Poor Thom's. Meriden. Duckworth Museum
Poor Thom's Tavern in Meriden NH serves Sunday brunch, a decadence to which I would gladly become accustomed if only I were younger and thinner. Brunch must therefore remain a rare and fully appreciated treat. And paid for beforehand, with a three mile (minimum) walk. That is how my husband and I found ourselves on the nearby Kimball Union Academy campus on a late Sunday morning.
The campus was deserted in the summer and still manicured; we traversed the walkways and did a turn around the track. For our pains we were unexpectedly rewarded with the sight of the KUA Wildcat (featured image, above). It's a class gift that marked the 200th anniversary of the Academy in 2013. But the sculpture is far from the ordinary representation of a school mascot--it is the work of the late artist Lawrence Nolan. Nolan is perhaps best known for his sculpture of Jackie Gleason as The Honeymooners' Ralph Kramden, which stands (where else but?) at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. Nolan's art--a statue of a soldier based on his own father--also graces a park in Windsor VT. (You can see it by clicking here.) Update: be sure to scroll down to read the comments to this story for further and interesting information about this sculpture.
View of the old Meriden Grange from the window at Poor Thom's.
Poor Thom's is homey with reasonable prices, good food, and a menu that will please brunchers of both persuasions, that is, those who lean toward breakfast items and those who think that brunch is just an early lunch. My plate had homemade corned beef hash, eggs, and a fresh popover.
Sculpture by Ernesto Montenegro
On to the Aidron Duckworth Museum, right next door to Poor Thom's, where we dodged the preparations for a plein air painting workshop with artist Joan Hoffman. Inside were three exhibitions. One features Duckworth's own work in Healing Arts: Painting and Poetry, curated by Director Mila Pinigin on the theme of illness, with various poems juxtaposed. A second is the work of Ernesto Montenegro, arresting bronze figures encased (entrapped?) in boxes of stainless steel. Finally Laura Moriarity is showing unusual encaustic (wax is used and colors are vibrant) pieces. Unlike two-dimensional encaustic paintings, these are three-dimensional works.
Churches, encaustic sculpture by Laura Moriarity
Walk and brunch and art, including that surprise sinuous wildcat. Couldn't ask for a better Sunday in the Upper Valley.
More information about the exhibitions at the Aidron Duckworth museum can be obtained on its website. For menu and hours at Poor Thom's Tavern, please click here. To learn more about sculptor Lawrence Nolan, you may want to start with his Wikipedia bio.
I write about the arts and other interesting things in the Upper Valley. Please sign up to receive an email each time I post something new by clicking here. To view my profile page or to read previous posts, please click here.
Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge