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LADIES OF LAST CHANCE -- The Last Chance quilters, who banded together in
1926, are reckoned to be the oldest continuous quilting group in Colorado. Once
a week, as few as four, as many as 12, arrive. Potluck casseroles—from
macaroni and cheese to salads and dessert--line up, poised for lunch. With ages
ranging from 23 to over 90, the Last Chance ladies huddle around a stretched
ART OF SCIENCE -- Leaf through a collection of 18th and 19th century botanical prints and you’ll journey
through a garden of delights. Scarlet, ruffled roses. Crisp, organza-thin
anemones. White wild roses perched on slender green tendrils. Hummingbirds flashing
gilded heads. Raccoons sporting rascally expressions--each hair tinged
delicately in ochre and black. For centuries, botanical prints and illustrations
have married art with science.
IN TIME: SAVING AND COLLECTING HISTORICAL PHOTOS -- Chief Wolf Robe from
the Southern Cheyenne sits for a portrait in Washington D.C., June 1909. Light
has fallen on his face and shoulders, and through a 19th century discovery
called photography, saved his presence. One hundred years later, we are transported as
onlookers to another location and time during a remarkable moment--perhaps
revealing a shocking truth.
A GRANDMOTHER'S LEGACY -- "There were so many exciting periods for
silver and every one of them is absolutely fascinating," says Marie
Brown, a Boulder antiques dealer, "The study of silver can take the
rest of your life." People like silver--for its beauty, history and
TRAILS -- As any Colorado history text will tell you, life in the pioneer West was
dangerous, paltry and meager. How is it that out of this hardscrabble life came
one of the most colorful styles ever to be called American? Horse trappings
braided and woven, sturdy spurs punched with filigree, leather saddles tattooed
in florid swirls, embroidered shirts, vividly dyed scarves, carved buckles,
fancy-stitched boots. Hollywood may have stretched the limits of outrageous
ornamentation, but the roots of flamboyance were always there.
AND LINENS -- Embroidery and lace terms fill the room--French
knot, punch work, cutwork, filet tatting, bobbin lace and spider weaving.
There is also drawn work where the seamstress actually removes threads
from the fabric. A 'forbidden' stitch appears on Chinese embroidery.
Needle workers, usually young girls, went blind in its execution and so it
became forbidden work by Chinese Imperial command.
BY THE PEAKS -- Colorado Springs beckoned to Artus Van Briggle in 1899. The Ohio-born artist
came in hopes the salubrious mountain climate would restore his health. Unfortunately, the quest proved elusive for the talented painter and potter, who
died in 1904, at age 35, of tuberculosis. But although Van Briggle's life was
cut tragically short, he left behind a rich artistic legacy.
BY ITS COVER -- Hold a book of poetry by Katibi of Nishapur in your
hands and you might guess where it originated. The design resembles the
intricacies of a Middle Eastern carpet. A fluid, stylized script floats
delicately in ink, gold leaf and blue lapis lazuli. The date is 1605. The
place is Persia. It's one of the beauties in the University of Colorado Special Collections
you've ever wanted to collect books, we'll take you to this unique room.
Also, a fine press books dealer will tell you
how to get started.
FIESTA: When Eleanor Crandall's mother gave her
a set of Fiesta dinnerware, it was received
gratefully but not enthusiastically. Eleanor tucked the dishes into a
back cupboard. One day she opened the cupboard and
realized why her mother had loved this colorful, cheerful Depression-era