Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some Insiders' Information on Historic Valentines at PEM

I recently was privileged to receive an internal email from the Peabody Essex Museum. While it appeared to be for the benefit of PEM staff, I was intrigued so I asked if I could share it with you, kind blog reader.

Permission was granted, so here it is, verbatim:

Subject: Library Display - Plummer Hall Lobby

In keeping with the season, and thanks to a completely serendipitous recent discovery in the Phillips Library, we have displayed a small sampling of wonderful 19th-century Valentine's Day cards. We recently unearthed more than 1,000 of them, and we are now processing the collection to make them available to our patrons.

Most of cards are from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, though there are several from the late 18th century as well. The American Valentine industry had its roots in Worcester, Massachusetts; Esther Howland brought the British tradition to this country and started her business, the New England Valentine Company, in the 1840's. A section of the library's display is devoted to her designs.

This display also coordinates with the programming for the February school vacation. Two programs will be held at the Phillips Library to highlight our Juvenile Literature collection. Three books from this collection are in the display, coordinating nicely with the designs of some of the Louis Prang cards shown in the case.

Please come by and view this display. It will be up for several weeks, after which a display will be created to support the Fiery Pool exhibition at the museum.


It is of special interest given the approaching weekend holiday -- Valentine's Day!

I hope you have a chance to enjoy seeing this display.

If you are thinking about coming for Valentine's Day, don't forget that we have a super-special package available for Sunday night. It is called our Valentine's Value Package, and it includes a three-course elegant dinner for two in our fine dining restaurant, Nathaniel's, a sparkling wine toast, and handmade, heart-shaped butter cookies delivered to your room, as well as your overnight accommodations, all for rates starting at $189 (note, this is not a per person rate, but for the entire package! A terrific value, hence the name.)

I look forward to seeing you here.


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