WHAT IS AN UMBRELLA COVER?
You know that little pocket that
comes on a new umbrella when you buy one? It's like a sleeve made out of
the same material as the umbrella. . . That's an umbrella cover. Other
names for it are umbrella sheath, case, envelope, slipcover.
In recent times, the traditional
fabric is being replaced with the clear plastic case, a highly regrettable
industry practice. This does, however, make the importance and value of
the Umbrella Cover Museum more pressing and vital. Please write to your
congresspeople decrying the elimination of one of the last relics of tangible
evidence of our civilized society.
NEW FOR 2002: The special
exchibit of artist-designed umbrella covers.
Welcome to the Umbrella Cover Museum's
Mission Statement: The Umbrella Cover
Museum is dedicated to the appreciation of the mundane in everyday life.
It is about finding wonder and beauty in the simplest of things, and about
knowing that there is always a story behind the cover.
The World's First and Only Umbrella
Cover Museum opened with firecrackers and cupcakes on Peaks Island off
the coast of Maine during the summer of 1996. The brainchild of U.C.M.
Director and Curator, Nancy 3. Hoffman (pictured above at ribbon cutting),
the Museum exhibited close to eighty umbrella covers (also known as "sheaths"
or "pockets"). Each cover has its provenance and story posted along with
the actual cover. When asked what inspired her to open such an unusual
museum, Nancy 3. replied, "I was cleaning out my house one day, and discovered
that I still had all of the covers from all of the umbrellas I'd ever bought
(seven or so). That got me thinking. Then one day, around 1992, I was in
a dime store and I stole a cover off of an umbrella . . . just the cover.
Then I knew I was hooked. After that I started planning the Museum and
soliciting donations for the exhibits."
After 6 years, the Umbrella Cover Museum outgrew its place in Nancy
3's kitchen and is now housed at 62-B Island Avenue, Peaks Island, Maine.
It is open during the summer, call or E-MAIL
for hours and directions to the museum from Portland, Maine.
It's a lovely 20 minute ferry ride from Portland and a five minute walk
from the landing on Peaks.
Umbrella covers currently on display
at the Umbrella Cover Museum hail from thirty countries. Regular
Museum events include guided tours and the singing of "Let a Smile Be Your
Umbrella," with accordion accompaniment. A $2 donation is requested. For
more information contact Director, Nancy
3. Hoffman or phone 207-766-4496.
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