Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, 1911

From "The Report" -- December 27, 1911:

These are busy times with Sally. If you talk to her you are apt to get no reply. She is ever wrapped up in tying up packages. There are piles of boxes in the kitchen, the dining room and the parlor, not to mention the greater lot upstairs on the beds. Each day the expressman presents a long list of charges due. The boys are instructed to pay what he claims without question, for the evidence is good that the bills are due. Sally quite savagely said if anyone sends her a gift in return she will cut them off her list.

So next year, instead of decorating the Museum with poinsettias and fresh greens, perhaps we should consider piling boxes all over the place in memory of Miss Sally's "potlatches." Hmmm. Good thing we have almost a year to think about it.

In the meantime, the staff of the Bush House Museum wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Collections Spotlight: The Cogswell Portrait

Today's entry is written by Museum Assistant
Pablo Morales Henry.

I would like to present one of my favorite items in the house, Mr. Bush’s portrait in the library. The first impression upon viewing the portrait is that Mr. Bush was an impressive man both in stature and Oregon history. The portrait reminded me of one of the typical presidential portraits from the 19th century.

The portrait that I am referring to was painted by William F. Cogswell, who was born in Sandusky, NY in 1819 and died in Pasadena, CA in 1903. The portrait was painted in 1880. Cogswell was not just an ordinary artist, and there are several reasons why his work is so unique. First of all, he taught himself portrait painting in the 1830s while he was working at a color factory and from there he made a career. Another reason is the fact that some of his most famous works are portraits of U.S. presidents. Perhaps his most famous work is a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, which was painted 1864 (this portrait is displayed at the White House). Cogswell also painted a portrait of Ulysses S. Grant in 1868 (this portrait is displayed at the U.S. Senate). Cogswell painted this portrait the year before Grant started his first term in office. Later, he also painted President Grant and his family (this piece is displayed at the Smithsonian). Afterwards, Cogswell painted a portrait of President McKinley and the portraits of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii, just to name a few of the people that commissioned work from him.

After quite a few years of success on the east coast, in 1873, Cogswell moved to California. He had previously lived in California during the gold rush, which was an event that motivated some interesting works in his early career. Cogswell bought a property in what is today east Pasadena, and built a beautiful Victorian house. He lived there for many years, during which time he travelled and continued painting. He primarily painted political figures from the State of California. It was during this time that Cogswell painted the portrait of Asahel Bush II that we have today at the museum.

If you have not had the opportunity to appreciate this magnificent painting from the 19th century, please join us at the museum for a tour and you will see an incredible piece that is comparable with the portraits of Presidents Lincoln and Grant.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Holiday Helpers

Many, many thanks to the helpers who came to put up holiday decorations this past week!

Gretchen and Denis always find the perfect, old-fashioned Christmas tree for the sitting room.

Nadine, Karen, Ross, and Bonnie helped trim the tree and decorate the mantels with fresh greens. (We also had help from Kathy and Jean, but they left before the pictures were taken!)

Gretchen came back with Barbara on Tuesday to decorate the library and dining room, and make swags for the exterior doors.

Come and admire their handiwork at our Holiday Open House this Sunday, December 13, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. In addition to the beautiful decorations we'll have holiday music, refreshments, and a visit from that jolly old elf, Santa Claus. Hope to see you here!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coming Soon: Holidays!

It's December, and the holidays will be here soon -- even sooner than we think!

Next week, the Bush House Museum will be transformed into a holiday wonderland with fresh greens in every room, a Christmas tree with vintage decorations, and other traditional trimmings for an old-fashioned celebration.

Please join us on Sunday, December 13 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm for our annual Holiday Open House! In addition to the lovely decorations, there will be refreshments, holiday music, and an activity for the children. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here for photographs and wishes. Make a day of it by planning to attend the Open House at Historic Deepwood Estate the same day.

If you can't make it to the Open House, you can read all about it in the December issue of Northwest Senior and Boomer News. This periodical is available for free at several locations around town.