Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Update on Two National Treasures

"The American landscape has no foreground and the American mind no background."
Edith Wharton

Last year I posted about the financial troubles at both The Mount, Edith Wharton's historic mansion as well as the Mark Twain House. There's reason to be optimistic on both fronts.

The Mount in snow, from The Mount's website.

The Mount's website is reporting that they have received over $1.3 million in gifts and pledges from around the world. These gifts have given the administrators of The Mount the ability to work with their creditors to reduce their debt and continue to work to draw more visitors to The Mount by expanding their mission to not only focus Edith Wharton as author, decorator, and gardner, but also focus on the broader topic of literature. As an added bonus they've added some new photos of The Mount at various seasons and showing things not previously covered on their website like this photo of the stables.

The Mark Twain House was struggling last September with dropping donations and visitors, caused in part by high gas prices, and the weight of over $20 million in debt taken on to build a beautiful (and modern) new visitor's center. Due in large part to the media attention the State of Connecticut donated $50,000 followed by a $500,000 gift from the Annenberg Foundation in addition to numerous gifts from individuals.

The Mark Twain House celebrated Christmas with Victorian Decorations and themed activities. If I was a bit closer this year I would have loved to have made a visit.

Victorian Christmas Tree at The Mark Twain House, from The Hartford Current.
I wish both of these house museums the best and urge you to contribute to these or another small museum in your area as they're really struggling during these difficult financial times. It's important to preserve these homes and the collections therein for future generations.


Renee Finberg said...

my apologies to Athenaeus,

I am sorry that i misinterpreted your comment.
that happens..... i have a.d.d.

it is just that i am a bit annoyed at that sorry sack for going around pooping on other peoples blogs.

mine is not the only one, and i have seen it going on at other blogs, and blogs that belong to people that i care about.
i CAN take it.
& i can dish it as well.

i think the comments and the person are a bit of a joke.
but in reality, it is cowardly and mean spirited.

again , i am sorry if i have offended you.

sorry i put this on your commet page , but i am rushed and did not want to let this go.

Things That Inspire said...

I have fond memories of visiting the Mark Twain house as a teenager on a school field trip. Your post brought back memories!

I have never visited the Mount, despite having lived in Massachusetts. I revere Edith Wharton for her novel 'The Buccaneers'.

MIMILEE said...

You know I haven't even thought about museums and such suffering from the awful economy,but you have certainly brought it to my attention. I will write a check tomorrow for our local museums and hopefully help them a bit! Thanks for this post....a great one!

Athenaeus said...

Renee - No offense taken. The mean spirited anonymous posts are a blight on what should be a fun exchange of information and opinions.

Cote de Texas said...

boy, the Mark Twain house looks beautiful, not like a Victorian theme styled house - you know what I mean? I would love to see it. Helen Keller was a regular guest there when she was older, her and Anne S.

thanks for your very sweet and funny comment!!! I just redid my kitchen and it still is pretty bad. haha!!!!q