The National Silk Art Museum, Weston, Missouri

Bob retired several years before he finally convinced me to take early retirement.   He often reminded me that my mother needed more than I could give while I continued to work.  And, besides, we would have so much fun—day-trips, new adventures, visits with the grandchildren, no alarm clocks and just time to be together. My retirement was 11 years ago.

He was right.  Mom did need more.  It was a blessing to have the time to fully share her last years.

And those day-trips?  Well…today we took the second day-trip in those 11 years.   Two day-trips in eleven years!  Funny how time gets away.

We visited The National Silk Art Museum in Weston, Missouri.  The museum shares space in The Saint George Hotel.   Mr. John Pottie gave us a personal tour of the incredible silk tapestries that he has collected for 30 years.

I love museums and galleries and never tire of absorbing the mixture of history, art and the talent of visionaries.  The National Silk Art Museum now ranks at the top of my list of amazing places.  It isn’t possible to describe the depth in those intricate silk masterpieces.  They shimmer with  layers of  impossible beauty.

John Pottie has agreed to bring a large (and rotating) part of his collect to Strawberry Hill Museum in Kansas City, Kansas.  In addition to sharing his treasures, Mr. Pottie will personally greet visitors on most Saturdays and Sundays for the duration of the Strawberry Hill Museum’s Art Event, May through August.

Strawberry Hill Museum has long been a treasure of Kansas City, Kansas and now the museum experience is enriched through the presentation of the amazingly beautiful silk tapestries.

Had I know about The National Silk Art Museum I would have made a point to get there a bit sooner than the 11th year of retirement.

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Strawberry Hill Museum Preserves History

The last weekend of January is the final opportunity to view the 2009 Strawberry Hill Museum Christmas display.  As always, it is too beautiful to miss.   The museum will close during February for restoration to Victorian character.

An all volunteer Board of Directors manages this  Kansas City, Kansas  treasure.  The Board receives help from a dedicated group of faithful volunteers.  I urge you to consider a tour before the Christmas magic disappears.

Part of the mission of Strawberry Hill Museum is the preservation of  Eastern European heritage .  Rooms are  decorated by descendents of each ethnicity.  It is difficult to imagine so much talent and beauty in a single collection.

Tour guides give the history of the  mansion as a family home through the transformation to an orphanage during the flu epidemic.   At the closing of the orphanage, the building was empty for a time.  In order to preserve the depth and variety of ethnic contributions, the museum became a reality.

Although my heritage is not connected to Eastern Europe, I treasure what the museum preserves.  I am a member and a volunteer.  Please consider a couple of weekend hours enjoying the Strawberry Hill Museum.

Strawberry Hill Museum

Once upon a time, someone said that I would be happy living in a tree house with leaves for decor.  Maybe, but I totally require a branch with working faucets and a handle marked flush.  The person speaking was decrying my lack of interest in collecting, decorating and arranging stuff.  At that time, the house was a repository of kid projects and  that fit the home  just fine.   Never have I lacked the cleaning gene, probably tended to go overboard on that, but clutter needs dusting and collections took sorting time.  Denim worked  so clothing, too, avoided clutter. ‘Dress-ups’ tended to become dated before they became worn.

Santa recognized our house because the tree rarely varied and big red bows dressed lampshades, windows and doors.  Minimalist decor always meant more…more time to bake, cook, clean, wrap and anticipate.

During the past five years, I have volunteered at Strawberry Hill Museum in Kansas City, Kansas.  My mantra has been that I am a worker, not a decorator so my hours have been assisting those gifted people who transform this already beautiful mansion into a work of art.  Recently,  my assignments have been some kind-of, sort-of, almost token projects…stuff that cannot be messed up without intention and a bit hidden from the main traffic patterns.  The  idea might have been that I could learn through osmosis type absorption.

There is genius in Adrienne N., Elizabeth, Adrienne S., Richard, Christopher, Donna, Bernadette, Emmeline, and others who invest at least 6 weeks transforming this museum into a breathtaking Christmas pageant of beauty.  Other volunteers contribute and I apologize for not knowing all the names.

If you have a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, an investment of a few hours will convince you that Strawberry Hill Museum is perhaps one of the Greater Kansas City Areas best kept secrets.  It is so beautiful and every year surpasses previous years.

You can tell, right?  You can tell that I am so totally impressed with how every corner, chandelier, horizontal surface and ceiling gets  tied together with such artistry.  Beauty flows from room to room.

And now the expectation is that a final paragraph about how my house will glow from all I have observed and learned, right?   How these decorating genius folks have managed to imbue me with a bit of their skill?

Probably not.

Cannot confuse Santa after all these years.  Those reindeer need to see that old house on the ridge offering a  beacon of red.   Guessing that if I varied by a single red bow, my family would swear that long winding drive-way led them to the wrong house.

December 6 opens the museum doors for this 2009 holiday tour season.  Be prepared for some breath-taking moments.