There’s No Place Like the Herm for the Holidays

Picture round-up! Here we go:

This happened today. Yes, that’s Colin in a westsuit. I am watching to make sure he doesn’t drown. I can’t tell you why as I have been SWORN TO SECRECY, but rest assured that you will be rewarded for your patience on this matter. And how.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back a few months:

We enjoyed some rather spectacular sunsets this fall. Cheers, nature.

Inside the house… what was filthy and failing was made right:

Stephen, our plaster conservator, got busy in the bedroom and finally completed restoring the ceiling. It looks beautiful. The bits of blue tape  indicate the places he took moisture readings.

As pristine a plaster ceiling as I’ve ever seen.

Our new HVAC system was installed recently. BIG NEWS. I plan on dedicating a separate post to that momentous event. The morning after the system was up and running, Colin and I went through the house removing dehumidifiers from their various hiding spots.

This is just the first cull — we have at least four more of these babies lurking in dark corners. Can you believe we had to empty these by hand every. single. day. during the summer? Sometimes three or four times? First world problems, I know. In other news, we recently made a donation of two beautiful display cases to the Hampton University Museum. The cases don’t work with our plan for the Great Hall and since we have very little storage space and fifty million objects (exaggeration? NOPE) the cases had to go. Two capable fellows arrived in the early morning to collect them and Colin and I about had a heart attack watching them hoist these mothers into a moving van. It does my heart good knowing they went to a happy home. 

Moving those gigantic cases from the Great Hall really opens up the space — miles and piles of gorgeous teak floorboards! Colin and I have been hard at work preparing the space for a new installation of the Asian collection. With over 450 pieces to choose from we’ve got quite a long road ahead, but we’re hoping to have everything ship-shape by April. Fang dings and snuff bottles as far as the eye can see, I tell you.

If you’re planning on attending our Members Holiday Party tomorrow night, be sure to stop in the Great Hall and have a look around. Twirl around with your arms stretched out, we don’t care! Speaking of the holiday party… I did a little seasonal curating to celebrate the festive occasion:The painting above the mantelpiece usually hangs in our painting gallery; it is Eugene Savage’s first study for his larger work entitled Recessional, now in the permanent collection at LACMA. I moved it downstairs temporarily to recreate this archival photo of the same mantel, taken in 1950:The only things missing are live greenery, the stockings, and a working fireplace. Try to light a fire these days and you’ll burn this fool house down. “Merry Christmas OHMYGOD RUN THE HOUSE IS ON FIIIIRE!”

What else is going on? Work continues apace, with very few of us getting on each other’s nerves. Actually, it’s kind of a love fest around here. I mean, look at these nerds:

Speaking of love-fests, look who came to visit me when I worked over the weekend!

Turns out he’s a HUGE fan of faux waddle and daub:

So am I, kid. So am I.

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