In 2010, the Mansion underwent a paint restoration to bring back the original wall colors in the Dining Room, Hallway, Butler Closet, Parlor, and Surgery Room. During that restoration the Dining Room took on its red and yellow color scheme, the Parlor was also painted with a yellow around its windows, and the Hallway and Surgery Room woodwork was marbleized with a faux finish. The restoration in progress is taking that a step further. The baseboard in the Dining Room, Parlor, and Butler Closet are currently a brown color, which is not historically accurate. These baseboards were also originally marbleized and the original marbleization can be seen. The fireplaces in the Dining Room and Parlor were also originally marbleized. This has been determined through paint scrapings taken in each of the rooms going through all the layers of paint to the original layer over the wood. Working with local artist, Dana Simson, the Mansion is having all of the marbling restored. The Dining Room has a lovely white marbling affect which will blend in with the Pompeii Red and Golden Ochre quite nicely. The Parlor and Butler Closet have a more blue/gray tone, which will also pair well with the Golden Ochre and the Napoleonic Blue, which will take the place of the current teal color (which is also not an original color). In addition to the paint restoration, we are also taking the opportunity to repair some of the plastering, repaint some minor water damage around the windows, have some of the rugs in the Mansion cleaned and repaired, and update a couple exhibits. The Mansion is closed during this restoration, which is expected to last through the second week of August. Please check our website for updates and thank you for your patience while we make these improvements to the Mansion, and more importantly, thank you for your generosity, as it is only through contributions from our supporters which make restoration projects like this possible.
The museum is premiering a new temporary exhibit during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month entitled “The Influence of Asian Art During the Federal Period.” This exhibit explores the trade between America and China (and other Asian nations) in the early 1800s. Did you know that in the early 1800s China actually imported more American goods than America did from China? Do you know what the most important export to China was?
There had always been a general American, especially among the wealthy, desire for foreign and sometimes exotic wares, and, with the British East India Company no longer the dominant force in American trade, after the American War for Independence, the job of satisfying this demand fell to American merchants. It did not take long to realize that, while selling American goods to the Chinese was undoubtedly profitable, selling Chinese goods in America would be considerably more so. What resulted was the flooding of Chinese teas, cotton, silks, rhubarb, cassia, nankeens (durable, yellow cloth), floor-matting, lacquerware, fans, furniture, and porcelains, into America, to the extent that even those of poor social classes possessed some Chinese items.
These items became so popular, in fact, that European manufacturers mimicked Asian art. Chinoiserie (“Chinese-like”) describes the pseudo-Chinese decorative style which flourished in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was based on a fanciful European interpretation of “Chinese” styles, taken from countries all over East Asia, including China, Korea and Japan. Most Western consumers were quite unable to distinguish Chinese from Korean or Japanese imagery. For them, the attraction of Chinoiserie lay in its Far Eastern exoticism. Porcelain ware was especially popular – especially the blue and white porcelain associated with the era of Ming Dynasty art (1368-1644) – and remained a constant feature of Chinoiserie.
The exhibit features some of these imported goods as well as pieces of Chinoiserie including ceramics, lacquerware, porcelain, embroidery, and silk screening. All the items are from the museum collection and the exhibit will last through 2022.
Please join us for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the new Pollinator Garden at Poplar Hill Mansion developed and installed by Professor David Sheid and his Salisbury University students and made possible through the generosity of the Maryland State Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Samuel Chase Chapter, NSDAR, Wicomico Women’s Club, City of Salisbury, Gen. Deggendorf Memorial Fund, Jane Dibbern Memorial Fund, and the Board of Directors of the Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion, Thursday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m. Followed by a light luncheon in the Mansion.
We would like to give Nancy Robertson a great big thank you as she finishes her terms on the Board of Directors of PHM. Nancy has served two terms (6 years) on the board, including a two your term as Chair. Nancy is a lifelong resident of the Wicomico County on the Eastern Shore and graduated from Wi-Hi. She is retired and enjoys relaxing and spending time with her cats, playing Bingo, and serves on the board of her retirement community. She also has worked with several other local historic organizations such as Wicomico Preservation Trust and the Westside Historical Society. She is currently devoting most of her time to the Whitehaven Heritage Association where she is heading efforts to restore the roof on the Whitehaven Church. For more information about those efforts please visit, www.whitehavenheritage.com. We want to wish Nancy the best of luck in her future endeavors!!!
It is with a heavy heart that the Board of Directors for the Friends of Poplar Hill have decided to cancel the PHM Festival for June 19, 2021. This decision was not made lightly, but given the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 and the need for social distancing protocals currently in place, the safety of guests, staff, volunteers, vendors, and other participants comes first. It will not be rescheduled for this year, rather we hope to be able to schedule it for June of next year when we will all be able to gather safely and celebrate the history, heritage, and resiliance of Salisbury. Thank you all, and we appreciate your patience during this time.
Poplar Hill Mansion is pleased to announce that our restroom facilities now comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The restoom looks great and now features handlebars, automatic flush system, automatic sink, hand dryer, paper towel dispenser, a brighter light, and baby changing station. There is also an automatic door with a wider entrance and no step down. Thank you to the City of Salisbury for funding the renovation and Paige Industries for doing the work.
We are undergoing a restroom remodel right now at the Mansion. We are converting our two small restrooms into one large restroom that meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The new restroom will include an automatic door, taller lavatory with handrails, automatic sink, and a diaper changing table. Due to the renovation, the Mansion will be closed to the public until the work is complete, which is scheduled to last until the end of February. During this down-time, we are cataloguing artifacts and putting the finishing touches on a brand new exhibit! We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back in March, and we thank you all for your continued patience, understanding, and support.
Don’t want to venture out this holiday season? Poplar Hill Mansion has you covered! We are offering a special deal for the holidays. For $10.00, you can purchase our special Home for the Holiday Tea Box. Each box contains a gourmet tea pyramid, two scones and a bag of assorted cookies for you to enjoy an afternoon tea in the comfort of your own home. Each box also has a bonus keepsake snowflake ornament! You can preorder your boxes by emailing our Curator and pay either online via our website or by check/cash when you pick-up your boxes. The boxes will be available for pick-up from PHM from December 6-10 or delivery within Wicomico County on December 11.
Did you know Salisbury is a National Bee City? With that in mind, we are happy to announce we will be installing a new pollinating garden! Through a generous grant from the Maryland State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the local Chapter Samuel Chase DAR, PHM volunteers will be working on the garden, which was designed by Horticultural Students from Salisbury University under the guidance of our very own David Scheid. The garden, which is based in part on an embroidery from the early 19th century, will feature seasonal pollinating plants, an historic (non-functional) bee skep, a Chippendale fence mimicking the railings at PHM, and a bench, which will be dedicated to Gen Deggendorf, who passed away this year, for her love of PHM and gardening. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting new project!
Poplar Hill Mansion has decided to turn the space in our second floor hallway into a temporary exhibit space. Every year, we will feature a new exhibit pertaining to the history of PHM, the City of Salisbury, or the Federal Period in general. Starting soon and running through the end of next year, we will feature Childhood in the Early 1800s. The first family of PHM had four daughters all raised here at the Mansion. What was their life like? What did they do for fun? What kind of things did they play at? How was it different for boys and girls? This exhibit will showcase artifacts recently donated to PHM from Margaret Reed. Mrs. Reed is 100 years young and was an antiques dealer most of her life. She personally collected miniatures. Her collection features children’s tea sets, Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG) items, tin coffee pots, flatware with bone handles, a bedwarmer, and various other items, including the child size hutch pictured. The exhibit will also include items from PHM’s existing collection of children’s items and some new acquisitions such as a doll’s bed and child’s trunk (see featured artifact), as well as a couple new pieces of artwork depicting children in the early 1800s. We are very excited about this new exhibit and look forward to sharing information and having everyone come in and see all the new to us collection of artifacts.