Important information regarding Stop #20 closure and Ghosts & Gravestones boarding location:
Our Welcome Center, Stop 20, is temporarily closed. The St. Augustine Ghosts & Gravestones boarding location has changed temporarily to the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 1305 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. These changes will remain until the construction of our new Welcome Center at 27 San Marco is complete (Spring 2019).
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Undressing Downton

The elaborate process of dismantling the blockbuster exhibition Dressing Downton™ began as soon as it closed on February 4, 2018. With the closing came the arrival of Dressing Downton™ costume curator, Nancy Lawson, who flew in from New York City for the project.

 

 

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This was not Ms. Lawson’s first visit to the Lightner.  She worked closely with Lightner Curator Barry Myers during its installation in late September – early October, calling it a “duel exhibition” because of all the work Mr. Myers and his staff put into creating elaborate rooms with selected pieces from the Museum’s permanent collection.

For the installation, 36 original costumes from the traveling Dressing Downton™ from the hit PBS series Downton Abbey® arrived in late September in elaborate crates that Ms. Lawson called “works of art” due to their craftsmanship. During the installation process, Ms. Lawson took great care maintaining the quality of the costumes as they were placed on mannequins, always with threads and pins. When Ms. Lawson left just before opening day, all the costumes were at their utmost perfection and placed thoughtfully throughout the elaborate rooms created by Mr. Myers.

The de-installation of the 36 costumes took longer than a week with help from Mr. Myers and museum staff. For Ms. Lawson this one was different from the others. This was the exhibition’s last stop. The costumes were not being put back in to crates. Instead, after a great deal more of pinning and sewing, these magnificent costumes were delicately hung on hangers, wrapped in plastic, and eventually placed into elaborate garment storage boxes and shipped to London. The naked mannequins were tucked back into their crates and shipped, unclothed, to Atlanta where they will reside in storage

Now that the costumes, hats, accessories, their mannequins and crates, and all the signs have been moved from the museum and on to different places, the ballroom remains dark and quiet, resting from all that it had just experienced.

So, what is next for the Grand Ballroom Gallery at the Lightner Museum? Curator Barry Myers has plans.

The art and furniture from Otto Lighnter’s expansive collection that was part of Dressing Downton™ exhibition will stay. Brought down from storage will be items from the collection which were purchased from Chicago estates during the Great Depression. The re-purposed art and furniture and each carefully selected item from storage will be thoughtfully curated by Mr. Myers and museum staff into a new exhibition called “The American Castle” which depicts Gilded Age era estates in all their glory.

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