Travel

Mercer Museum Celebrates a Century of American Heritage and Beauty

Nestled in the charming hills of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the Mercer Museum and Fonthill castle hold some of the East Coast’s finest and most wondrous treasures from a grand century ago. Wishing to present history in a new, exciting point of view, Henry Mercer deliberately hung everyday objects from the walls and ceiling of his enchanting castle exactly 100 years ago. Mercer constructed his castle for the Bucks County Historical Society to display his encyclopedia collection of early American tools and other everyday appliances for more than 60 crafts and 50,000 objects created before the age of steam. These artifacts are preserved and on display to convey the very aura that encompassed the American lifestyle a century ago.

The renowned museum and historical Fonthill castle invite  visitors to discover the life and work of Henry Chapman Mercer, an archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century. The walls of the concrete castle’s 44 rooms hold Mercer’s eclectic artwork and famed Moravian tiles, produced at the nearby Moravian Pottery & Tile Works. The Mercer Museum in Doylestown is one of three buildings that form the legacy of Mercer.

In summer 2011, the castle-like museum got a 21st-century makeover with the addition of a new 13,000-square-feet eco-friendly space featuring interactive stations and changing exhibitions.

 

During guided tours of this Bucks County home, Fonthill visitors discover the life and work of Henry Chapman Mercer, an archaeologist, anthropologist, ceramist, scholar and antiquarian who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century. The walls of the concrete castle’s 44 rooms hold Mercer’s eclectic artwork and famed Moravian tiles, produced at the nearby Moravian Pottery & Tile Works.

 

While the interior collections are sure to dazzle visitors of any age, the exterior is just as stunning with beautiful stone and tile work. Walk through the doors and experience the most recent addition to the museum *added in 2011* that includes a state-of-the-art Exhibition gallery, a Learning Gallery, a Learning Center, and Museum Shop.  “In order for us to thrive, we needed to increase repeat visitation from our local Bucks County audience and also reach out to new audiences in the Delaware Valley and beyond,” said Mercer Museum Executive director Douglas Dolan.

 

 

The Mercer Museum in Doylestown is one of three buildings that form the legacy of Henry Chapman Mercer, an eccentric historian, architect, anthropologist and archaeologist devoted to tile making. The museum houses Mercer’s collection of tools, representing more than 60 crafts and 50,000 objects created before the age of steam. In summer 2011, the castle-like museum got a 21st-century makeover with the addition of a new 13,000-square-feet eco-friendly space featuring interactive stations and changing exhibitions.

 

In honor of the Mercer Museum’s Centennial, local artisans will bring the tools of the museum to life in special craft demonstrations this spring. Visitors can see demonstrations that include broom making, pewter casting, and ornamental penmanship. A complete schedule of craft demonstrations can be found at mercermuseum.org.

 

Moravian Pottery & Tileworks inside 5 Visit Philly Bob Krist

Visitors to this working history museum and National Historic Landmark watch the production of ornamental clay tiles using the same techniques as the pottery’s workers employed in the early 20th century. The onsite shop carries handmade reissues of Arts and Crafts-style tiles and mosaics—perfect for any home.

To learn more about this beautiful museum and all the fun celebrations happening this Summer, visit their website at www.mercermuseum.org or call 215-345-0210.

Mercer Museum sunset mike maney

 

 

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