Skip to main content

Past Exhibitions

Modern Visions, Mountain Views: The Cones of Flat Top Manor

Modern Visions, Mountain Views: The Cones of Flat Top Manor

Image caption: A postcard of Flat Top Manor Etta Cone sent to Gertrude Stein in July 1911. 

July 20 - November 30, 2019

While the art collection of Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone is cherished by art historians and museum-goers alike, it would not have been possible without the financial support of their brothers’ thriving textile business in North Carolina. Modern Visions, Mountain Views: The Cones at Flat Top Manor takes the story of the Cone family to the Blowing Rock estate built by Claribel and Etta’s eldest brother, North Carolina’s “Denim King,” Moses H. Cone and his wife, Bertha Lindau Cone.

This exhibition explores the marvel of Moses and Bertha Cone’s visionary enterprise. Completed in 1901, Flat Top Manor was the centerpiece of a grand country estate, with 25 miles of carriage roads and an orchard of over 30,000 apple trees. The house was outfitted with the most up-to-date technology of its time. Flat Top Manor featured hot and cold running water, gas lights, telephones, and central heat—extravagances that stood in great contrast to most homes in the North Carolina mountains.

By featuring stories from family letters and memories, Modern Visions, Mountain Views offers a window in the personal and cultural interests of Cone family members. This exhibition especially features souvenirs that Moses and Bertha Cone displayed at Flat Top Manor, items purchased during their 1906 world tour with Claribel and Etta Cone.

This exhibition is produced by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum.

Image Credit: Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers. American Literature Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Docent tours are offered August - October every Thursday at 2:00 pm, Saturday at 11:00 am & 2:00 pm (2:00 pm only in November). To sign up for a docent tour, please call the museum at (828) 295-9099 or by signing up here.