Monday, November 29, 2010

Victoria Mansion in holiday best

The Victoria Mansion is one of the historic prides of Portland, Maine. Nearly missing this role when it came close to being demolished in 1940, the Mansion survived due to the foresight of a local patron who purchased the big old beautiful beast of a house and ensured it would be available as a museum of Portland past for those to come. Built between 1858 and 1860, the house made headlines at the time as all sorts of lavish fixtures and materials were shipped through Portland's harbor to arrive on its newly constructed doorstep, making the home a showplace of appropriately preposterous Victorian fashion.

Today, the Victoria Mansion allows visitors to step back in time and get a sense of the atmosphere in which Portland's more privileged citizens lived their daily at-home lives. As such, it has the feeling of a fantasy world, and never more so than during this time of year, when local designers enter the rooms and work Christmas magic on their surroundings, until the Mansion in its entirety is a fabulous concoction of effervescent Yuletide cheer. Each year a theme is selected, and the many rooms are decorated to suit. This year's theme? The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Having had a chance to visit the newly-bedecked Victoria Mansion during their holiday press reception this past week, and meet the museum's enthusiastic new director, Thomas Johnson, I feel it my duty to tantalize you but not give away all the lovely treats in store for you at that venerable location. Below the photos I took, you will find all the details of upcoming holiday events (including the gala on 12/2) and tours at the Victoria Mansion. Why let the tourists have all the fun?  Enjoy! If you click on any of the images you can see a larger version for more detail.
Victoria Mansion Holiday Gala
Thursday, December 2, 2010
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Don't miss the Mansion's most elegant and spectacular event of the the year. Get an early look at two floors of period rooms transformed by local designers with dazzling decorations inspired by this year's theme: The Twelve Days of Christmas. Fabulous food and drink provided. Tickets are $50/person, all proceeds to benefit the restoration and operation of Victoria Mansion. Please call (207) 772-4841 ext.. 10 for reservations.

Christmas at Victoria Mansion
Friday, November 26, 2010 - Saturday, January 8, 2011
Open daily 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day

Each holiday season, local designers showcase their talents by transforming the Mansion's interiors with extravagant decorations. This year, the Mansion will be decorated to reflect the stanzas of the much-beloved Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. This not-to-be-missed event is now in its 26th year!

Adults $15; AAA/Senior $13.50; Members $7; Children (6-17) $5; Children under 6 free; Family ticket $35

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