Glencairn Museum

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Glencairn’s Ancient Near East Gallery features cuneiform tablets; cylinder seals with images of deities; votive objects dedicated at shrines and temples; an inscribed terra-cotta cylinder from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon; an 8th-century BC bronze “siren” cauldron attachment from Syria; five Neo-Assyrian palace reliefs; and a scale model of the Tabernacle of Israel, constructed in the 1920s using the original materials and scale dimensions described in the text of Exodus in the Bible.

Glencairn’s Ancient Near East Gallery features cuneiform tablets; cylinder seals with images of deities; votive objects dedicated at shrines and temples; an inscribed terra-cotta cylinder from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon; an 8th-century BC bronze “siren” cauldron attachment from Syria; five Neo-Assyrian palace reliefs; and a scale model of the Tabernacle of Israel, constructed in the 1920s using the original materials and scale dimensions described in the text of Exodus in the Bible.

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Work continues this week on our fountain restoration project in Glencairn’s cloister. A fine mist is being applied continually while the basin cures. Soon we will begin to apply a new finish to the concrete by hand in order to closely replicate the original surface, which had eroded over the years. We have also restored the original fountain mechanics. Stay tuned for updates!

Work continues this week on our fountain restoration project in Glencairn’s cloister. A fine mist is being applied continually while the basin cures. Soon we will begin to apply a new finish to the concrete by hand in order to closely replicate the original surface, which had eroded over the years. We have also restored the original fountain mechanics. Stay tuned for updates!

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Have you ever noticed these horses, who appear to be eating out of a manager? Look to your right as you enter Glencairn’s front door! 

Have you ever noticed these horses, who appear to be eating out of a manager? Look to your right as you enter Glencairn’s front door! 

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

“Building by hand and designing for work which will not be qualified by machines I hope to give the building a sculptural quality which of necessity is lacking in nearly all modern work. I have used freedom of line in a way which I trust will be sufficiently consistent to give the building a distinctive character all its own.” 

—Raymond Pitcairn to Adolfo Betti, July 14, 1931

“Building by hand and designing for work which will not be qualified by machines I hope to give the building a sculptural quality which of necessity is lacking in nearly all modern work. I have used freedom of line in a way which I trust will be sufficiently consistent to give the building a distinctive character all its own.” 

—Raymond Pitcairn to Adolfo Betti, July 14, 1931

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Today, July 28th, is Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking), a religious holiday for Muslims worldwide. This marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting, charity, and prayer. This ceramic tile, made in 13th-century Iran, is molded in the shape of a mihrab. A mihrab is a niche in the wall of a mosque that points in the direction of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. (In the collection of Glencairn Museum.)

Today, July 28th, is Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking), a religious holiday for Muslims worldwide. This marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting, charity, and prayer. This ceramic tile, made in 13th-century Iran, is molded in the shape of a mihrab. A mihrab is a niche in the wall of a mosque that points in the direction of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. (In the collection of Glencairn Museum.)

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

The theme of family appears many times in the decoration of Glencairn, usually represented by images of sheep and lambs. These goats in the third-floor hallway, however, buck the trend!

The theme of family appears many times in the decoration of Glencairn, usually represented by images of sheep and lambs. These goats in the third-floor hallway, however, buck the trend!

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…what is it? This tile is a real mystery. It’s one of a series of four bird tiles at Glencairn, permanently set into the wall in the seventh-floor hallway. These tiles are unlike anything else at Glencairn, and we don’t think they were made in the Bryn Athyn Studios. (Kind of like ducks out of water.)

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…what is it? This tile is a real mystery. It’s one of a series of four bird tiles at Glencairn, permanently set into the wall in the seventh-floor hallway. These tiles are unlike anything else at Glencairn, and we don’t think they were made in the Bryn Athyn Studios. (Kind of like ducks out of water.)

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

This week concrete was poured in Glencairn’s cloister as part of our fountain restoration project. A fine mist is being applied continually while the basin cures. After two weeks, we will apply a new finish to the concrete by hand in order to closely replicate the original surface, which had eroded over the years. We are also restoring the original fountain mechanics. Stay tuned for updates! 

This week concrete was poured in Glencairn’s cloister as part of our fountain restoration project. A fine mist is being applied continually while the basin cures. After two weeks, we will apply a new finish to the concrete by hand in order to closely replicate the original surface, which had eroded over the years. We are also restoring the original fountain mechanics. Stay tuned for updates! 

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Mildred Glenn Pitcairn posing with a book in the Cairnwood photography studio (c. 1912). Check out Glencairn’s current exhibition, “Behind the Lens: Raymond Pitcairn and Photography.” http://ow.ly/twt2b

Mildred Glenn Pitcairn posing with a book in the Cairnwood photography studio (c. 1912). Check out Glencairn’s current exhibition, “Behind the Lens: Raymond Pitcairn and Photography.” http://ow.ly/twt2b

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

“So far as your kind offer to put me in your publication of collectors is concerned, I feel that it would be better not at present. I do not consider myself a great collector, nor do I belong among those who would rightly find a place in your book. My chief work along artistic lines is, after all, creative.” 

—Raymond Pitcairn to Jacques Seligmann, an art dealer in Paris. Oct 3, 1922.

“So far as your kind offer to put me in your publication of collectors is concerned, I feel that it would be better not at present. I do not consider myself a great collector, nor do I belong among those who would rightly find a place in your book. My chief work along artistic lines is, after all, creative.” 

—Raymond Pitcairn to Jacques Seligmann, an art dealer in Paris. Oct 3, 1922.

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Have you ever noticed this little guy in Glencairn’s Egyptian Gallery? Crocodiles were mummified in huge numbers in Ancient Egypt, where they were associated with crocodile-god Sobek, the Lord of the Nile. He was worshiped at his cult center in the city of Crocodilopolis, and in many other temples and shrines throughout Egypt.

Have you ever noticed this little guy in Glencairn’s Egyptian Gallery? Crocodiles were mummified in huge numbers in Ancient Egypt, where they were associated with crocodile-god Sobek, the Lord of the Nile. He was worshiped at his cult center in the city of Crocodilopolis, and in many other temples and shrines throughout Egypt.

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

This faience statuette of a baboon dates to the Late Period (664-332 BC). The baboon was a sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians, and was sometimes associated with Thoth, the god of knowledge. According to the Egyptologist Herman te Velde, “Whoever understood the language of the baboons had access to religious knowledge, that was hidden from common beings.”

The Egyptian Book of the Dead, chapter 100, reads: 

I have sung and praised the Sun-disc
I have joined the baboons

and I am one of them.

This faience statuette of a baboon dates to the Late Period (664-332 BC). The baboon was a sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians, and was sometimes associated with Thoth, the god of knowledge. According to the Egyptologist Herman te Velde, “Whoever understood the language of the baboons had access to religious knowledge, that was hidden from common beings.”

The Egyptian Book of the Dead, chapter 100, reads: 

I have sung and praised the Sun-disc

I have joined the baboons

and I am one of them.

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Radiance and Reflection: Medieval Art from the Raymond Pitcairn Collection | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

FREE download of out-of-print book: Radiance and Reflection: Medieval Art from the Raymond Pitcairn Collection. Read online or download the pdf (about 41 MB). Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. “The Romanesque and Gothic art that was assembled by Raymond Pitcairn in the early part of this century represents the world’s finest and most extensive collection of medieval sculpture and stained glass still in private hands.”

At the end of the eighteenth century, the British sculptor John Flaxman (1755-1826) initiated a new tradition in funerary sculpture by portraying the human soul as a full-bodied adult. Flaxman was a devoted reader of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish philosopher and theologian.
In Swedenborgian belief, the soul is continuously kept in spiritual freedom. Flaxman’s “Deliver Us from Evil” depicts a male figure struggling upwards, with four spirits—two good and two evil—fighting for his soul. This sculpture represents the crucial moment of choice between good and evil, experienced by all humans.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the British sculptor John Flaxman (1755-1826) initiated a new tradition in funerary sculpture by portraying the human soul as a full-bodied adult. Flaxman was a devoted reader of the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish philosopher and theologian.

In Swedenborgian belief, the soul is continuously kept in spiritual freedom. Flaxman’s “Deliver Us from Evil” depicts a male figure struggling upwards, with four spirits—two good and two evil—fighting for his soul. This sculpture represents the crucial moment of choice between good and evil, experienced by all humans.

(Source: glencairnmuseum)

Elephants are useful friends,
Equipped with handles at both ends.
They have a wrinkled moth-proof hide.
Their teeth are upside down, outside.
If you think the elephant preposterous,
You’ve probably never seen a rhinosterous.


—Ogden Nash

Elephants are useful friends,

Equipped with handles at both ends.

They have a wrinkled moth-proof hide.

Their teeth are upside down, outside.

If you think the elephant preposterous,

You’ve probably never seen a rhinosterous.

—Ogden Nash

(Source: glencairnmuseum)