Until We Meet Again

Janice Phillips Larrick

Much has been written and said about Janice Phillips Larrick – her love of family and community, her generosity, and significant support of so many worthy causes such as The Butler Symphony Orchestra, Butler County Community College, the YMCA, The Butler Library, The Musical Theater Guild, the Butler County Community Kindergarten and her ever-present binding faith underlying all.

We, at The Maridon, had a unique and special relationship with Janice Larrick starting even before the museum was a thought in the universe. You see, Janice and Mary Hulton Phillps, Founder of The Maridon Museum, were sisters-in-law as well as good friends. Each of them shared an incredible sense of humor as well as devotion to family and community. We like to think of them as laughing together and sharing their stories again.

Janice and her husband Harold were Founding Members of the museum and continued to embrace and support Mrs. Phillips’ Legacy throughout the years. Harold was one of our first Docent Tour Guides, and we are happy to say, continues in that role with us to this day. Janice and Harold also gave that gift most precious to all, their time.

What a magnificent team.

Our New Snuff Bottle Exhibit!

The Maridon Museum recently redesigned its Snuff Bottle Exhibit. The exhibit is donated in Loving Memory of James T. “Jim” Sweeney and a dedication plaque can be seen next to the exhibit. If you’ve never seen our snuff bottle exhibit, let us illustrate the purpose and beauty of these tiny works of art for you.

Snuff bottles originated from China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) where they were used to hold powdered tobacco. Initially these bottles were made for the emperor and the court, but eventually expanded to the public. Snuff was understood to have healing powers for common illnesses, so while smoking tobacco was illegal, using snuff was permitted.

It is clear the beauty of snuff bottles supersedes their usefulness! The museum’s collection includes bottles made from hornbill, jade, ivory, cinnabar, amber, glass, enamel, turquoise, porcelain, mother-of-pearl, opal, jasper, hardstone, cloisonne, lapis, quartz, and agate. The sizes are usually around 1 ½” to 3” with a couple as tall as 6”. The variety of shapes and images are extensive and focus on nature, especially mountains and water. These images appealed to all who lived in the cities. Owners of these bottles could be soothed by not only the contents but also by viewing the natural scene on them. Some designs focus on the natural shape of the medium while others reflect the important Chinese themes associated with nature. For example, a gourd design reflects on longevity, while goats coupled with the whirling sun symbolizes the beginning of a great future.

People collect snuff bottles even today for their history and for their art. You can find such objects at auction houses such as Christies. Click here for an article from Christie’s talking about the five things to know about collecting snuff bottles.

Please enjoy the photo gallery of some of the museum’s snuff bottle collection so you can appreciate the beauty of these tiny works of art. Better yet, come see the full exhibit for yourself. If you would like, you can call ahead to schedule a docent to learn even more about our snuff bottles as well as the rest of our collection.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is just around the corner.  Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year 2022 will fall on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022.

Celebrations of Chinese New Year traditionally last for 16 days, starting from Chinese New Year’s Eve to the Lantern Festival. In 2022, that is from January 31st to February 15th. Because the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar, the second new moon after the winter solstice each year falls on a different day, usually between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20.

Families will gather and celebrate with moon cakes, fireworks, red clothes, and decorations, to name a few traditions. Each new year represents an animal from the Chinese zodiac as well – 12 that rotates in a cycle. This year marks the Year of the Tiger.  If you were born in a Year of the Tiger, you are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident.

At the Maridon Museum, we have several representations of the zodiac animals, including a cloisonne ox and cart. Our collections committee members Carole, Anne, and Cyndy assembled an exhibit displaying the zodiac animals. Visitors can enjoy reading about their Chinese zodiac animal and its characteristics in our Scholar’s Gallery.

Welcome back!

We look forward to seeing you! Please email us at info@maridon.org, if you need to reach us.

Thank You From The Maridon

The Maridon Museum would like to thank its dedicated and generous supporters.  Were it not for your generosity, The Maridon would be looking at a much more uncertain future because of the COVID-19 shut down. Instead, your support is helping to carry us through, and we’re preparing to safely reopen our doors to you again soon!

Click here to view the full size poster.

Until we meet again, be well and enjoy this lovely weather.   

2020 The Year of the Rat

2020 is the Year of the Rat according to Chinese zodiac. This is a Year of Metal Rat, starting from the 2020 Chinese New Year on Jan. 25 and lasting to 2021 Lunar New Year’s Eve on Feb. 11. Rat is the first in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac. The Years of the Rat include 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032… Though people consider the rat not adorable, and it even makes its way into derogatory languages, it ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs. It has characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality.

Tae Kwon-do Seminar A Great Success!

The Maridon Museum would like to thank Master Tim Curci and Young Brothers Tae Kwon Do – Butler School for their expertise and time during our  Tae Kwon-do seminar. Thanks to this award-winning Butler school, wonderful lessons were learned in martial arts.  Proceeds benefited The Maridon Museum. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Stay tuned for more fun events at The Maridon!


The Maridon Gets a Facelift

Thanks to a grant from the Learmouth Fund, The Maridon is getting a facelift. Stop by to appreciate the hard work of contractor Sam Pack and his team.

Click on images below to see their progress.

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The Maridon Featured in Huffington Post

The Maridon was featured in Huffington Post’s article “55 Best Lesser Known Art Museums, Artist Studios, and Art Centers in Northeast USA.” Come visit us to find out just why Malerie Yolen-Cohen, Huffington Post Contributor, wrote “It’s a knockout museum worth a drive from anywhere. The Asian art collection at The Maridon is fascinating on many levels – the most elemental being its stunning beauty and fine craftsmanship.”

Click here to read the article.

New Exhibit Announced at the Maridon

The Maridon Museum announces a temporary exhibit starting today to help celebrate Chinese New Year, which kicks off with a midnight feast to mark the Year of the Golden Dog. The exhibit, sponsored by the Kai family of Pittsburgh, will remain on display through April 23.

Kwun Kwong Kai, Director of the China Overseas Exchange Association and Chairman of the Pittsburgh Academy of Chinese Culture & Language, and his daughter, Sherry Kai, Owner/Operator of Bettis Floral Event Design in Pittsburgh, recently delivered items for the Maridon’s New Year exhibit.

Some of the collection pieces include:

  • Gongbi painting of Guanyin Riding on Cloud Dragon; Gongbi is a careful realist, detailed painting technique in China; Guanyin is the Goddess of Mercy.
  • Zisha Ware Tea Pot or “purple sand/clay” Stoneware Tea Pot. Zisha, also known as Yixing clay from the city of Yixing in Jhangso Province, China. has been used to create Chinese pottery since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The crab is the symbol of prosperity.
  • Paper cutting of the Yellow Crane Tower, a famous structure located on Snake Hill in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The tower has existed in various forms since the Third Century AD.