Thursday, May 22, 2014

Handicraft House

That's where you live, right? I do as well, but the official name of my residence is Knitting, Chamber Music and Pet Fur House. As I write this, clouds of Molly's, Kramer's, Alfie's and Foxy's naturally discarded fluff tumbleweed across the floors, patiently awaiting their final resting place in the bowels of Electrolux.

Well, I was reading the Providence Journal earlier this week and came upon an article about the Handicraft Club, an institution on College Hill founded by Ladies Who Lunch in 1904, now lurching into the twenty-first century. They were having an open house, so I went, interested to see the place--a glorious nineteenth-century edifice surrounded by lovely gardens--diagonally across the street from Rhode Island Superior Court.  And across from the Athenaeum.  And RISD. And down the street from both the Hope Club and the University Club. So there you have it--justice, handicrafts, literature, art, polite society--beacons of civilization, only a stone's throw apart.

I was most curious about the knitting exhibits, which were, alas, somewhat lean. The Handicrafters are big on decorated metal trays, découpage, needlepoint, figurative paintings, basket-weaving, cloth-weaving, and other genteel hobbies....And the elegant setting is conducive to these pursuits. I was quite taken by the wrinkly couture wallpaper, a copy of a nineteenth-century French mural, depicting tiger hunts in India or some such vestigial practice of empire.

Knitting, Exhibit A.

Knitting, Exhibit B.  This is perhaps a Christmas stocking? It was on the large side, somewhat truncated, and had no mate.
Another view of the exhibition hall.

The Secret Garden (behind the house).

Street-side shade garden.

No comments:

Post a Comment