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building museum

March 31, 2013

orchard house

The off the turnpike visit to Orchard House was thought-provoking. Unfortunately, no photographs on the inside. But I can describe what I thought was intriguing. We went to see the famous writing desk built by Alcott’s father Branson Alcott. I could talk about the built- in quality of the desk being pre-modernist and how he so supportive of  his daughter that as the house was being built the desk was a priority. What Madeline and I found was that the persona of May Alcott, Louisa’s youngest sister was big and inspiring. The artist in the family, she was supported by Louisa to go to Europe and study.  May’s bedroom was obviously decorated by her hand, a pale blue attic like space with blue on blue outlines decorating the furniture. Sketches of owls, lilies and classical motifs are applied through on the house. And the most interesting but not illustrated well; was the basement art studio where she evidently, drew portraits of all Orchard House guests on the plaster walls. Where is the Alcott’s parenting pamphlet?

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