I wrote a previous post that presented a Christmas decoration showcase of the formal rooms at Fountain Elms, here. Fountain Elms is a living museum in Utica, NY; it was once the home of Maria Munson Proctor. Her parents, Alfred Munson (a millionaire in the early 1800s) and Helen Watson Williams, built this house for Maria and her husband, Thomas Proctor. Maria and Thomas had no children and left their house and belongings for a museum after their deaths. The Proctors were world travelers and eclectic collectors of art and trinkets, so the house is a veritable jackpot of quirky 19th century treasures.
The downstairs of the home is set up as if the old family would walk through the doors at any moment. Family furniture (and some pieces purchased by the museum) are arranged, with dishes and toys and other household items displayed on the tables, chairs, and beds. Upstairs, the house is more like a museum, with displays cases and paintings on the walls. Some items are truly very valuable (like a Ming vase) and others are just quirky little things from the family’s everyday life.
I love these Queen Victoria playing cards.
This porcelain candlestick is lovely. It is one of a set.
This is a lovely doll house. The two daughters of the house, Rachel and Maria, were given this by their parents for Christmas. (Maria grew up to inherit Fountain Elms, and she and her husband lived here).
I always wanted a doll house like this when I was a little girl. The pieces are exquisite!
This is Rachel (dark hair) and Maria (light hair).
This is a reproduction room of a girl’s bedroom. The crazy wallpaper and carpeting make it look very busy. I think this kind of decor would give me a headache after a while!
Maria and her husband, Frederick Proctor, had very eclectic tastes. They were fond of Rococco and Asian styles. On display was an interesting bamboo desk (photo didn’t turn out well, as the rooms are very dark). I liked this odd-looking lamp.
This is Maria Proctor in later years.
I also visited the adjoining Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute and Museum, which I will be writing about soon!