Forever Mine

I won a cup. My enthusiasm for this gift would spill over its small confines and the fact that I have one has made me yearn for another. Two more, actually, which is my friend’s fault as she mentioned, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have three on the mantle?” Curses.

Seeped in Midwestern niceness, it seems too much to ask, so I have not filled out another request form. I have a little fantasy that at the end of the exhibit they will have just one left and I would actually be doing them a favor by offering to take it “forever.”

Emily Evans Eerdmans and I spent a lovely day together last weekend and I drove her by the old house, which has large taupe paint swatches on the living room walls, and to the Nelson to see the Twomey “Forever” exhibit among other things.

As Emily filled out her form I overheard a woman, about my age, explaining to the staff person that her son would take her cup upon her passing and that he had agreed to keep the cup forever as well. He looked up nodding earnestly.

When I surveyed the troops, all 1,345 cups (representative of the number of pieces in the Burnap collection, from which the inspiration of the cup was taken) it was difficult to not be impressed with the size of the original gift, with the significance its donors gave it and their belief that the collection would have value in perpetuity.

“Who remembers?” asked Mr. Blandings. “Who remembers what?” “That the entire collection has to be kept forever.” “They write things down.” But I wonder if that dark-haired boy, or any of my own, will remember such a promise as he sifts and sorts. Forever is a very long time.
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29 thoughts on “Forever Mine

  1. Patricia,how poignant,It was so good to meet Emily and I cherish her new book!

    Thank you for giving her our grand Kansas City tour..

    Art by Karena

  2. My family just went to the Nelson-Atkins for the first time a couple weeks ago. I really wanted to sign up for one of the pieces, but since I live in Wisconsin, I couldn't figure out how to claim it. Congratulations, lucky girl.

  3. This is just so brilliant. I am glad I have started the week with this inspiration. And you OWN a Cup. Be proud, be very proud. A real treasure.

  4. Thanks for this post. I went to the Nelson link to read further about the artist and the exhibition.

    As a New Englander with old Yankee sentiment for items passed on from one generation to the next, the artist's intent is close to my mind and heart.

    Your one forever cup will always remind you of your day with EE, the cup, a treasure perhaps, for your future home.

    The intent of the artist makes it all the more special because it is but one.

  5. Karena – I know she enjoyed meeting you.

    Anon – it was a slow drive by – neither one of us were wearing face paint – so I couldn't take it all in. If the yellow is going I am sure help is on the way for the dining room.

    furn man – the body of the cups are from molds (am I spelling that right?) and the handles are applied by hand, so they do look the same en masse but they are all a little different.

    Gwennie – darn!

    Jane – Yes, that is how I feel.

  6. Judith – you reminded me that I heard Thomas O'Brien express that same sentiment. Rather than collecting five or fifteen or fifty of something, couldn't it be more interesting to have the one piece that means the most to you.

  7. The mugs are beautiful in their simplicity—I would imagine they will find a place in the heart of a family member through the ages!

  8. I hope your "forever cup" will sit proudly and be appreciated by all in your soon to be found "forever house". It seems fitting that you have this special piece at this time in your life. This will be its story. Show it and tell of it lovingly to guests and your boys won't forget why it is a special piece of your family's journey.

  9. After we sold our house…which was rather colored, being the color junkie that I am (red living/dining room, taxi cab yellow kitchen) the purchaser, a fellow decorator acquaintance, painted EVERY room in the house cameo white. It definitely shocked me when I went back in.

    -Love the mass of the roughly "cameo" cups:)

  10. I love how you gradually let us in on the size of the display. Forever is a really long time – and it looks like promises kept!

  11. I love what Judith said, and the sentiment expressed by Mr. O'Brien.

    Love, also, the beauty and rhythm of your words and pictures, and must admit: I

    have terrible Cup envy.

    (Considered flying to Kansas, if at all possible, but that is just a dream right now…)

  12. Please show us pictures of the old house. I've been wondering if the 8 Crayola Crayons had been put back in their box.

  13. Cote de Texas, OMG ????
    Taupe has many shades – it may be a beautiful grey – not a brown/taupe. It would beat the hell out of that ugly brown with the applied moldings in the dining room, or the blue room, or the red room, or the yellow room, or the green room – did we leave out any other colors in Mrs. Blanding's old house?

  14. Joni, the color you called "iced coffee" in the design by Nick Haslam could also be called simply "taupe". Of course, if use by an acclaimed designer it would not be so OMG would it?

  15. Oh, I loved that tortoise shell papered dining room, and the red study and the happy yellow stried living room, and the stenciled playroom and the boys room….sniff, sniff 🙁

  16. My day with Mrs. Blandings was pure heaven. The only disappointment was that she wouldn't let me get out of the car to skulk around in the bushes and press my face up against the windows of her old house, now empty with that sad patch of taupe. And believe me, it was not iced coffee warm gorgeousness, but on the dark, purplish side.

    The finale of the day was lunch at the Cafe Sebastienne at the Kemper Center for Contemporary Art. Wowee-wow-wow – the walls blew my socks off.

    Thank you, Patricia, for a most wonderful visit. And, fingers crossed, my little bit of "Forever" too.

    xo, EEE

  17. Gosh, it's one thing to say you don't like taupe, but making or allowing rude comments about the paint choices of the supposed "dear friends" who bought your house on your blog doesn't seem very nice to me!

    You had a lovely home, Mrs. Balndings, and I enjoy reading your blog most of the time, but that just seems insensitive as heck.

  18. Anon – if you go back and look you will see I made no qualifying commenton taupe but perhaps it was bad form to allow others to do so. Also I have no idea where you got the idea our buyers are friends; they are complete strangers.

  19. Thanks, Mrs. B for responding — you have integrity and heart which is why so many people follow you, including myself.

    My mistake, I thought you said they were friends, and sorry for my fuzzy writing — no, you didn't say anything about the color, but I was curious as to why you'd allow those comments through, as you are definitely one of the most gracious bloggers around, as are the bloggers who made the comments.

    I guess to me it's one thing to criticize if the owners agree to have their home appear in a publication, but something different when it's a private person decorating what must now her(?)own dream house. That's all.

  20. Anon – I do agree with your "criteria" and it is one I have followed. I think my blog friends were, in a way, coming to my rescue. They know the house meant a lot to me and that any change would be a little bit of a surprise. Obviously, not everyone wants to live in a box of crayons. I'm quite sure the new version will be twice as lovely – the house had a great look before us and it was different yet again.

  21. i would suggest having a cup for each of the kids –
    makes dividing up stuff so much easier when that time comes-
    going thru that now with my sister

    john in nc who would not be anonymous is he had any idea how to not be

  22. Nice pictures from the exhibit. I didn't bring my camera inside the museum, and was looking for someone that took a picture of all the cups lined up perfectly.

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