A busy week for most of us…Monday for me started with assisting Nancy Lindburg who is overseeing the re-arrangement of the art collection at the Salem Public Library. Jonathan Bucci, Collections’ Curator at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, designed the rehanging and he and museum colleague David Anderson were installing things in new locations Monday morning. I worked at the public library happily for some 14 years and it still feels like home…
Nancy and I “freed” a wonderful early Carl Hall painting from its bad frame and non-reflective glass, and the moment Nancy lifted it away it “came alive”…as she said…
Nancy has been working on building and safe-guarding this collection for years…
and she suggested to Jonathan and David a possible new location for a big wooden sculpture (and the sculptor’s name is escaping me…) where it looked good
…the Louis Bunce looks great in AV, and my favorite part of the move was finally getting my lamp painting situated near a chair and table…here with its new neighbor Eileen Cotter Howell
R picked me up and we were off to Portland to look at some of the work of painter Charlie Reynolds which included
this one of Peninsula Park…(site of a future wedding of some importance for our family!)
back down the pike in time for a Christmas toast at Martha’s…
Today a committee meeting at Bush House
with a peek at the Bush House Christmas…
and then home to wrap the last few presents and get them under the tree…YAY!!! DONE!
The Bush House conservatory was built in 1882…the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. It was built by Mr. Bush for his daughters Sally and Eugenia and was built of brick with a concrete veneer. There was no foundation for the original building and it was first heated with a wood stove. In the 1930’s a Moniger Iron Frame was installed and the wood stove replaced with a sawdust or oil boiler to circulate hot water. In the 1950’s when the house passed to City of Salem ownership from the Bush family, a cold frame was added and the greenhouse was used for annuals to be planted in the park. In 1977-78 then SAA director Nancy Lindburg and head gardener Nobel Bashor saved the greenhouse from destruction, and did repair work and added a new boiler with grant and private donation funding. A call then went out to volunteer gardeners and the Bush Conservatory Gardeners group, predecessor to the current FOBG (Friends of Bush Garden), was formed. In cooperation with the City of Salem gardeners, FOBG maintains the gardens today and raises money for work in the garden with their annual plant sales in April and July. Here’s a shot from last year when the conservatory had to be closed because the ceiling began to fall in…
FOBG began raising funds for this current restoration project and with the help of public and private donors was able to raise the $222,000 needed to restore this historic structure. Here’s the conservatory during the restoration process
and here just after the tent and fence came down
Today was the “grand opening” reception for donors and friends, hosted by FOBG…and here’s the conservatory as it looks now with plants all happily moved in:
All the glass has been splattered with white wash…an old technique to keep the greenhouse from getting too hot…then during the course of the season the white wash washes off, and is renewed next spring:
…but come on in…
It seemed positively celestial in there today…
…but it might have been Delana’s harp music…
Here are FOBG gardener and driver of the project Gretchen Carnaby on the left, with former SAA director Nancy Lindburg on the right…
Better get to the park and see this treasure that so many people worked to save for us…it’s a beauty!
Yesterday was one of those days of mixed up activities…all fun. I started by going to Waller Hall on Willamette’s campus
This building was built about 1864 and has served many uses for the university over the decades (including residence early on). The money for the initial building was raised by A.F. Waller, missionary minister and circuit rider, who also built and lived in our house. The bricks for Waller Hall were made from the soil on the construction site. Currently the building houses administrative offices of various types, and Sharon and I were meeting with Emily Oliva who is designing the brochure for the Lord and Schryver exhibition opening at the Hallie Ford Museum in June. We met Emily in the conference room
which has this rather terrific view of the cupola
and then stopped briefly in photographer Frank Miller’s office to see his nice view
before I went on to lunch with Irene at the Cherry City Cafe…new on the Salem scene.
We each had a salad with freshly grilled (and still warm) chicken…
check it out…nice staff, good food.
I forgot to take photos of my garden tour at Irene’s beautiful garden (sometimes I forget to be a reporter)…and then the last activity of the day was a sake tasting at Bush House Museum…a thank-you party for donors. Now maybe tasting sake in a Victorian house sounds odd, but actually there was quite an interest in things Japanese at the turn of the 20th century. Here’s a photo made in Salem by Sally Bush (who lived her life in Bush House) from about 1910 which substatiates her interests in things Japanese
…and so we tasted sake in the dining room (the staff was moving pretty fast)
while in the library there was music
and in the parlor calligraphy
Sake is delicious! But, at last, off home for dinner… stopping on the porch to check the amazing wisteria
whic reminded me of my artist-in-residence time at SAA last year when I used the fantastic grounds of Bush Barn and Bush House Museum as my source material…including this wisteria
Yesterday was a busy one, beginning in the basement of the Hallie Ford Museum where the excellent Frank Miller came to photograph a few of the Lord & Schryver drawings for publicity use. Frank arrived with tons of equipment and quickly set up…ready to shoot:
My CO-curator Sharon Rose was on hand, and the first drawing up was one of three that we have borrowed from Cornell University
Sharon is a good writer and has a “good eye” but her organizational skills have been particularly appreciated by me on this project (after mine disappeared totally…)
Collections curator Jonathan Bucci was on hand
and after a brief moment of duelling cameras
he quickly devised a method for Frank to shoot the more fragile unframed work on paper
which worked wonderfully except Frank had to get up high for a good angle
and then on to my next meeting…at the Bush House Museum where the House & Garden Committee met in the newly opened servants quarters…here SAA director Sandra Burnett (left) makes a point to the committee
and I notice the terrific view of the rose garden
Plus we got to see the new placement of John Vandreal’s portrait of Sally Bush and her cat Insignia, over the fireplace in Ms. Bush’s bedroom. John, a neighbor of Bush House, deferred part of his commission, SAA put in a piece of the price as did the SAA volunteer group Gallery Guides, with the final bit of funding coming from the Ford Family Foundation Art Acquisition Program administered through the Oregon Arts Commission. A nice community effort.
At my next two functions I took no photos (you’ll be glad to note) but when we finally got home after a chicken caesar and a martini,
there was a beautiful rainbow
In the local preservation world in ANY region, it seems there are often more sad stories about the buildings lost than happy ones…but here is a very happy one indeed. In our local wonderful Bush’s Pasture Park stands the amazing Bush House Museum. Behind the museum (another story for another day) is the small and wonderful conservatory, built by Mr. Bush in the 1880’s for his daughter Sally, who lived in the house and used the conservatory actively until her death in the 1940’s. The house came into the public domain and has been run as a house museum since the 1950’s…owned by the city and run by the Salem Art Association, filled with the family’s furniture and belongings. The conservatory consisted of a brick foundation with an iron framework and glass panes, and after more than a hundred years it was showing its age:
It was in active use by the amazing group FOBG (Friends of Bush Gardens). Still though, it was becoming dangerous…
it was leaking and things were falling (miraculously not on anybody’s head), it was wrapped in plastic
so a decision was made to close it to the public and try and raise the $250,000 needed to rebuild the structure…
and this intrepid band of gardeners proceeded to have teas, tours, meetings and do a little arm-twisting until the miracle happened…they had the money in hand!
A tent was erected over the building and a big fence placed around it, the building was carefully taken apart…new “old” bricks were found for the rebuilt foundation, some new structural members were added, the glass was painstakingly washed by the FOBG crew,
and last week the work was finished. The tent came down, the conservatory is all ready for the hardy gardeners to move back in and care for plants, propagate plants (we have a New Dawn rose in our garden from a Bush Garden clipping). And, in our park is this little glowing gem…better go take a look at a real success story!
Today was R’s birthday and we managed to pack in QUITE a bit. We left the beach early in a downpour
and grabbed a quick bite at Starbbucks
where we discovered the answer to the question “Where does Santa Claus really live…”
Answer: Lincoln City…and he has coffee at Starbucks
Zoomed back to Salem to help Sara decorate the Bush House Christmas tree…an activity that ALWAYS puts me in the Christmas spirit. Bush House, our local wonderful house museum, historic in this town in several ways…no plastic, no hype, no lights…just piles of greens and a fresh tree (cut this morning and brought straight in.)
The dining room is one of my favorite rooms and the mantle looked splendid
as did the view from the window into the park
lunch at The Wild Pear with Sara (now Bush House curator but a former student of RPH’s who still has the hand gestures down pat…)
a quick stop at the Mayor’s farewell bash where the art community thanked Mayor Taylor for her commitment to local art and artists
(Here artist Connie Hogenstad and gallery owner Marylou Zeek )
Finally a dinner at La Capitale with Ginny and Al (…and some ginger cake)
a shared birthday wish from cellist Hekun Wu, who was ALSO celebrating his birthday
and home to open his cards…including Claudia’s very nice offering
What a day…Happy Birthday Dear!!!
Today I really got in the seasonal mood by going as a volunteer to Bush House Museum, Salem’s lovely Victorian house museum. The Christmas open house there is the 13th so the elves arrived today to decorate. It always lifts my spirit to muck about in an historic house (other than our own) this time of year. Here’s what happened:
The tree arrived from Gretchen and Dennis Carnaby’s
and the Parks Department was on hand to get it into the house
SAra trimmed the bottom
and Sara and Dennis tighten the stand
First the garlands of glass beads went on
the ornaments came out
there was a brief excercise break
we finished the mantles
admired the tree
ate our lunches and posed for a photo op
and took off into the sunshine to begin our own Christmas preparations.
Today we went to the Pioneer Cemetary looking for the Bush family grave sites. Asahel Bush died in 1913 after founding newspapers, banks and generally leaving a large imprint on our community and our state. A little band of volunteers–people like me who give time to the beautiful Victorian house museum called Bush House Museum–met outside the cemetary gates and wandered through with curator Sara Swanborn. It was a little sad, a little peaceful, and lovely, interesting. When we found the burial site Sara read a bit from Mr. Bush’s obituary. As Sara later put it in her own blog, the drivers whizzing by down the hill on Commercial Street don’t give as thought to how their town was shaped. For our little group–a group for whom this family is “alive”–it was a nice moment.