Exhibit Review: The Life and Death of Daisy Williams -- The Daisy on the Hill, by Jordanne Ryan '12

            Daisies are everywhere on Sweet Briar College's campus, even when spring and summer have come and passed. Many of these flowers were planted in honor of the historic Daisy, the inspiration behind the founding of the college as well as the beloved daughter of the mistress of the Sweet Briar Plantation, Indiana Fletcher Williams. All you would have to do is look for her.
            How about trying the Sweet Briar Museum? In addition to housing the belongings of the original Sweet Briar House, i.e. silverware, portraits, furniture, the family jewelry, the museum also has currently on display "The Life and Death of Daisy Williams," curated by Vera Schooler '12. The story of Daisy Williams is not told through the traditional means of friendly, informational plaques or brochures; instead, visitors are drawn into Daisy's life by the accessibility of her belongings.
            The collection boasts a number of what would ordinarily be small, almost insignificant items that come together to build a life before the viewer. Presiding over the collection is one of Daisy's most prized possessions, her harp. The harp invites the visitor into the collection, as it is one of the first things any visitor will see as they turn the corner into the exhibit. Along with the harp, the collection also holds a couple of Daisy's childhood dresses and black mourning gowns, several pieces of her jewelry (including a spider broach) and even a lock of Daisy's blond hair. To reveal more of the girl that would inspire the founding of a women's college, Daisy's "art kit" is on display, her leather case revealing graphite pencils and a sketch pad marked by sketched flowers. Below that shelf are colored threads, needles, and an embroidery sample.

Visit the Exhibit!

These are just a few items that illustrate Daisy Williams' life story.  To see and learn more about Daisy, stop by the Sweet Briar Museum, located on the Sweet Briar Campus. The museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 10am to 5pm and tours are available upon request.

The Daisy Exhibit at the Sweet Briar Museum. Photo by Jordanne Ryan '12.

A lock of Daisy's hair. Photo by Jordanne Ryan '12.

Daisy's jewelry and belts. Photo by Jordanne Ryan '12.

Daisy's Fan. Photo by Jordanne Ryan '12.

Daisy's Harp. Photo by Jordanne Ryan '12.