I was a history major in college which may explain my penchant for old houses and historical things. This time that interest took me to Redlands, California, to explore both a house and a museum. As it happens I was also an archaeology major and so I’ve always had an interest in ancient terracotta and glass. This fits perfectly with my latest adventure because the house in Redlands is home to the Historical Glass Museum.
Jerome Seymour, a Redlands architect, built this house as his family home, in the early 20th century, around 1903. Since he also owned a local lumberyard, he added lots of dark interior wood. As with so many older homes, this one is indeed made of real wood. I do like the symmetry of the design. The curved porch area is nice as well.
The family home eventually made it’s way to Dixie Huckabee who purchased the house in 1977 and set about renovating it. By 1985, the museum was ready to open. The renovation included converting all the rooms from living spaces to display areas. This isn’t a huge house, but the spaces available are put to good use. Everywhere I turned was glass, and more glass.
As you can see, there is a lot of light, and many shiny surfaces. I did my best to find an angle that cut down on some of the more glaring reflections but I wasn’t able to eliminate all of them.
With so many items to look at, I was at a loss where to start. The docent was with me much of the time, thereby allowing me to ask countless questions. She showed me glassware by Fostoria as well as that from Fenton. There was milk glass and depression glass, crystal and dinnerware. I was particularly drawn to the color.
I think I read that there are over 6,000 items on display. I regret I can’t remember everything I saw and photographed. All of it was beautiful.
Thank goodness for the little card in the above photo. According to my research, one of the distinguishing features of this art glass is the white figure of a child. Some pieces can date back to the 19th century while others are modern. Nowadays companies like Fenton produce pieces in the style of the original Mary Gregory company.
There was little I could do about the sticker on the piece in the above photo. Best just get on with things. The sticker says this is a Jefferson Wheel and a fine example of the opalescent glass for which the Jefferson Glass Company was famous.
There are countless shelves of glass pieces; all are dazzling. I loved the colors on these cruets. Placed by the window they simply glowed.
The museum hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon until 4:oo. Parking is in the back, as is the entrance to the house. I may go back for another visit when the season changes. Will the light be better without the summer glare?
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