Thursday, May 23, 2013


Two of our houses - one a 1677 original, one a 1657 reproduction - ready for tours to begin this weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Lovely china pieces in the window of the China Trade Room on this rainy afternoon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Tour guide training at our 1677 house!  Love the light coming through the windows.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Welcome to Mr. Heard

In my continuing efforts to "nest" at work (read more about that here), I got a fish yesterday!  Actually, we all got fish (the other co-director and the admin. assistant, too.)  Mine has been named after one of the former residents of this house, Augustine Heard.  I love having living things - plants & fish - around me while I work!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


The copper beech tree at the museum finally leafed out!  Later in the season, the leaves will take on a darker red-brown hue, but I love its early spring rosiness best.

Friday, May 10, 2013


I love this forsythia bush.  It doesn't belong to my museum but rather to the house next door.  I imagine they planted it to hide the chain link fence between the properties, but I don't care why.  I care that every spring, it lights up my western office window.  I posted about it last year, with a lower-quality photo, but the sentiment of that post still rings true.  I'm a long way from the cubicle life . . .

Friday, May 3, 2013

Getting Outdoors

A sampling of images from my work week:

Blue Bells in the (Colonial Revival) 17th century garden

Lunch in the sunny courtyard!

The 200 year old copper beech tree.

Afternoon sunlight on the side of one of my 18th century houses.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


A few scenes from the process of installing a traveling exhibit over the last week or so:

The panels arrived last Friday in 7 large boxes.  They had to be unpacked and any damage issues noted on a report due 48 hours after the panels' arrival.  Hence, working all day last Saturday.

Working on exhibit labels later in the week.  This cryptic and silly note refers to a label for a small portrait of a gentleman's third wife (the second to be named Frances and nicknamed Fanny).

Took this shot just an hour before the exhibit opening!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Back to my old museum today for a one-day appearance running the April school vacation workshop.

The kids at the workshop built this planter with junk bricks from an old courtyard.  They raked the courtyard, bagged leaves, built the planter, planted perennials in it, and scattered wildflower seeds in the back portion of the courtyard - all in less than an hour.  Go them!

Going to miss this 1710 space.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Environment

Movin' on up!  This is my new desk at the museum where I recently become Co-Director.  I've worked here for three years, at another desk about ten feet away, but this feels like a nice change.  My new desk is in an office that I share with our bookkeeper  who's only in a few hours a week.  My old desk was in a general area at the top of the stairs that everyone walks in and out of all the time.

The curator, who's also my counterpart as Co-Director, recently ok'd plants in the non-museum part of the building, i.e. the office addition.  So I went a little nuts - I bought 7 plants for the three office spaces and moved her dying spider plant into a sunny window situation.  Having greenery all around has been lovely!

I don't have a window, which I did want, but as you can see from the photo above, the mirror above my desk reflects the light from the window opposite and I have a lovely view of a copper beech tree framed in in if I just look up.  Hooray for new spaces and new beginnings!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Opening Up

Almost open for business! Traveling George Washington exhibit on loan from Mount Vernon begins 4/26!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Day in the Life

A fairly typical day in my life at the moment:

Rearranging books in a historic house bookcase in preparation for an upcoming exhibit.

And then working from my living room desk for awhile after I got home.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Long View

A bit of news: at the end of February, I officially accepted a promotion at one of my three museums. As of next week, I'll be leaving one museum, where I've worked since the summer of 2009, and becoming Co-Director of another museum, where I've been since the spring of 2010. I'll keep my third job for the time being, for the love of it (and for the extra income).

It's an exciting change and one that will hopefully bring some focus as well as some stress. For the last three years, I've worked three jobs in three different towns (while living in a fourth). It's been manageable but certainly not stress-free. The idea of working the job closest to home nearly full-time (~35 hours/week) and keeping my most-beloved other job as a side gig?  Heaven.

So with just two more work days to go at one museum, today was one of the last times I'll see the million dollar view above.  But here's to new beginnings and happy endings!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ancient Tools

Atlatl throwing. Long, tiring day today, but still, I get paid to do this!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Daily Grind

Gosh, work is such a bore.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Daily Lovely

Oh, just having a meeting in this room today.  No big deal . . . 

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Hosted a lecture for one of my museums today at the Portsmouth Athenaeum.  Love the bookish beauty of their reading room.

Monday, March 4, 2013

TV Day

Getting a 1740 cordwainer's shop ready for its appearance on local access television!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Keeping warm in a 1740 house (and yes I know my boots are two different colors).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

Whew - can't believe it's been a month since I last posted!  Where has the time gone?  Here is a series of images from the last four weeks of my museum life:

January 30 - Gorgeous 1870s quilt at the museum today.

January 31 - The sun's back!

February 1 - Awesome or creepy attic scene? You decide!

February 16 - Awesome gallery wall in the orientation gallery at the Rosenbach Museum & Library

February 17 - A friend volunteers for the amazing Woodlands in Philadelphia. We got a private tour on Sunday - this is the exterior of the house on the grounds (built in stages between 1774 and 1840).

February 17 - Inside the drawing room at the Woodlands. Gorgeous light!

February 20 - Baking pies late at night for a museum workshop in the morning. Pecan pie on the left and chess pie on the right.

February 21 - The pies the next day, plus the cornbread that I made with my workshop kids.

February 21 - Home early from work that day and rearranged my home office so the desk faces out the window.

February 22 - One of my historic house organizations is renovating their rental apartment and it's been fascinating to watch. This is the kitchen, with new paint, a new light fixture, and newly refinished floors. It's awaiting appliances, drawers, and butcher block counters, but it's gorgeous as is!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Fun Side

Sometimes, the fun we have at museums isn't museum-related at all!  This 4-week old shih tzu belongs to the exhibit curator at one of my and I got to hold her today.  Gotta love a workplace that has no problem with doggies (admittedly, we were in the staff kitchen, not the historic house, but still).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snowy Scene & Social Media

After the snowstorm last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I wanted to see if I could snap a decent shot of one of my museum's 17th century houses for our Facebook page. However, I didn't feel like getting to work, leaving one building, trudging across the street to the 17th century building, and taking a picture with my feet in the cold snow. So I cheated. I pulled my car down the small side road next to the house, hopped out, snapped three images, and called it good enough.

So imagine my surprise when I uploaded the image above to the museum's Facebook page and it went viral!  As of today, 15 comments, 123 likes, and an FB-estimated reach of 1,376.  Amazing.

Oh, and while I'm here, today is Museophilia's 5th birthday.  Happy birthday, little museum blog that no one reads!  ;)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Other Museums

Sometimes, I go to museums other than my own!  My husband and I bought our nephews a family membership to the Acton Discovery Museums for Christmas, so I made a trip there today with my parents and nephews.

Even though it's a very different museum than the historic houses I work in, it was interesting to look at their facilities, exhibits, etc. and assess functionality the same way I would at a history museum.  And it was really fun to play with all of the exhibits with my nephews, so there's that benefit, too!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cold Authenticity

Deinstalling an exhibit in one of my historic houses today and this was what the windows looked like from the inside.  Further confirmation that 18th century houses DO NOT hold heat well!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Picturing History

I'm prepping for a February vacation program at one of my museums and found this image while looking through the family photos of an African-American woman in the city.  This is her with her dog in probably the 1920s.  I love it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Working from Home Awesomeness

A lovely day of working partially from home today. I drove up to the museum this morning, packed up some artifacts and the museum's projector, gave a lecture to some lovely old ladies, dropped everything back off at the museum, and headed home to finish out the workday here.

The troika of puppies at the reservoir on the walk they got when I got home.

My garden house office, lit from within as the dark started to fall. This is exactly how I was picturing it all fall while I slaved away cleaning & painting.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Photographing the 1884 portrait of one of the first female foreign missionaries today.  Cold in the historic house, but it was nice to get a good image of her for my lecture on Tuesday!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Par for the Course, Part II

Why yes, wrapping a sedan chair in plastic to prevent the spread of powder post beetles IS a normal part of my workday.  Not so much for you?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Post-Holiday Work

My first winter Tuesday working from home!  Unlike some of my working-from-home days in the past, it was a great success.  I was warm enough in my little garden house office (converted this fall), I came in the house for lunch & a dog walk midday, and I was able to work out in the garden house until 8:30pm (after a late afternoon visit from my dad & nephews).  A perfect blend of getting actual work done and enjoying being home.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pre-Holiday Work

As you can probably tell, I was off work for quite a nice stretch (11 days) over the holidays.  Hence, no museum daily posts.  Here are a couple of images from my last week of work before the break, though:

Baking woodland creature sugar cookies for one museum's cookie social.

Schwag from my coworkers - they're so generous!