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petrini1 [userpic]

Happy Birthday To Me

December 16th, 2008 (09:44 pm)

current mood: grateful

I had a fun birthday today. Bob took some time off work so we could tour the Hillwood Museum during the day. This is the mansion in Washington, D.C., that was the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, who inherited the Post cereal company, which then became General Foods. She was an amazing art collector, specializing in French and Russian decorative arts. When she bought and remodeled the home, she designed it with the goal of creating a home that she could live in among all of her beautiful artworks and then could leave behind as a museum, so that the world could enjoy her collection. She had a lot of famous, rich, and powerful friends, so the place also boasts a lot of photographs and paintings of people like her chums Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
Every object in the house is gorgeous, including her Faberge eggs (she has two of the ones that were commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II as Easter gifts for his wife and his mom); all the chandeliers, including the one in her breakfast nook, which once hung in one of the palaces of Catherine the Great; the intricately inlaid French desk with secret compartments, originally built for Marie Antoinette (though there's no evidence that Marie ever took delivery); oil paintings commissioned by many generations of Russian and French royalty, depicting themselves and their friends and relatives; porcelain dinnerware owned by those same Russian and French royalty; priceless jewelry; antique icons.... You know, just like my house.

She first developed her interest in Russian art when married to the ambassador to Moscow in the 1930s. The communist government was in the process of rooting out anything that reminded people of religion, imperialism, or opulence, and was destroying priceless works of art, or selling them off to get them out of the country. She rescued a lot of important art that would have otherwise been lost or destroyed.

After touring the mansion we ate lunch at the cafe, with champagne. We had to be home before Cutie Pie was home from school, and in time for Bob to go to the dentist.

For dinner at home we ordered out for pizza, which we ate with some good French wine we'd been saving for a special occasion. Then we ate some chocolate birthday cake, left over from Sunday, when my mom gave me a birthday dinner at her apartment. Birthday presents included a Canon photo printer from my husband and son. Cool! Ever since I got my new scanner set up, I've been wanting one.

So I've had a happy start to my next year of being 29 again.



Posted by: the artist formerly known as kytyn (melydia)
Posted at: December 17th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)

Sounds like a great time. Happy birthday!

Posted by: Tim W. Burke (timwb)
Posted at: December 18th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Me in Color

Hapyy birth-day to yu!
Hapyy birth-day to yu!
Happy birth-day Editing Que-e-e-en!
Hapyy birth-day to yu!

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