Deep Dive: Exploring the Collections

"Untitled (Birds) #1 & 2" Series by Tom Edmonds


During the Halloween season of 2018, our own Executive Director Tom Edmonds designed his own works to add to the Haunted Rogers Mansion display of that year. The following two pieces were on display in the first floor dining room for Halloween 2018, and are part of a 5-piece series painted by Tom.

The first piece pictured above, "Untitled (Birds) #1", features a large corvid/phoenix-style bird soaring over a landscape of pine trees. Its wings are spread and its beak points toward the sky. The bird, landscape and moon in the sky are all presented as silhouettes, while the brush strokes of the bird indicate its direction and speed.

The above piece shown here, "Untitled (Birds) #2", showcases a variety of seven individual bird heads also presented as silhouettes. In the case of the three birds on the lower half of the piece, their eyes can be seen either looking upward, or at the viewer. Each bird has its own individual head shape, beak shape and outstretched crests.


These pieces were painted using tempera on glass, utilizing empty frames otherwise kept in storage within the Rogers Mansion, with cardboard serving as the backdrop. Within the Mansion dining room, these paintings would temporarily replace the pieces that hung on the walls. These paintings were done specifically to accompany additional rearrangements and decorations for Halloween at the time, which also accompanied upside-down chairs on the tables, fake stuffed birds, plants and fake eyeballs within the tea cups on the table. "It was a mess", to paraphrase Tom.

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