Monday, December 20, 2010

A Very Retro Christmas Tree

I volunteer some time each week at an amazing place called the Institute for Historical Survey Foundation. I've been meaning to tell you about it, but it is just the hardest place to describe. Part museum, part archive, part art storage; it's like a library gone mad.

This wonderfully retro aluminum Christmas tree with its exquisitely handmade ornaments is a part of the collection. It sits in front of a faux bookcase, just one of a huge number of historical objects chronicling our cultural history.

You can read more about the place on its website. Just a warning, though--part of the site seems to have been hacked, so don't click on any downloads on the pages for "images" or "publications." What a shame that some person has interfered with this amazing resource! I'll let you know when the site has been updated and "scrubbed." It might take some time, as most of the work in this amazing place is done by volunteers.


Beth said...

That Christmas tree is really cool, Clair. I remember being fascinated by those silver trees when I was little. One of my aunts had one with a really awesome rotating rainbow light that turned it different colors. Back then, I thought it made our green tree look pretty dull. :-)

Sounds like a wonderful place to volunteer---must be fun!

clairz said...

Beth, not shown in the photo is one of those rotating rainbow lights shining on the tree--they even came up with one of those!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about that bookcase when I first saw your header... I'm glad you explained what it was. :) Those ornaments are absolutely beautiful.

Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...


Finally!! A chance to use one of my favorite and oft-used retro words!!

Betsey said...

I love my retro tree! So nice to see it elsewhere!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Such a fun tree...and I've always had a thing for old fashioned ornaments. Sadly I can't keep them around here 'cause they get broken too easily via kidlets and pets.

So, I just have to know how the fake bookcase is an historical object that chronicles our cultural history. That's gotta be an interesting story! :-D


clairz said...

@Lisa--What? A fake bookcase isn't a cultural icon?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Icon? You didn't originally say icon, you said 'cultural history'.
Quite honestly I have never before seen a fake bookcase until you shared a photo of this one. lol!


Quiet Paths said...

It is adorable! And your ornaments are very lovely. If you add a few gears and bolts to the tree it would pass as "steam Punk". You are more hip than you think! I love it. Merry Christmas from Montana.