|The Cincinnati Art Museum -- not quite as ACD saw it!|
Sherlockian societies each have their own distinctive vibe, but they also play well together. Last month, for example, 26 members of four Midwest scions came together for an Arthur Conan Doyle Tour of Cincinnati.
Ann Brauer Andriacco, Sparking Plug of the Tankerville Club of Cincinnati, led us to sites that were either visited by ACD on his 1894 lecture tour of the United States (which also included Indianapolis) or had some other connection to Conan Doyle.
Before lunch, the group visited by turns the Harriet Beecher Stowe House for a guided tour of the home now under renovation (which ACD “looked at with interest” when he was in the neighborhood) and a nearby school where Maria Longworth Storer, the founder of Rookwood Pottery, kept an apartment. (ACD wanted to visit the Rookwood factory but was unable.) Ann also led a walking tour of one of the nicest streets in the Walnut Hills neighborhood, which ACD probably saw.
After a convivial lunch at Skyline Chili, where tables were arranged for us by management to make conversation easy, we drove through Eden Park, where many of us stopped at the overlook to enjoy the view that Conan Doyle proclaimed to be “the finest he has seen in America.” (All quotes come from a contemporary newspaper account of ACD's visit.)
Then it was on to the Cincinnati Art Museum, “the subject of much admiring comment on his (ACD’s) part.” Ann showed us, in person and via an Art Museum map, where the entrance was in 1894, before the building was added to. Her handouts and the map also called attention to some of the artwork that was part of the Art Museum collection in 1894. We also found a few more by exploring!
One of the highlights of the Art Museum for many of us was the large Rookwood gallery, which also told much of the story of Maria Longworth Storer. She was an entrepreneur who built a highly successful business on female artists.
There is also a Gallery 221 at the Art Museum—but it is just a hallway!
The field trip was organized by the Tankerville Club and co-sponsored by the Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis and the Agra Treasurers of Dayton, with participation by the Ribston Pippins of Michigan. (Ann and I are members of all four scions.) It was a follow-up to a similar ACD excursion by the Clients in Indianapolis some years ago.