The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is proud to present the exhibit Modern Visions, Mountain Views: The Cones of Flat Top Manor at Blowing Rock Art and History Museum from July 20 through November 30. The exhibit is a complement to the museum’s art exhibit Modern Visions, Modern Art: The Cone Sisters in North Carolina (August 3-November 30).
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 of Flat Top Manor connects 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 more than 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.