Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Women, Nature, and Shagreen!

If you've visited Old Capitol recently you might have noticed that the Hanson Humanities Gallery is not open. The gallery is closed for good reason: behind those closed doors we're currently preparing for an exciting new exhibition! Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter, Christina Rossetti, and Mary Shelley are just a few of the women whose writings and lives will be explored in the upcoming exhibit.

"Fresh Threads of Connection: Mother Nature and British Women Writers" opens on March 7 and will run through May 24. Though the opening isn't for a few weeks, we here at Old Cap wanted to give you a little sneak peek of what to expect from the exhibition.

For the exhibit, the Humanities Gallery will be transformed into a Victorian parlor. And what Victorian parlor would be complete without a mantelpiece? This picture shows the unfinished fireplace mantel. While it gives you an idea of the design, you'll definitely want to check out the exhibit to see the finished product!

Another notable part of the room is the wall color. The color chosen and seen in this picture is called "shagreen." Not only a fun word to say, the origin of "shagreen" is pretty interesting. Shagreen is actually a type of leather that used to be made from horses, but now is usually made from shark skin. It is often dyed green, which is most likely what this paint color is named for.

You can look forward to more behind-the-scenes info about the exhibit on this blog, but you'll also want to be sure to visit the museum once the exhibit opens March 7. There is also a lot of fun programming being planned (spend an afternoon with Beatrix Potter, make your own monster, and/or see a performance of Emma!). A listing of programs relating to the exhibit can be found by clicking here.