November 29, 2012

Decking the halls with red plaid

Christmas Open House highlights antique, modern collections


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Geri Rickert deftly unwound rolls of gold garland around a Christmas tree in the rear hallway of the Kent-Delord House Museum.

Near the tree, a glass case held miniatures carved by Arto Monaco, Land of Make Believe creator. This collection is owned by the Giltz family.

In the gold parlor, Evelyn Heins was adorning every inch in lace, bits and scraps from the museum’s collection.

Lace handkerchiefs hung from slips of white ribbon dotting a Christmas tree. A length of antique lace was twisted with green garland draped over the fireplace.

This Monday was the first day of decorating for “Collections: Old and New,” the theme of the museum’s annual Christmas Open House, set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.


“What we wanted to do with these collections was keep the feel of the museum but have some new stuff to keep it interesting,” said Melanie Waugh, curator of the show of private collections.

“We have 200 salt-and-pepper shakers. Most of them came from Garden Club members. The gold parlor has old lace from the museum’s collection. The big bedroom will have antique clothing. We have a winter wedding dress from 1903. It has antique shoes.”

The dress was worn by Rickert’s grandmother, Eva Snyder, and is part of the display in the big bedroom. There, Carol Lindberg hung banners with Christmas motifs — tree, wreath and bell — created from antique buttons. It was her handiwork.

In the apothecary, Frank LaBombard strategically placed his antique and vintage toy collection around Adirondack Doll Company’s one-of-a-kind folk-art dolls, created by his wife, Diane.

Antique unmentionables will grace the little bedroom.


“We have some antique postcards of Kathe Fairweather,” Waugh said. “Some of them are embroidered.”

Waugh was itching to start on her projects in the international-themed blue parlor, which included molas, decorative-cotton panels, made by Kuna Indian women. Mola is Kuna for blouse.

“We have 60 of them. We also have a collection of German steins, a collection of Inuit art and antique political buttons. We have a lot of antique bells.”


Waugh’s collection of Christmas pewter plates is front and center in the dining room on a tablecloth of red plaid, a color accent throughout the museum.

“My husband gave me one for years,” she said of the plates. “Finally, after 21 years, I said that’s enough. I don’t have any room.”

The front hallway will feature a collection of stoneware crocks, walking sticks and a table setting, which will be raffled.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Waugh said. “Gary Sargeant, who lives four houses down, will set up in the gold parlor. He sings beautifully. He will be here both days.

“We will have refreshments, quick breads and hot-mulled cider.”

Email Robin Caudell:

IF YOU GO WHAT: "Collections: Old and New," a juried show of private collections curated by Melanie Waugh. WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday WHERE: Kent-Delord House Museum, 17 Cumberland Ave., Plattsburgh ADMISSION: Free.