On the rolling hillsides of Wheeling, West Virginia, the white pillars of the Mansion Museum stand majestically over the manicured lawns and landscaped gardens of the Oglebay Institute. Originally built in 1846 as an eight-bedroom farmhouse, the mansion entered the Oglebay family in 1900, and was willed to the city 30 years later to serve as a facility for education and recreation. Today it features a rotation of exhibits and programs, which share fine art, glassware, and environmental education with more than 100,000 people annually.
Tucked next to the Mansion, the glass museum has collected some 3,000 pieces of Wheeling glass, cut lead crystal, and Victorian art glass. The Sweeney Punch Bowl, a 5-foot, 225-pound piece of cut lead crystal, is the jewel of the collection, epitomizing the aesthetic splendor and unwieldy nature of most Victorian-era flasks. The Schrader Environmental Education Center imparts visitors with an appreciation for the natural world with interactive trail tours, campfires, and astronomy events; and the Stifle Fine Arts Center's ever-changing visual-arts exhibits display work from local and national artists.
Levin Furniture has been passed down through generations of Levins since 1920, when Jessie Levin persuaded her husband to start a business to help their daughters' prospects. Since then, the business has grown, expanded, and gained a reputation for procuring and selling quality furniture. Levin Furniture's stock includes leather reclining sofas, beautifully carved dining tables, and sleigh beds from Daniel's Amish using hardwood materials from Ohio.
Established in 1832, J.J. Gillespie Gallery furnishes its walls with a wide range of art from American and international artists. In an attached workshop, a master framer meticulously preserves keepsakes inside custom wood or metal frames. The gallery also hosts an onsite art expert, who can appraise oil-based works or clean and restore them to their former luster.
Although Create a Frame / Handworks Gallery began as a designer framing store, works of art have wriggled their way off the walls and onto the shop floor, where 3-D pieces complement the flat compositions framers nestle beneath glass, mats, and moulding. Helmed by husband-and-wife team Wendy and Steven Denenberg for more than 30 years, the white custom-framing counter offsets a wall of frame samples from brands such as Adhisa and Roma, which encircle pieces of any size alongside flattering mats and glass to protect against passing impressionists. Tactile objets d'art dapple the rest of the gallery space with the colors of hand-hewn artisanal furniture, sparkling jewelry, and glass bowls, vases, and ceilings crafted by American and international artists.:m]]
Main Street Frame Shop preserves memories and memorabilia with custom framing jobs and brings photos and images to life with custom printing services. The staff prints photos on canvas, photographic paper, or specialty art papers, expanding images to new sizes and dimensions. Custom framing can beautify a collage of family photos or protect an autographed jersey from having the name smudged off by a bitter rival.
Photographer Charlene Potts specializes in capturing some of life’s biggest milestones: new babies, engagements, weddings, high-school grads, and her specialty of pet portraits. Prior to each session, Charlene meets with subjects and furry family members in their homes to discuss personal style and various wall-art options in their space. Her portrait sessions generally last 90 minutes, with a follow-up appointment a few weeks later to review prints. Held 10 days after each session, the follow-up appointment includes a viewing of prints and selection of favorite images. She also provides an online gallery where family, friends, and online avatars who happen to be art critics can view the pictures. She shares her craft in other ways, too. She regularly leads photography classes in which she teaches students about composition, exposure, and camera operations.