Museum and historic house staff often decorate for the Christmas season immediately following Thanksgiving. With that holiday falling at its earliest possible date this year, there is more than a week between Thanksgiving and December 1st, when winter holiday special events usually begin. This additional decorating time may allow for a slightly more complex decorative arrangement this year that can also involve participation.
If you are looking for a new feature to enliven your site’s holiday presentation, the cobweb game, which enjoyed some popularity during the late 19th through the early 20th century, may be a good thing to try this year. Thanks to several recent posters on the Museum-L listserv, we were able to compile a list of online primary sources discussing this game. [We are grateful to Helen Lueders, Library Assistant at Kitty King Powell Library and Study Center, Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and Rebecca Mir, School and Community Programs Developer, Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden, for sharing the following information.]
- Parlor Games for the Wise and Otherwise (1887, reprinted in 1917)
- Fagots for the Fireside (1895, 1st ed. 1888)
- Bright Ideas for Entertaining (1905), p. 50
- What to Eat (1907)
- The Mary Dawson Game Book (1916). pp. 109 & 810
Many of these sources include more detailed instructions, but the general idea is to string several pieces of ribbon or yarn from one spot. Each ribbon should follow a different path all around rooms and even through doorways and windows and then end at a present or back at the beginning spot with a card attached somewhere along the way.
Has your organization ever tried the cobweb game for a special holiday event? What other decorative specialties does your site present? We will include images of seasonal decorations from cultural heritage institutions across the state in a future post. Please submit photos to us to share with our C2C community!
Posted on November 23, 2012, in historic houses, museums, public programs and tagged Bayou Bend Collection, Christmas decorations, Helen Lueders, Rebecca Mir, Voelker Orth Museum. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.