Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kitchen Pictures

A few weeks ago, Neighbor Scott left a comment when we looked at Episode 1390. He asked about the two pictures that hang in Mister Rogers' kitchen on either side of the refrigerator. Scott's comment/question:
Ever notice the picture on the right side of the fridge in the kitchen? It changed to a picture of the "modern" neighborhood model (ushered in with blue walls). But it reverted back to the older picture very shortly--probably in 1979 when production resumed after a few years off. Anyone ever do a screen shot of that older picture and blow it up to figure out what neighborhood model it depicted (i.e. the b/w years, the early color years?) I wonder why that picture only changes for a short time.
There are a few things that we know for certain. The picture that most often hangs on the right side of the refrigerator goes all the way back to the earliest episodes. In Episode 0002, Mister Rogers shows this picture which depicts the Neighborhood of Make-Believe as it is arranged throughout a majority of the MRN episodes. In Episode 0002, the picture was hung in the kitchen to the right of the refrigerator.

At some point over the next few years, a second picture was added to the left side of the refrigerator -- possibly as part of an episode storyline. The picture is seen below in screenshots taken from Episode 1070 and Episode 1235.

As far as I can tell, these pictures stayed put for the next few years until Episode 1326. This is the point where Mister Rogers paints the walls of the house blue. As you can see below in the screenshot from Episode 1329, the NOM picture on the right side of the refrigerator has been moved to the left.

But the pictures didn't just swap locations. As can be seen in the screenshot from Episode 1446, the other picture was replaced.

Then in 1979, as the "modern" episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began, the first two pictures were back in their original locations (screenshot below from Episode 1461).

Curiously, these pictures continued to jump around as they can be seen in Episode 1758 in opposite locations, yet again.

So location questions aside, what are these pictures that Mister Rogers has hanging in his kitchen? Well the first, the picture from Episode 0002, is clearly the modern Neighborhood of Make-Believe. But the other two are a bit more difficult to recognize.

The other drawing/painting appears to be a landscape of some sort but not anything I immediately recongize from the Neighborhood program. The photograph with the yellow border, on the other hand, shows a street lined with buildings. Is this a shot of the Neighborhood model used during the show's opening and closing? Or maybe an arial image of an actual street?

As I continue to go back and document episodes of MRN (still a LONG way to go), I will definitely be looking out for any close-up shots of these pictures. In the meantime, if anybody has any details about these pictures, please chime in!


Mike said...

The one picture in question where MR is bending down, looks almost like a television tube with a yellow border around it (with the opening shot of MRN). You can barely see the tall red building in the distance. Those other pictures may be pictures that Josie Carey made for him obviously those pictures mean something to him since you see them through the years.

Lawrence Martin aka llcoolmartin26 said...

I wonder why you started with program #2 when he had the neighborhood model picture up since 1967 it's seen in the documentary on the AFNFR dvd and did not change till as you said 1326 you may rember that he used the picture in program 1 to show how to get to Mrs.Russellight house and then he did that on 1066 to show how to get to Bob Trows work shop on program 1 he said
" I show you where she lives on my map"
I hope this helps Thanks Tim for the website and for these blogs
your neighbor

TL said...

Lawrence -- I'll have to go back and check that out. I started with Episode #2 from 1968 because that's the one where Mister Rogers arrives with the picture in a burlap sack. After taking out the picture, he uses the sack as a cape. I assumed that was the first time that picture was shown. I didn't even think about going back and looking at the first episode. I'll have to do that as soon as I get the chance.

On another note, looking a little more closely at Episode 2, the other picture (the one I suggested was added sometime over the next few years) is also present. It is already hanging on the wall as Mister Rogers hangs the NOM picture in the kitchen. I'm very curious to learn more about these pictures!

Paul said...

I think Lawrence is refering to that 'other picture.' It is deffenitly used in episode 1 as Mr. Rogers' "map" of the real neighborhood.

Hallie said...

I can't thank you enough for sharing all these details with us that would othewise be lost...they are a treasure and I so enjoy reading!

I am giving you the Versatile Blogger award! Please stop by for details!

TL said...

Hallie -- Thanks for the compliment! I hope you'll continue to stop by and enjoy this blog!

Scott said...

Glad my comment about the pictures could generate so much discussion. I think the yellow border is definitly the picture of the neighborhood model. You can see the tall brown building (Mister Rogers' 'office') and the the V shaped street. Can you freeze frame it and blow the picture up to confirm?

It's interesting that the NOM picture stems from episode 002...I knew that the frog's home was depicted (so I knew it was an older picture), but the castle looks like the normal, familiar castle we all know. But if memory serves me correctly (and it might not, as I've not seen the older episodes in 25 years), the castle changed during week 1 of the 1968-69 season (the first color season) to the familiar castle we was during King Friday's wedding weak to Sara.

On a side note, my family and I are enjoying a MRN vacation in Pittsburgh as I type this. Went to the Monroeville Mall last night (thanks for putting info about that last year) and this morning was spent at the Children's Musuem exhibit.

April said...

Does anyone know where you can get a replica? I would love to have one in my house!

TL said...

Unfortunately not, April. How cool would that be, though?!