Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Palace for Wednesday

As the old idiom goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones…”

But artist Alice Hudson might say: “Sticks and stones—and leaves and cloth scraps—can make a palace.”

In a small gallery on the Upper Level of the Mingei International Museum, we found this unique structure that kept us occupied far longer than we had anticipated spending in the museum itself.

Alice Hudson made a small doll for John Noble on his birthday and called the doll Wednesday because his birthday was on a Wednesday. He asked Ms. Hudson if Wednesday had a home and commissioned her to create this Palace for Wednesday. Mr. Noble, a curator for the Mingei, described the five-foot structure as "a World of Fairy which is more real to her than the world outside." (He gives a tour of the Palace at

The ethereal structure is built from leaves, twigs, wires, grasses, dried flowers, shells, driftwood, stones, and cloth--and a rich imagination.

It seemed that a healthy sneeze could transform this fragile palace into a small pile of Fall vegetation.

A glass case prevented that, but created reflections (left) in some photos. And there were other challenges to overcome in photographing Wednesday's home.

It was a beige palace with seveal beige characters in a room with beige walls.

Some 60 "visitors" to the Palace are introduced to visitors in a book called A Palace for Wednesday. And it is in the clothing of these visitors that provides some color to the beige world.

Wednesday, the waif-like main inhabitant of the palace is shown here and in the photo below.

I have not been able to identify these visitors.

I believe these are acrobats and jugglers.

Shown here are The Garden of Marigolds (figure on the right) and Hector Protector (on the left). These characters are also shown in the next two photos.

The Garden of Marigolds.

Hector Protector

This is one of four dragons, Daring Do, who live around the palace.

I have not been able to identify the characters in the next two photos.

These characters are identified as poets, Whisper and Murmur.

This character is identified only as Simpleton, who is fascinated with the feather.

To fully appreciate the life of the palace will involve entering Ms. Hudson's world.

As an outsider, I could only appreciate the creativity and complexity of the creation of a world from sticks and stones...and leaves and patches of cloth.

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