A New Museum Shop at Clermont
Our faithful correspondent, interior designer Carey Maloney, partner, with architect Hermes Mallea, in M (Group), fills us in on the holiday shopping potential of the new museum shop at Clermont.
No one appreciates a good museum shop more than me. I have to fight my assorted demons to hold out until after I’ve seen an exhibition to shop. In fact, I was recently in the Cooper Hewitt’s, and I confess I toured the shop before I toured the show…(The show is a good one—House Proud: 19th-Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection. My favorites are the “reality” interiors, with newspapers and dogs strewn around the Russian palace. How people, even tsars, really live…)
Margaret Beekman Livington, of the “welcoming” steely gaze; Pancho sniffs out the landmark sign
Last weekend the new gift shop at the Clermont State Historic Site in southern Columbia County opened. I was bicycling past on my way to Tivoli to get the papers (with Pancho crammed in the basket), when a new sign grabbed me. Must’ve been something in Margaret Beekman Livingston’s steely gaze that drew me down the driveway to the site and into the new shop. Only the prospect of an unknown shop could get me down a hill that steep on two self-propelled wheels, knowing that getting back up would be hell, given the extra 14 pounds of dead weight in the basket, looking soulfully back at me, while I grunt.
The shop is installed throughout the carriage barn and stables. Built in 1850 and enlarged throughout the 19th century, it has the original stable floor, the stalls, board-and-batten walls, everything but tack. It exudes authenticity—a Ralph Lauren stylist’s bit ‘o heaven; our Hudson Valley reality.
Glenda Law (left) with Friends of Clermont Chair Tracie Rohzon; Audrey Reifler, Board Administrator for Friends of Clermont, tags dangling, à la Minnie Pearl
Anyway. Tracie Rohzon, the dynamic chairman of the Friends of Clermont, has made the new shop her pet project. My motive for descending the hill, knowing that ascending lay ahead: If this works out, Hermes and I can shop for the holidays virtually next door to our country house. So I was extra hopeful. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Tracie has commissioned Millerton’s Gilmor Glass to hand blow beautiful large water/wine goblets and very chic tall thin tumblers that say “champagne” to me—but what do I know? I don’t drink. She’s sussed out baby linens from Pamela Kline’s Traditions in Claverack, and letterpress papers from various New York makers. There is a good selection of books on the Hudson Valley and the Livingston family, along with the recent Clermont publication, Bob’s Folly; Building America’s First Practical Steam Boat, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the “Clermont,” pet project of one of the many Robert Livingstons. Books, linens, china and glass—excellent gifts or self indugences.
Check it out; the holidays approach with a vengeance.
The Shop at Clermont State Historic Site
1 Clermont Avenue, Germantown; 518.537.4240