Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frary House and guiding

This morning after our seminar meeting, we had an almost two hour long tour of the Frary House! It was so long! The guide was the vice president of museum affairs, and she's really fun, but she does like to talk. Frary House is different from every other house on The Street because it has a history from the Colonial Revival period (1880-1910s ish) rather than an authentic colonial interpretation. A native woman from western Mass named C. Alice Baker went to school in Deerfield, moved to Chicago, became an educator, established some schools, and then came back to Deerfield and became interested in the Arts and Craft Movement and Deerfield's history. She bought Frary House in order to preserve it. Of course, her preservation was like anything else from that time, a focus on aesthetics and not necessarily accuracy. It's really important to Deerfield history, though, and one of the guys (Andrew) is actually writing his paper on C. Alice Baker and her involvement in the Colonial Revival. It's interesting to talk about the genderization of history. Women were really important to the development of historical house museums, but then the study became professionalized so men took over...

This afternoon I shadowed the guide at Wells-Thorn. Marcia was really fun. I told to her a lot at the craft fair, so hanging out this afternoon was fun. She actually reminds me a lot of my Grandma Menken. She's friendly, talkative, and somewhat loud. Of course, she also taught middle school history and then became a high school guidance counselor. We gave one tour today to a family from Springfield, MA. I was totally really to co-tour with Marcia the rest of the afternoon, but no one else came. Maybe on Friday. We had a cookout tonight, but now I need to work on my paper. Hopefully I can write a little bit tonight and work all afternoon tomorrow. Since we are alternating afternoon to guide, I have tomorrow off. It will be exciting. I really want to get to the paper done tomorrow because we have a field trip Thursday and it's due Friday after I guide. Wish my luck!

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