A Selection of Quilts from our Permanent Collection & Gaches Mansion
decorated in Victorian fashion
November 21, 2018 - January 6, 2019
The Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 1837 until her death in 1901. We try to give our visitors a taste of some of the quilts and decorations that would have been used during that period. Each tree on the first floor was decorated to reflect a different segment of that era (although without electric lights), with the crown jewel being the large tree in the Landmarks Gallery.
Special care was taken with this tree to reflect what the Christmas tree may have looked like when the house was built and first lived in by the Gaches family.
Along with our Victorian décor and traditional quilts, we also present ‘Much Loved,’ an exhibit showcasing the much-loved toys of childhood. This exhibit was inspired by a book of the same name by Mark Nixon who created a trove of quirky and nostalgic portraits of teddy bears and other stuffed animals that have been lovingly abused after years of play, which he then put into a book.
When Mark put out the call for people to bring in their much-loved teddies, he expected it to be mostly children. It soon became apparent that the idea appealed very much to adults and that many of them were still very attached to their teddies! When you see these teddy bears, bunnies and more with missing noses and undone stuffing, you can't help but think back to childhood and its earliest companions who asked for nothing and gave a lot back.
He said when he sat down to write a press release for the book, he found he couldn’t quite put his emotions into words and found himself writing a poem instead.
When everything was unknown, they were there.
Where everything could happen, they were there.
These repositories of hugs, of fears, of hopes, of tears, of snots and smears.
Alone at night, they were comforters, when monsters lurked in darkened corners, when raised voices muffled through floors and walls.
These silent witnesses, these constant companions, defenders of innocence.
Their touch, yes, but their smell, that instantly calming, all embalming musk, unique to each, soothing and smoothing the journey from consciousness to un, from purity to im, from infancy to adult-terre.
Sworn to secrecy, unconditionally there, unjudgmentally fair and almost always a bear.