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