House on the Rock - Spring Green, Wisconsin
During the 1940s, a man named Alex Jordan discovered a 60-foot chimney of rock in the beautiful Wyoming Valley - it was here he decided to build a house on the sandstone formation called Deer Shelter Rock.
Jordan built the house as a weekend retreat and never intended it to be a tourist attraction. However, people kept coming to see the architectural wonder they had heard about. Jordan eventually started asking for 50-cent donations. That was only the beginning. The 14-room house is the original structure of what is now a complex of many buildings, exhibits and garden displays.
It can take many hours to walk through the House on the Rock, and it’s nearly impossible to see it all in one day. Among the collections of collections within is the world’s largest carousel, boasting 269 carousel animals, 182 lanterns, over 20,000 lights, and hundreds of mannequin angels hanging from the ceiling all around it.
Alex was a collector all his life and enjoyed visiting museums; however, he did not want The House on the Rock to be a museum. He intended it to be much more than that. Though parts of the collections could have easily found their way into museums, The House on the Rock is more of a trip through the wild and fantastic imagination of Alex Jordan than a visit to a dusty, lifeless museum.
How I feel on yet another cold, snowy night! Jove Decadent by Ramon Casas i Carbo (1899).
“Drawing of proposed African Hall, 1925”
For more images from the archives, browse the Picturing the Museum collection.
#TheInspiredTable: #mattegoldflatware #roses #hypericumberries #flowerarrangement #flowers #vintage #tablecloth #linennapkins #whitechina #winegoblets #crystal #tumblers #pattern #lemons #lemonverbena #placecards #tablescapedesign #tablescape #tabletop #candlelight #latergram
ROUTE 3, OHIO
…the country becomes consistently hilly again, more primitive in appearance, more delightful to the eye.
—The Ohio Guide (WPA, 1940)
Route 3 is a north-south strip of highway connecting Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati, and predating the Ohio state highway system. Scattered along it are a dozen or so tiny towns, some of which are completely untouched by development in the last 25 years. Entire factories lay abandoned, farm houses sit on plots of land in a state of decay, and small restaurants and bars catering to the backroad’s truckers dot the landscapes of rolling hills, fields, valleys and forests. It’s a haunting portrait of nation within a nation, a forgotten stretch of land within the rural regions of Ohio.
(From Americana, shot with a Yashica T4/Zoom 35mm)
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Michael Marefka is originally from Northeast Ohio, and has recently returned to the state after studying political theory in Geneva, Switzerland and working at Franciscans International—a human rights advocacy organization at the UN. He divides his time between work, photographing his surroundings with his two 35mm cameras, and writing short stories and poems. Find more of his images and follow him on Tumblr at Michaeljohnmarefka.tumblr.com.
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Ohio. I will always love you, even if you don’t love me back.