Sunday, February 04, 2007

Elizabeth Tashjian R.I.P.

the life of another amazing and eccentric woman commemorated in today's ny times:

"By Douglas Martin

Elizabeth Tashjian, who debated whether she was a nut culturist or a nut artist, but was indisputably, well, nuts enough about nuts to win fame (but not fortune) as matriarch of the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., died last Sunday in Old Saybrook, Conn. She was 94. Ms. Tashjian hated being called “the Nut Lady” and died without fulfilling her dream of opening a nut theme park certain to surpass Disneyland. (Her reasoning: Squirrels are cuter than a certain mouse.) Her death was confirmed by Christopher B. Steiner, a professor of art history and museum studies at Connecticut College, who in 2002 rescued Ms. Tashjian’s nuts, nut art, nut jewelry and a Nativity scene made completely of nuts from being thrown away. That collection, the Nut Museum, had filled a room of Ms. Tashjian’s 17-room Gothic Revival mansion. The objects have since been in museum and library exhibitions. “She became a visionary avant-garde artist,” said Dr. Steiner, who is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and communicating Ms. Tashjian’s legacy. Dr. Steiner said that Ms. Tashjian began as an academic painter who liked nuts as a subject and started her museum in 1972 as a “cabinet of curiosity.” These “cabinets,” which emerged during the Renaissance, were rooms stuffed with intriguing objects about which people told stories. Or sang songs, in the case of Ms. Tashjian. She performed her composition “Nuts Are Beautiful,” the nut anthem, for visitors, to whom she also gave free cider and coffeecake. She told stories about a bearded dwarf dwelling within every peanut embryo. (Admission at first was one nut, later rising to $3 and one nut.)"

the obit includes a picture of her with her 35 lb coco de mer nut that looks like a bottom :-)

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