Friday, August 10, 2018

Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas


Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas
The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Touring and photographing Ernest Hemingway's "home" and studio in Piggott, Arkansas was a fabulous way to spend a day, and a wonderful memory.  The house actually belonged to the Pfeiffer family, but it was "home" to Hemingway when he was in Piggott.

I admit, while I have read several books by Ernest Hemingway, he is far down my list of favorite authors, but he is on the list.  He is also one of my husband's favorite authors.   When we discovered we could tour his home in Arkansas, we were definitely up for the adventure.  

Prior to visiting The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, I didn't know a lot about Hemingway's personal life.  I was in for a lot of shocking details!  We were basically given a private tour of the home and our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable.  Because we were the only two people there, we asked lots of questions and I had plenty of opportunities to take pictures.   Expecting to be in for a real treat, I had packed two cameras and all of my lenses.  I am really glad I did.  It turned out that I needed them all to get the shots I wanted! 

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Home in Poggott, Arkansas - Ernest Hemingway - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse



Ernest Hemingway & Pauline Pfeiffer


Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas
Ernest Hemingway & Pauline Pfeiffer
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Our guide give us a great deal of historical detail.  It was clear that she greatly admired Pauline Pfeiffer.  She bragged to us about how Pauline Pfeiffer was a journalist for Vogue magazine in Paris, France.  It was there that Pauline met Ernest Hemingway and his wife.  According to our guide, Hemingway was immediately enamored with Pfeiffer and they engaged in an affair.  When Hemingway told his wife that he was in love and wanted to marry Pauline, she suggested that he take some time to think about it.  If he wanted a divorce so he could marry Pfeiffer, she would grant him the divorce.  And, so it was...

Pauline and Ernest married in France that following spring.  When Pauline discovered she was pregnant, they moved to Piggott, Arkansas to live with Pauline's family and to await the birth of their child.  That home is now a part of  The Hemingway-Pfeiffer museum.  It is also the place where Hemingway wrote parts of "A Farewell to Arms" in the barn studio located on the property.  



The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum House & Home

Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Stickley Chair in The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

By today's standards, you might not think the house is very big.  However, I have no doubt it was considered quite large in Piggott during the late 20's & 30's when the wealthy Pheiffer family owned it.  

Much of the furniture in the home today, was furniture owned by the Pfeiffers and in use when Hemingway was there.  That alone, makes the tour very interesting.  I could easily imagine Ernest Hemingway sitting in this front room with a romantic fire.

Apparently, the Pheiffers loved Stickley furniture as much as we do!  This is the front room on the right as you enter the Pfeiffer home.

If you look carefully, you will see that the photo of Ernest & Pauline is sitting on the end table.  Of course, I had to take a close-up photo of the couple.

 Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas
Front Room of The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

On the left, as you enter the home, is a grand piano.  The comfortable chair would certainly be inviting to sit and listen to an accomplished pianist.  

Photos from The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum taken by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
The Grand Piano in The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

The stairs to the bedrooms is directly across from the front door.  You could literally run through the front door and up the stairs if you desired.  Again, I could easily imagine Ernest Hemingway doing that very thing.  Then calling out to Pauline as he reached the landing at the top of the stairs, all excited about news of a new hunt.

Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Stairs in The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Home
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse



The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Top of the Stairs at The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Home
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse


Prayer Room in The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum


I found it extremely interesting the Pauline Pfeiffer's mother, Mary Pfeiffer, had a prayer room in her home.  Our guide explained that Mary required a prayer room since there was no Catholic church close by to attend and she was a devout Irish Catholic.  

The existing prayer room was set up to look like Mary Pfeiffer's prayer room.  She had a real altar there, but it is currently being used by a church.  You can see the real altar in a photo that is sitting on the makeshift altar.


Prayer Room in The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Mary's Prayer Room in the Pfeiffer Home
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

Mary also had a quilt closet upstairs. This was probably my favorite room. Not because of the room itself, but because of the story of the room. According to our guide, the Pfeiffer's were surrounded by people who had very little.  Many of the women of the community would quilt and sell their quilts just to get by.  Mary Pfeiffer never refused to buy the quilts.  She stored them in this room and when they were needed, she gave them away.  

Of all of the people I heard about the day of our tour, I think I would have liked Pauline Pfeiffer's mother, Mary, the most.

Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas
Mary Pfeiffer's Quilt Room
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

The Display Case Held Ernest Hemingway's Autograph


One of my favorite photos was taken upstairs in one of the bedrooms.   There was a display case that contained a book from the Hotel Taube in Schruns, Austria.  This book was not interesting because it was an alpine skiing manual, but because it held Ernest Hemingway's autograph in the upper right corner.  The glass display case sits right under a window, which is why you see the curtain details reflected in the photo.


Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum
Alpine Skiing Manuel from Hotel Taube
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Ernest Hemingway's Autograph - Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Ernest Hemingway's Autograph
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse




There were several other rooms in the home and I have lots of pictures, but I chose some of my favorites to share with you today.  Perhaps, one day soon you can tour the home for yourself and see it all in person.  


Reviewing & Photographing The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott, Arkansas

 

The Ernest Hemingway Barn-Studio in Piggott, Arkansas


Apparently, the upstairs studio of the barn was Ernest Hemingway's place of solace and the place where he went to write.  

Due to the time of day, I was not able to get a great shot of the exterior of the barn-studio.  As you can see, I was staring straight into the sun.  

Hemingway's studio was located up the stairs on the right.

Hemingway Barn-Studio at Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum - Photographed and Reviewed by Sylvestermouse
Hemingway's Barn-Studio
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse



I'm not pro big-game hunting and I really hated what I saw inside the studio.  It truly put a damper on my day and I admit, I stopped listening to the guide for a while.  However, I will still share the photos with you. 

Ernest Hemingway's Barn Studio
Hemingway's Barn-Studio
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

 Stove in Hemingway Barn-Studio Game Table in Hemingway Barn-Studio



No doubt, I would have been better prepared to hear the stories that day of Ernest Hemingway's life if I had read any of the books featured below.  


 

 

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13 comments:

  1. What a fascinating pictorial review you give us today of the Hemingway-Pfeiffler museum, Mouse. I didn't realize it was located in Arkansas or I would have toured it when visiting relatives who live there. I will have to look up and see how far Piggott is from Searcy, AR. Your photographs are wonderful. I always find it interesting to tour the former residences of famous people and see how they lived. My favorite was touring Churchill's home on a trip to England.

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    1. Thank you Elf! I enjoy touching the past by touring older homes. I do find it very interesting to see how and where famous people lived. It somehow makes them seem more real and not simply legendary. I've been to England several times, but never toured Churchill's home. I'll have to put that on my list of places to visit for sure.

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  2. Wow, talk about getting up close and personal. This is an amazing tour that you were able to take. I love all of the furniture too. Simple but striking and purposeful. That grand piano is quite something too. I imagine a lot of tunes were played on that. I had no idea there was such a lovely place in Arkansas. If I ever get down there again, I will put this on my list of places to see.....thanks for the heads up! BTW your pictures are delightful!

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  3. What a great pictorial of the Hemingway Pfeiffer museum.I would love to see that!

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  4. I loved the stories you told related to the photos and your response to the different rooms. I read many of Hemingway's books about fifty years ago. I don't know much about his life except that it ended unhappily. Thanks to you I now know much more. I can't imagine sitting at a desk writing while seeing all those hunting souvenirs in front of me. No wonder this wasn't your favorite room.

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  5. It's a nice little Museum. I do not know much about Hemingway. I know I would enjoy just see the times furniture.

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  6. Like Hemingway, love Stickley, I agree about the studio decor! Great insight on the author via your tour!

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  7. Thank you for a wonderful pictorial tour of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer home! Like you, I think I would have loved to meet the mother Mary. She seems really cool. I loved the photos of the kitchen and the quilt closet! Thank you for sharing these lovely photos and what you learned during your tour.

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  8. Very interesting post. Great photos to make us feel as if we were touring with you.

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  9. You are a great virtual tour guide. My favorite room would be that quilt room. Love the way that lace curtain reflected in your photo.

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  10. WOW what a beautiful tour! I would absolutely love to see the Hemingway Pfeiffer Museum! Your online tour is so detailed. What an amazing place; anything historical has my attention. A must see for those traveling that way.

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  11. Miss Mouse, what wonderful photos and interesting tour. I love the house, the chairs, and the quilts. I'm so glad you and your husband were the only 2 on the tour and got such undivided attention. What fun!

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  12. I would really like to visit this place. So much history to enjoy in our own homeland. I think I'm with you about Churchill's home. We actually fashioned part of our home library after the design. Beautiful article Cynthia. Thanks for sharing your travels.

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