• 03Aug
    Categories: Everything!, travels abroad Comments Off on A Thing of Beauty….

    ….Is a Joy Forever.  Keats


    I often wonder why it is that humans are inclined to decorate–and always have been.  From primitive times forward, people embellished everyday items just for the joy it brings to the eye.  No matter how harsh or primitive living conditions were, this need to surround oneself with beauty seems universal.

    I love visiting the old farm museums in Sweden.  In Tällberg we went to one I hadn’t been to before called Holen.  In 1910 an artist from southern Sweden, Gustaf Ankarcrona, fell in love with Dalarna and embraced the culture of the area.  He began collecting all kinds of old things–buildings, clothing, sleighs, household items–and bringing them together at his home.  In the 1930′s, his home and all the wonderful things he’d collected became a museum.


    I love the little detail here above a porch.  It’s so subtle, but shows someone cared.


    Inside his home was this wonderful corner hearth.


    Above it hung a very, very old candelabra.  The beautiful metal work didn’t make it give any better light, but it was lovely to look at.


    There was the typical built-in bed.  People slept in a sitting position, thinking it was better for their internal organs!


    I’m in love with the Swedish kakelugn–a wonderful ceramic stove used for heating.


    Here’s a shelf of useful items–many made to be beautiful as well as useful.


    Corner cupboards are also very near to my heart.


    We went into the barns with our guide.  Notice how high the thresholds are on the doors–and how low the doors are!  You have to step up and over at the same time you’re bending down!


    Mangles like these were often betrothal gifts from a man to a woman.  I suppose it’s too late to tell Bob that I’d like him to carve me one!


    How gorgeous is the cabbage chopper?


    There was a whole collection of locks.


    And hinges.


    And these fancy things sat on the back of the horses neck to guide the reins.


    The hinges on this door are from the fourteenth century!  Can you imagine?  Some artist/craftsman in the 1300′s made this functional thing beautiful.


    John Keats was right.  A thing of beauty IS a joy forever!


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