Touring the Paine Art Gallery with Mary and Violet Crawley

Mary and Violet Crawley let me tag along with them as we toured the Downton Abbey exhibit Monday, but they made me behave myself.

“No pictures!” they stage-whispered theatrically and repeatedly as we made our way through the stunningly beautiful Paine Art Museum in Oshkosh.

“They don’t mean NO pictures,” I tried to explain, as my itchy fingers hovered over my camera shutter release.

But, apparently, they did.

I asked a very nice security guard what the actual photo policy was.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “You can’t take any pictures in here. If you take pictures in here we will have to ask you for your camera and then we’ll delete them.”

The horrors!

He went on to give us an amazing tour of the building, complete with a fascinating history of Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paine, so I forgave him pretty quickly.

Oh man, though, would I have loved to have photographed that exhibit!

We have been Downton Abbey fans since my sister in-law Joan sent us the first season DVDs in February of 2011.

“I thought I was upstairs,” Molly told me once as she served me a mug of tea. “But it turns out I was downstairs all along.”

We loved seeing the show’s iconic costumes displayed so appropriately.

“Molly, come here!” I whispered.

“No pictures!” said my mom.

“If you stand right here, and look right there, you’ll see yourself wearing Mary Crawley’s dress in that mirror,” I instructed.

“It’s okay Grandma,” Molly said as she positioned herself according to my instructions. “She’s not going to take a picture.”

Oh, but I was. Then I caught the eye of our extraordinarily attentive security guard.

“No pictures!”

Got it.

The exhibit runs through September 20th. We highly recommend.

My companions graciously allowed me to snap a few photos outside on the Paine Art Center grounds and I’ll share a few here.

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They were so strict! It was fun to tour the Downton Abbey exhibit with Grandma Peggy (Violet Crawley) and Molly (Mary Crawley — post Matthew. The softer, kinder Mary.)
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A cool exhibit in a beautiful setting.
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The flowers blew us away.
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We toured the exhibit on Molly’s birthday, so I bought her that hat. She fit right in.
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I think maybe Molly was born in the wrong century.
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At least the grounds, which I was allowed to shoot, looked beautiful.
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Relaxing in the flower garden.
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“I’m not a romantic,” Violet Crawley said in season two. “But even I concede that the heart does not exist solely for the purpose to pump blood.”

4 thoughts on “Touring the Paine Art Gallery with Mary and Violet Crawley

  1. I thought for sure you were going to manage to snag a picture of Molly in Mary Crawley’s dress. Perhaps if you set your phone to video, you could’ve captured a video and then lifted stills from the video clips. Just a thought, it’s not like I’ve ever done this before or want to encourage such incorrigible behavior in you.

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