Sunday, May 24, 2009

Toledo Ohio, May 24

Actually, we are in a campground which is north of Toledo, a few miles into Michigan. We are here visiting my brother Marcus, his wife Heidi and daughter Rebecca (recently graduated from college and now home to stay for the next year while she attends graduate school). It is about our fourth Spring, well, it is coming to an end here. I helped my brother with his Spring planting yesterday. I do miss gardening, but can usually find somebody who is willing for me to work in their yard. After planting we went to the Toledo Botanical Garden, which is as beautiful as the Missouri Botanical Garden, just on a smaller scale. As we were leaving the garden some women encouraged us to enter one of the buildings on the ground. What a treasure we found in that building! It was the Blair Museum of Lithophanes. Lithophanes are three-dimensional translucent porcelain plaques which when backlit reveal detailed magical images. They were first created in the 1820s in Europe. Lithophanes can be found on lampshades, dishes, candle holders, jewelry boxes, and also framed pictures. The images on them were replicas of some paintings, scenes of the Alps, portraits of people,and famous places as the Eiffel tower- to mention a few. John has a stein with a picture of a picnic scene at the bottom (which only can be seen when held up to the light). He found that at an antique shop in Germany when he was in the service. We never realized that there were so many other lithophanes out there. What we saw at the Blair Museum is the world's largest collection of them-- a must see if you are ever in the Toledo area.

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