At Home with the Marvellous Movie Girls - Part 2

A warm shoutout to the other side of our country where our latest subscriber P.P. in Perth has joined us from Western Australia.

We continue today with more At Home art treasures owned by the Marvellous Movie Girls group. Frustrated with not being able to go to the movies due to being in lockdown, they decided to each write a description of their favourite work or works of art found in their home.

Our regular subscribers are well acquainted with Julie who writes marvellous posts ranging from from little known painters from the Impressionist era to the anniversary of the Victory in the Pacific.

I was very fortunate to meet Julie through the MMG's and Julie will be kicking off Part 2 of our series 'At home with the Marvellous Movie Girls'


The two vases above are both Moorcroft pieces, which are hand thrown, hand painted and hand glazed pottery from Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England.  The pottery works was started by William Moorcroft in 1897.  The piece on the left was a wedding present to my grandmother (my mother’s mother) in 1927, a then popular design called “Pomegranates”.  However, at some stage in the 1940s, the vase simply disappeared.  My mother always wondered what had happened to it, because, whilst it is not a particularly pretty piece, she knew her mother had loved it.

Some Moorcroft pottery came out in some of the first shipments of goods to Australia after the war, and my mother bought the piece on the right as a sort of replacement for that original missing piece.  She loved the delicate colours, brought to life by the hand glazing after firing in the kiln. She was mortified to pay seven pounds, but she did it, and it remained her most treasured ornament.

Nothing more was heard of my grandmother’s wedding present for almost 70 years, until I went to Perth in 1996, and visited my aunt there, who said to me “I want you to take this vase home to your mother – it is time it was returned to her!”  Lo and behold, it was the missing wedding present!  I knew what it was because my mother had talked about it often, lamenting what had happened to it.  Apparently my grandfather took it over there to my mother’s brother, who had moved over to Perth. Who knows why!?

I brought it home in my hand luggage, and gave it to Mum to unwrap without saying what it was.  She just could not believe it and was so thankful to have this link to her mother returned after 70 years…….!  

Moorcroft Signatures

Since then our family has collected a few other Moorcroft pieces as it is almost part of our heritage!

The original pottery works exist to this day, still making ornamental pottery by hand. You can read more about Moorcroft pottery by clicking here.

Ann from Donvale - It's OK to smile

It all began on November 22 1963 and what followed was a life long fifty seven years of fascination and love for President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and the Kennedy family.

JFK was President of the United States of America from January 1960 to November 1963.

One brief shining moment!

Sadly, he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22 1963.

I have a collection of over a hundred books, posters and photographs, as well as many scrapbooks full of newspaper and magazine articles.

I was so lucky in August 2000 to travel to the USA. I visited Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC and JFK and Jackie’s grave site with it’s External Flame. A very emotional moment! Next stop Boston and the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

There I found a photo I just loved. It was Stanley Tretick’s photograph of JFK and his 3 year old son John in the White House Oval office – October 1963.

This is the photo on my wall. JFK talks to his staff while his son plays in the Oval Office - It’s okay to smile.

A Toddler in the Oval Office - President Kennedy and his 3 year old son John.

Eighteen Months sounds like a very long time to set-up a photograph. However that’s how long it took for Stanley Tretick to make arrangements to capture the shot of JFK and his toddler son in the oval office. The problem was The First lady Jackie disliked her children being used for political props and tried to shield them from the press. So when Jackie went to Greece in October 1963 the President called Tretick to tell him “The coast is clear, come over.” {text from Look Magazine}

Credit: Stanley Tretick, Look Magazine 1963

The President’s Desk dates back to 1880 and was a gift from Queen Victoria. It was called The Resolute Desk and was made from the oak timber of the British ship H.M.S.Resolute.

The Secret Door at the front of the desk as John called it dates to the request by President Franklin D Roosevelt that the keyhole be replaced with a modesty door to conceal his leg braces, as he had polio. Fascinating!

Every day I pass this photo and SMILE

The lines JFK loved to hear are very relevant now!

Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot. For one brief, shining moment that was Camelot.


Note from Caroline: Ann from Donvale recently read Anne's post on Jamie Wyeth, A Master of Portraits. Anne wrote that Wyeth (when in his early 20s) was asked by J F Kennedy’s family and particularly Jackie to paint JFK after his death in 1963.

Guess what, Ann from Donvale has a copy of that portrait and there is a story about the frame too!

Ann explains..."It was given to me by my sister in 1970 and she bought it in Washington. The frame is timber from a forest outside of Washington.
How amazing is that and how lucky am I to have this print of Jamie Wyeth’s painting!"

Another note from Caroline: Many would be familiar with the DJ Tom Clay 1971 version of "What the World Needs Now" - original version released in 1965 by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. I think this evokes as many emotions today as it did nearly 50 years ago.

Tomorrow, one more day of these marvellous At Home Art Treasures.