Lake life and the living's easy

One hundred and sixty years ago on August 9, 1854, Henry David Thoreau published Walden, a transcendental tribute to solitude, simplicity, and lakeside living. While some staff enjoy vacations with lakeside views and a good read, those of us at our desks sometimes browse the collection for objects that remind us of warm breezes and sunny days on the sand. If you're in the same boat, check out these lake-related collections objects gathered by Curatorial Assistant Mallory Warner. 

Lithograph, Kay’s Park on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Lithograph, "Kay's Park on Lake Geneva," Wisconsin, by C.H. Radcliff

"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Chromolithograph, Central Park, New York, Preparing for a Drive, 1874
Chromolithograph, Central Park, New York, "Preparing for a Drive," 1874
Sign, Hamm’s Beer. The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was located in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sign for Hamm's Beer. The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was located in St. Paul, Minnesota.
(Left) Crate label, Lake Wenatchee Apples. Cascoa Growers, Cashmere, Washington. (Right) Crate label-, Cruiser Northwest Boxed Apples. Chelan-Manson Cooperative Ass’n., Inc. Chelan, Washington, Lake Chelan District.
(Left) Crate label, Lake Wenatchee Apples. Cascoa Growers, Cashmere, Washington. (Right) Crate label, Cruiser Northwest Boxed Apples. Chelan-Manson Cooperative Ass’n., Inc. Chelan, Washington, Lake Chelan District.

"I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly; nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or the teacher's desk." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tile, Rookwood Pottery, early 1900s
Tile, Rookwood Pottery, early 1900s
Watercolor painting, unknown artist
Watercolor painting, unknown artist

"A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air. It is continually receiving new life and motion from above. It is intermediate in its nature between land and sky." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Lithograph, Detroit in 1820, with view of “Walk-in-the-Water”
Lithograph, Detroit in 1820, with view of “Walk-in-the-Water”
Sheet music, “A Sailboat in the Moonlight,” 1937
Sheet music, "A Sailboat in the Moonlight," 1937


Mallory Warner in the Division of Medicine and Science has also blogged about mending broken hearts and including a female scientist on a museum label. Want more Thoreau? The National Portrait Gallery has a daguerreotype portrait of the author. 

Posted at 6:00 am EDT in From the Collections,Musings

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