Intro Material about Exhibits
November 12-December 13, 2013: Children’s toys from the era of the Tampa Bay Hotel, 1891-1932, will be on display. It will also feature toys from modern times. A contrast surely to ignite conversation from different generations! For Victorian girls there were dolls- dolls to dress and play with, and dolls with porcelain heads and fabric […]
Orientalism was at its height during the Gilded Age. By 1854, Commodore Matthew C. Perry had opened the island of Japan to the Western world. Victorians were eager to explore and consume Japan’s exotic culture. Japanese exhibits at World’s Fairs and International Expositions brought their art and culture into Victorian parlors. Henry Plant encountered their ceramics, silks, furniture and woodblock prints at the Centennial International Exposition of 1876 Philadelphia, the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris, and again at the World’s Colombian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago.
When the Tampa Bay Hotel opened in 1891, Hotel guests were reading Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy, and George Eliot and talking about the latest paintings by James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. They congregated on the veranda and in the Grand Salon to recite the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson and chuckled with amusement at Oscar Wilde’s witticisms. These celebrities and their works were part of their lives. Today, Museum guests will laugh and gossip as they explore the world made relevant by these famous artists and writers.