Find out what’s going on at Victoria Mansion and learn more about the collection in these posts and by joining our mail and e-newsletter lists.

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Victoria Mansion Newsletter Archive

March 13, 2024|Blog, Conservation & Restoration, Education, Events, News, Newsletter, Research|

Victoria Mansion sends out a monthly newsletter to our members and subscribers, with updates on conservation and restoration projects, educational programs, research initiatives, upcoming events, and more. Read on at the links below to catch up on the past year of newsletters, and subscribe any time to stay up to date on Mansion projects! Starting in April 2024, newsletters will be cross-posted to our VictoriaMansion.org news feed within a few days. March 2024: Featuring Historic Preservation Updates and a 2024 Events Preview February 2024: Featuring Paint Conservation News January 2024: Featuring a Holiday Season Wrap-Up, Domestic Servant Descendant Visit, [...]

Victoria Mansion Names New Executive Director

December 7, 2021|Blog, News|

Victoria Mansion, a National Historic Landmark, has named Timothy Brosnihan as its new Executive Director. After a six-month search in the US and Canada, the Search Committee announced that the position would go to Brosnihan, former Assistant Director of the museum. Board member Sue Sturtevant chaired the Search Committee, which included other board members Cynthia MacDonald, Sue Nutty, Drew Oestreicher and Kathie Propp, along with community members Randal Rucker and Mike Stone. They worked with Gail Nessell Colglazier, Principal, Executive Searches for Museums, and Hilary Robbins, Founder and Senior Strategy Consultant for Hilary Robbins Consulting, to find the best candidate [...]

Conservation of the Interior: Parlor Conservation Project Reaches New Milestone

March 5, 2020|Blog, Conservation & Restoration, News|

After a thorough dry-cleaning of the room's walls and ceiling, (as much of the painted decoration is water-based), the next phase of the major conservation project in the Mansion's Parlor looms near: the application of a protective barrier varnish on the original 1860's paint to protect and preserve it for decades to come. Once this synthetic barrier is applied, work to restore failing plaster and gilded elements, areas of paint loss and water damage (visible in the image to the right) begins in earnest and will provide a more striking visual transformation of the space. The Parlor is the largest [...]

Sugar and Spice, and All That’s Nice: ‘Reproof’, by Edward Russell Thaxter

March 5, 2020|Blog, Collections, News|

Nineteenth-century American artists looked to Europe as the omphalos of culture. The painters flocked to Paris, while the sculptors migrated to Florence and Rome, where they could obtain the marble, the mentors, and the ancient models they required to fashion their neo-classical compositions. These expatriate artists chose “’ideal’ subjects—themes from literature, mythology, and history,” as most worthy of their endeavors. Their studios were destinations for Americans on the Grand Tour, and often they made multiple versions of a piece to sell. A member of the Italian enclave was Edward Russell Thaxter, a [...]

Behind the Image: Mr. Libby’s Special Delivery

March 5, 2020|Blog, Collections, News|

The very first delivery of cargo by air to Portland, Maine in July of 1926 included some unexpected freight: a shipment of high-end dresses from New York City for the J.R. Libby Department Store. Though the store's founder and namesake-- and second owner of the Mansion-- J.R. Libby had passed away in 1917, his son Ralph and the principals of the store certainly celebrated in his stead.  Most likely taken by a newspaper photographer, the image below shows a group of 15 men standing in front of the fabled biplane and two young men perched inside of it, a few figures and [...]

A Century of Change: School Tours in the Off-Season

March 5, 2020|Blog, News|

While our doors may be closed to the public, we are opening the Mansion up to local schools who are taking part in our A Century of Change school curriculum.    Elementary schools from around Cumberland County have the opportunity to select from 8 lessons that look at the changes over time that created the world we now live in, through the lens of Victoria Mansion and Portland in the 19th century. The most popular lessons include discussions of technology, etiquette, immigration, and symbolism, and include both an in class lesson and a guided program in the Mansion itself.    A Century of Change is [...]

Conservation of the Interior: Ongoing Work in the Mansion’s Parlor

January 22, 2020|Blog, News|

Now in its eighth month, the conservation project to clean and stabilize the walls and ceiling of the Parlor is still in progress, and with the completion of our successful Christmas season the room is once again a hive of activity as conservators complete a second pass cleaning the original 1860 decoration of the room by Italian artist Giuseppe Guidicini.   The size of the room, (the Mansion's largest), along with the required methods of cleaning, make for an extremely detailed project that will still take several more months to complete. As Guidicini used an water soluble egg-based tempera paint [...]

Mansion Visitation Continues to Grow

January 22, 2020|Blog, News|

As we close the books and crunch the numbers for another successful holiday season, we are delighted to report that visitation has been steadily on the rise. Though we saw a slight decrease in visitation in 2016 and 2017, the Mansion welcomed over 33,000 people by the end of December and we expect to see 750 more students in the coming months--besting last year's numbers by nearly 3,000 people. We are so pleased to be able to share this one-of-a-kind landmark with increasing numbers of visitors from all over the world each year.

Annual Holiday Gala Recap

January 13, 2020|Blog, News|

This year's Gala was a great success, raising nearly $20,000 for the Mansion's preservation and educational initiatives.    Guests enjoyed fabulous food provided by the Cumberland Club, the musical stylings of Viva, signature cocktails, and and great company within the Mansion's decked out interiors.    Thank you to our generous patrons, event partners, and to all who attended and helped us kick off our holiday season. For a full album of festive photos from the evening by Emily Leonard Photography, click HERE.  2019 Gala Patrons Diamond Patrons Nancy Armitage Elizabeth K. Astor Sheila Clark-Edmands & Peter L. Edmands Mary C. Doughty Thomas [...]

‘Christmas at Victoria Mansion: Ghosts of Christmas Past’ in the Press

December 26, 2019|Blog, News|

Follow the links and watch the videos below to learn more about the Mansion's 2019 holiday season. Now in its fourth decade, 'Christmas at Victoria Mansion' has become a beloved tradition for many in the Greater Portland area and beyond!   Portland Press Herald Society Notebook: Click HERE for images and a rundown of Victoria Mansion's Annual Holiday Gala held on December 4, 2019. Longtime supporters of Victoria Mansion Mary Doughty, David Fernald, Allie Staley, Muffie Fernald, Will and Nancy Armitage, David Savage, Benita Fuller-Fugelso and Jane Briggs. Photo by Amy Paradysz, courtesy of the Portland Press Herald. [...]

A Very Special Visitor Returns to the Mansion

September 10, 2019|Blog, News|

On August 20, the Mansion welcomed Marjorie Willits Albright, a college roomate of the late Libby descendant Ellen Libby Lawrence, who passed away at the age of 101 last October. Marjorie remembered eating in the Mansion's Dining Room and sleeping in one of the bedrooms upstairs when she was visiting Portland with Ellen on a break from Wellesley College in 1936. By that time, the Libby family still owned the house but had removed some furnishings. Her memories of the house were remarkable and we so enjoyed this wonderful visit with Marjorie and her son Randall.

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