Houston Museum of Decorative Arts | Tennessee Vacation

Houston Museum of Decorative Arts

201 High St.
Chattanooga, TN 37403

This museum showcases Anna Safley Houston’s remarkable collection of 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century decorative art objects. “Antique Annie” was a colorful, enigmatic character, a red-haired country girl who amassed one of the world’s finest collections of antique glass, as well as a “collection” of at least nine husbands. A savvy businesswoman until the Depression took its toll, she lived with her dog Sonny in a ramshackle house she built herself. While her taste in glassware was impeccable, she often married for less than romantic reasons, such as the free travel vouchers she received as the wife of a railroad brakeman. The husband whose name she kept, James Houston, was a young handyman who proved invaluable in making repairs to her many rental houses. “Husbands are like getting olives out of a jar,” she said. “After the first one, the rest are easy.” She left her vast collection of 15,00 glass pitchers and other items by Tiffany, Steuben and others, valued at millions of dollars, to her adopted hometown. The museum includes rotating collections of ceramics and furniture. Fifty smaller collections included.

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