Collections PRIME

We have been working for many days (by days I mean months) on building our electronic database for collections. Lots of hands have been involved with this and we continue to add, tweak, twerk and modify each item to make sure there is as much information in our server as possible.

So….What does this mean for you, the visitor? How about access to our collection via the website? Sound good? Pictures, bios and countless facts about the stuff you keep looking at will all be available.

By the end of this year we will have a portion of this available to you. As the years role on this will build and become more diverse. I look forward to sharing with you everything we have to offer at the Hermitage.





Check it out

We shared our image of Commodus Leaving the Coliseum by Edwin Blashfield with Missio Immaculatae and scored some free publications to share with our visitors. For 30 bills a year you can get this sent to your door (6 copies). If you are Catholic you probably should be opening your checkbook. If you are anything else (like me) I recommend taking a look still, as this is a well manicured magazine.


Ours came with a “Thank You” note because we share…like good people.


Nice painting.

If you are interested in ordering your own you can check it out here:

Suggested Visit of the Hermitage Museum (Part 1)

Over the course of a few weeks I would like to take you around the home and share some of the best ins and outs. Nothing long and drawn out, but rather fun factoids that may enhance your next visit….you better visit….again and again.

Part 1: Some General Aesthetics

By Entrance Hall I mean the “original” entranceway, which is now glanced at by most, but provides a wonderful overview of what this home is all about.


Hermitage Entrance ca. 1947

When in the entrance hall note the effects of the “half timbered” house treatment through the ornamental use of wood beams set in natural lines in plaster. Such a style was seen on the facades of town houses in the 1500s, and after, in English towns and on the European continent as well.

In this Museum, the construction itself should be of great focus. By reincorporating the sentiment of the English Tudor Interior, the Sloane family looked to capture the beauty of wood-paneling and its ability to enrich an environment. Additional notes of this charm can be seen in the sculptured figures found above the hearths in the Great Hall.


Great Hall ca. 1947

While in all of the rooms, especially the entrance hall, search the walls and doors for latches, hinges, nuts and bolts which are all made of iron and custom ordered for the home (Samuel Yellin). The designs for these pieces are from Mrs. Sloane’s point of view, as she often acted as her own architect.



The flavors of wood, and I use this word because it truly is a taste, include oak, walnut and teak-wood. They are all finished by waxing to give a dull effect that is meant to emphasize the graining. The floor boards are joined by wedges and wooden pegs, nails being avoided as much as possible (boy is this true, see the bedroom wall repairs).  When nails do appear they take on a more significant role as a decorative enhancement that compliments the iron-work.

Lights around the home have also been specially designed for the Hermitage (E.F. Caldwell). Each fixture uses mica as opposed to glass to cover the bulbs. This provides a more subdued light that highlights the attractiveness of their texture.


Next up: The Great Hall

Questions from the Wall

Thank you all for your questions and comments on the Hermitage. It puts a big smile on my face to see people interacting with us, even if it is just sticky notes!

Q. Why did you pick up the music room (Gothic Drawing Room) and turn it?

A. This is a fun question that speaks to many of the rooms on the property. In 1937 the Sloane family decided to make this house a museum. To accommodate the artwork Mrs. Sloane had additional gallery space added to the home. What we now call the central hall was added, as well as the painting gallery upstairs. To make this work they had to rearrange the rooms by cutting 80 feet off the home.

Q. How many people can live in it?

A. Psheeeww….no clue. The Sloane’s were a family of four, and they had some maids and groundskeepers, but I am sure you could fit even more. I would guess a family of ten would feel very comfortable here.

Q. What is the kind of wood in the home?

A. Oak walls and ceilings, teak and walnut in the floors and lots of cedar shingles on the outside.

Q. How many doors are there.

A. I have gone around the home and counted for you. Including doors for major closets we have 73.

Q.Is this place Haunted?

A. Nope, it is still not haunted.

Q. I the china all real downstairs?

A. Yep…it’s real

Q. QR code?

A. Nope…we don’t have one, but we need it.

Q. What are the different materials used in the snuff bottle collection?

A. Short list includes: Amethyst, lapis, ivory, jade, cinnabar, hair crystal, rhino horn, coral, mixed agates, etc. I am making a chart of each bottle so you can read about each one.

Q. Secret panels? Hidden Panels, etc?

A. There are several doors that blend in with the walls throughout the home. There are also spaces where the light switches are covered by “hidden” panels. This was done more for aesthetic purposes as opposed to the more exciting Scooby-Doo mystery world we all want to live in.

Q. Could you publish the architectural drawings for your next publication?

A. Great idea! Seriously… I find that material to be very interesting. I can tell you that I have already begun on the second publication but must be hush on it at the moment. That said the Hermitage Museum and Gardens book printed by Arcadia Publishing will be available the week of December 9th….so pre-order, please! It will make me feel cool.

Q. Is there a chimney?

A. Yes, we have several on the home, however, they are sealed off to prevent birds and raccoons from dying in them.

Q. Can I live here?

A. No

Q. Can more doors be open, please?

A. That is unlikely to happen anytime soon. We will have the sleeping porch opened back up in September though, so that’s at least one more room to check out.

Q. Is there a basement?

A. There is not. Thankfully! We have enough issues already. Having to pump water from a basement would be terrible. There is a really creepy crawl space though….realllllyy creepy.

Q. Do we have Civil War pieces?

A. Great question! Sad answer….we do not. At least not directly affiliated with the war. There are objects here from that time period.

Q. What are the “staff only” doors for? Don’t be selfish!

A. Smart A** answer: Staff Only.

Tame answer: Some are closets, some bathrooms, some offices and some are actually filled with candy and plastic forks.

Q. Where is Mr. Sloane in all of this?

A. Love. This. Question. He was behind the scenes my friend. He financed all of this! Mrs. Sloane went off and collected and drew attention to the arts scene and Mr. Sloane fundraised for everything. You can read about it in my book, which is available December 9th in local bookstores, and online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (I feel no shame plugging this).

Also, a big shout out to Maury H.S. class of 1966.

Keep posting on the wall and I will continue to leave moderately acceptable answers on this blog. Thank you all!

Read Me!

A picture is worth a thousand words……

…a label is somewhere between 20-200 and does a pretttty great job of telling you what it is you are standing in front of.

Slowly we have introduced labels to objects in the Sloane collection and I personally feel like it is a success. You may hate knowing what is in front of you, but the majority of us enjoy a bit of description. Don’t worry! I haven’t slapped a sticker on everything (yet, mwhahaha),but trust me when I say the Hermitage has plenty of charm even with a few labels around.

ImageOhh….this is just the beginning. 

ImageDid you know this stuff was Russian? Well it is…..let’s keep learning shall we?

ImageOhhhh Jane Shore, maybe you shouldn’t have slept with Edward IV.

ImageThailand? check. Burma? check. Cambodia? check. Bad photography? double check

ImageNephrite and Jadeite, we’ve got it. So much that i’ll be rotating jade pieces for months.

ImageThis guy has been hanging around for weeks. Fishing the same spot every single day. He has nothing to do with labels, but I am taking it as a sign of “longevity.” Thanks Eastern symbolism!