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Saturday, 16 October 2010

american museum in bath

Claverton Manor on the outskirts of Bath is the home of  The American Museum, the only museum of Americana outside of the USA. The grounds, in which The Manor stands, totals 120 acres, with large part of it opened to public, with fantastic views over the valley of river Avon. On a good day it is a pleasure just to walk around, visiting the replica of George Washington's garden, an arboretum with Lewis and Clark trail, containing trees which have been discovered during their expedition across the States some 200 year ago, etc.
 I visited here first time over a year ago, on a beautiful summer day. I came with a friend to an antique textile fair, which was held here. We also had a good look around the museum, including the "quilt" room, with some of the museum's collection. Later we sat on a terrace overlooking the valley, enjoying a light lunch. Oh, joy.
Please click on the link above to learn more about the museum.

The museum has a collection of around  240 American quilts, ranging from eighteenth to early twentieth centuries, most of them rarely seen.
This year, as a special exhibition, the museum is showing a selection of quilts from their archives and this was the main reason I visited this week.
 The exhibition has been open since spring, due to close 31 October.
Unfortunately I can't share the pictures with you, as cameras are not allowed. I can only refer to book below, which I have been given as a present earlier this year. The book contains 55 quilts from the museum's collection. The most unusual quilt of the exhibition is a small quilt made from cigar silk ribbons. During the late 1800s, the cigars were tied into bundles with silk ribbons, which had the name of manufacturer stamped or woven into them. The most common colour for ribbons was yellow, but also red, blue and pink were used, according to the grades of the cigars. The seams in the quilt have been decorated with feather stitches. Most of the silk ribbons were of low quality, so not many of the quilts made this way have survived. This quilt is in very good condition and retained its rich colours.

I can only share with you some of the pictures from the grounds of the museum.

While I was browsing and enjoying the quilt exhibition, I also talked to one of the ladies, a volunteer guide at the museum. She asked me if I knew of Lucy Boston. I have not heard the name before, but some of you might know her already. She was an author of quite a few books, including children's books.
I was told, that she started quilting in her eighties, when she could not manage her four acres of garden any more! The house she lived in is one of the oldest continuously lived in houses in England. Her daughter in law looks after the house and the quilt collection now, and it can be visited by appointment. You can read more about Lucy Boston here.


  1. What a lovely place! I will keep it in mind when we go to Bath!

    have a nice evening.

  2. Always nice to go to the American Museum and will be going next week before it closes. I have the book on Lucy Bostons quilts. Really a nice book.

  3. Another fascinating place to visit. I really love the pic of the garden.

  4. What a beautiful place. It is a new idea to me - to think that there is an American Museum in England. :-)

  5. Perdona por no haberte dejado ningún comentario hasta ahora, se que tú nos visitas y nos dejas comentarios a menudo. Tiene que haber sido muy interesante vistar y ver esos edredones antiguos, que pena que esté tan lejos.
    Tus entradas hablando sobre tu jardín y las flores me encantan, a mi me gustan mucho cuidarlas tan bien, aunque quizás no les dedico todo el tiempo que debería.
    Tus trabajos en patchwork son muy enitos.Saludos, Mely

  6. We really enjoyed our visit to this Museum when we were last in the UK inSeptember last year and this is a wonderful book which I have already added to my collection. I am sure it must have been a wonderful exhibition and we hope to again visit the Museum some day.

  7. Radka, thank you again for the interesting post and pictures. I don't have the book, but have always been fascinated by American history, not to mention their quilt history. I love the garden views, they are wonderful. Hope the weather is not too cold for you at present.

  8. I missed to visit this museum on my last visit. Your pictures remind me must see if next time I'm there. Beautiful exhibitions.

  9. Very beautiful and serene place Radka, love the calmness there so lush green and peaceful. thanks for sharing the pictures..Love

  10. Hi Radka, just found your blog, what a lovely find! The American Museum in Bath is one (of many) places on my must see list when we eventually get to visit the that private school fees are done with, maybe in the not too distant future. Thank you for a lovely post. Kate


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