Charles II of England, on July 8, 1663, resides safely in a custom steel vault. The Charter guaranteed Rhode Island settlers complete religious liberty, established a self-governing colony with local autonomy and strengthened Rhode Island’s territorial claims. The most liberal charter of any colony, it served as Rhode Island’s basic law until the adoption of the state’s first constitution, which came into effect on May 2, 1843.
A federal-style three-story mansion, completed in 1801 for Major Hugh McLellan, at a cost of $20,000. Purchased in 1880 by Lorenzo De Medici Sweat, it was bequeathed to the Portland Society of Art (now Portland Museum of Art), in 1908 by Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat, in memory of her late husband. It was completely restored to its original condition and its wonderful interior can be visited as part of the Portland Museum of Art.
Do not leave the Museum without seeing this splendid piece of history of Portland, Maine.
Endless Column, 2013
Justin Richel (U.S., b. 1979)
Large Vase with Nude Women, 1950
Garden Figure, 1935
Gaston Lachaise (U.S. (born France), 1882-1935)
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