The Domestic Skills Symposium Pt 1

Saturday was day two of the Genesee Country Village and Museum’s Domestic Skill Symposium, my first day, a day filled with five excellent presentations. (I was at Granger Homestead’s ChrisKindle Market on Friday, a much loved tradition with Dan.)

The morning started with friendly faces at registration and tasty goodies at the bar. It also provided time for some Christmas shopping at the Flint Hill Store and the artisans displaying their handcrafted wares. (Shhhh, I bought mom the middle one and Dan the little on he had been looking at.) It was really nice to have quality wares so easily available. Here are some of the goods offered:

The first presentation, “Cloaks, Pelisses, Mantles, and Mantlets”, by Ann B. Wass, (history and museum specialist at the Riversdale House Museum, Riverdale Park, Maryland) covered outerwear from 1795 to 1845, focusing on showing original garments and comparative fashion plates. She even touched on one of my favorite topics: shawls.

20161112_181453.jpgThe following presentation, by historic gastronimist Sarah Lehman, was “Food of the Dead: A Culinary History of Funeral Food.” While food isn’t usually a topic of interest for me, this framing certainly had my attention. Both the topic and the style captured the audience. I would happily listen to another of Lehman’s presentations and look forward to he upcoming book Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine.

Following lunch, we learned about “The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful: Cosmetics of Early America” from Katie Cannon, curator of Education, DAR Museum, Washington, D.C. Hearing about the science behind what went into paints and cosmetics was interesting. Many attendees had fun trying out the silk beauty marks, and viewing or smelling the samples she brought.

20161112_181536.jpgThe second afternoon presentation was “Uncovering Coverlets: The Figured and the Fancy.” I always enjoy listening to GCVM’s Curator of Collections, Peter Wisbey present. He walked us through the coverlets of New York, filled with motifs connecting to the area and little clues about their history. It was exciting to hear some of the coverlets could be connected with sales receipts. His end story was down right hysterical, and reminded me of the many stories told by Stuart over the years.

Wrapping up the day was “From Well Drinks to Swell Drinks: The History of Bitters” by Joe Fee, c0-owner of Fee Brothers, Rochester, NY. It was delightful listening to the history of bitters and the Rochester context. It was not so delightful as I learned I really do not like whiskey anymore.

At the end of the auditorium presentations, it was time for door prizes. The amazing Anneliese was first to be called, but she was hard at work in the kitchen. When I stepped out to call for her, my name was called. I picked a special handcrafted something I can not tell you about because it is a gift for somebody.

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Published in: on November 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

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