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.

Featured Articles

Love is in the Archives: Details on a Mansion Wedding Rediscovered

February 14, 2019|Blog, News|

As part of a larger project to move and rehouse portions of the Mansion's archives, Director of Education Stacia Hanscom recently happened upon an article written around 1967 by Maine Historian and long-time friend and supporter of the Mansion, Earle Shettleworth Jr. The short article documents the reminiscence of Alice Libby Brown, the youngest daughter of the Mansion's second owner, J.R. Libby. Along with fond memories of her father reading the Bible to the family after breakfast and making fudge with her friends in the Mansion kitchen, Alice, (who was 88 at the time the article was written), also remembers [...]

‘Unpacking’ the Parlor: A Cupid by Any Other Name

February 13, 2019|Blog, News|

As we remove and rehouse the Parlor's schematic furniture and furnishings, those rotund, infantile figures adorning the room's walls and ceilings become all the more apparent. Most visitors to the Mansion immediately recognize all the room's figures as "cherubs"- those angelic, winged and usually haloed unearthly abettors to God. Though we know these figures to be one in the same today, it wasn't always so-- particularly in ancient times. And as much of the Mansion's decoration harkens back to the ancient word, it often commands an ancient unpacking. Cherubs first appeared in biblical tradition and Middle Eastern iconography as pious attendants to [...]

Special Offer from Portland Stage for Mansion Members January 31, 2019

January 14, 2019|Blog, News|

The Mansion is teaming up with our friends at Portland Stage to offer a $5 discount* exclusively for Victoria Mansion members to the January 31st performance of  The Importance of Being Earnest.   The night will include a pre-show reception at 6:30 with VM Executive Director Tom Johnson and Portland Stage's Artistic Director, Anita Stewart as they lend perspective on the time period of Oscar Wilde's classic play before the 7:30 p.m. showtime. Light refreshments and a cash bar are included.   Contact Victoria Levesque at 207.772.4841 ext. 111 or vlevesque@victoriamansion.org to learn more about this exciting collaboration. Members must have a special discount code to attend [...]

Conservation Ramps Up in the Off Season

January 14, 2019|Blog, News|

For the first time in Mansion's history, there are two major interior conservation projects happening concurrently. In the Reception Room, conservators have completed the conservation of the magnificent gasolier (originally a gas-powered lighting fixture), which will be reinstalled in the room in the coming weeks. Planning continues to restore the room's original textiles, including the teal and gold curtains and passementerie (window treatments) as well as the original Axminster carpet, which will be backed and returned to its proper place in the room in the coming months.   Meanwhile, work will begin in the Parlor, where we were awarded a prestigious Save America's Treasures grant in [...]

The Numbers Are In! Recapping Christmas at Victoria Mansion: Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes

January 14, 2019|Blog, News|

We are pleased to report the Mansion enjoyed a very healthy 2018-2019 holiday season overall. Evening events Night of the Nutcracker and A Taste & Tipple with Mr. Dickens enjoyed sold out crowds and over 360 people visited the Mansion for the First Friday Art Walk on December 7 alone. We ended the Christmas season with an overall 14% increase in admissions. Our annual Christmas Gala on November 28 also saw a major increase in revenue from last year's event-- up by an impressive 40%!  We again would like to thank all of our talented designers, generous sponsors, and dedicated staff and volunteers for making this [...]

‘History Catches up to the Morses’ by Charisse Gendron

January 8, 2019|Blog, News|

Ruggles and Olive Morse foretold the future of archaeology in featuring the myth of Leda and the swan in their Dressing Room, adjacent to a Bathroom styled after the frescoes at Pompeii on the second floor of the Mansion. Queen Leda’s ravishment by the god Zeus, in the form of a swan, is one of the most enduring Greek myths. The Romans incorporated it into their own mythology, in which Zeus became the god Jupiter. Artists of the Italian Renaissance recounted the tale in prose and painting. In turn, during the Renaissance revival of the nineteenth century, Europeans embellished stately [...]

Rarely-Seen Collections Items on Display 

December 14, 2018|Blog, News|

Over the years, Victoria Mansion has been presented with a number of objects that, while not original to the house, are typical of what upper-class Victorian families in Portland such as the Morses and the Libbys might have used to accent their interiors. Usually kept in storage and not normally on view, the following objects are pieces that designers chose to enhance their rooms for the Christmas season.  

Holiday Events Recap: A Sold Out House!

December 14, 2018|Blog, News|

The Mansion's 2018 Christmas Gala on November 28 was a record breaker! We welcomed over 200 members and friends and raised over $17,000 in ticket sales for the Mansion's educational programming and conservation initiatives. Guests enjoyed musical stylings by Jazz singer Viva, great hors d'oeuvres courtesy of the Cumberland Club, signature drinks (including fabulous ale from Allagash Brewing Company), and of course the stunning decorations by this year's designers. We thank our great sponsors and event partners for making this year's Gala our best yet!   We also sold out of all four performances of our annual favorite Night of the Nutcracker collaboration with Portland Ballet, as well [...]

Christmas at Victoria Mansion in the Press

December 13, 2018|Blog, News|

The Mansion has been popular fodder as of late! The release of the major motion picture Buttons, with Dick Van Dyke, Angela Landsbury, Jane Seymour and many other famous faces featuring the Mansion's interiors brought us some great publicity. Buttons director Tim Janis stopped by WCSH's show 207 to talk about this filming process. For those who missed the segment, click HERE to watch it in full. 207 contributor Peggy Keyser also stopped by the Mansion to put together a photo montage which also aired on 207. WCSH also stopped by on a busy Saturday to capture the crowds and excitement- click HERE to view [...]

Conserving the Reception Room Gasolier

October 19, 2018|Blog, News|

Conservators Siobhan Lindsay and Harper Batsford, and volunteers John and Eunice Wilcox are currently working to conserve the Reception Room's original, monolithic gilded bronze gasolier (gas lighting fixture). The first step in this arduous process is the careful dismantling and labeling of each piece of this elaborate Rococco-inspired fixture, a total of 225 pieces in all! Throughout the fixture, there are elaborately cast grapes and grape leaves (a stylistic nod to the Bacchanalian references throughout the Reception Suite), acanthus leaves, and a myriad of other classical elements.  Once dismantled, the pieces are meticulously cleaned and soaked in an organic acid solution to remove gas fume [...]

Victoria Mansion Awarded Prestigious Save America’s Treasures Grant

October 15, 2018|Blog, News|

We are so pleased to announce Victoria Mansion recently received a $132,050 matching grant from the Department of Interior, National Park Service (NPS) through the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program to finance in part the conservation of the original decoration of the Parlor. This funding will allow conservators to remove over 150 years of soot, grime, and overpaint, stabilize and conserve original finishes and loose elements, and conserve the original Iliad-inspired ceiling canvases that have been off-view for years due to deterioration to reveal the original 1860’s aesthetic of the room for over 30,000 annual international visitors, scholars, AND members like you! Many may be [...]

Reception Suite Conservation Update

September 17, 2018|Blog, News|

Since our last update on the ongoing project to conserve the Mansion's Reception Suite, Executive Director Tom Johnson and Assistant Director Tim Brosnihan joined up with stone conservator Ivan Myjer to investigate the possible sources of brownstone to rebuild the exterior of the badly deteriorated bay window. Large pieces of high-quality brownstone have been difficult to come by since the last quarry providing stone for restoration work closed in 2012. After several years of chasing down leads, it looks like we will have some exciting news to share in the future!   Meanwhile, conservators have completed and installed a replica [...]

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