Friday, January 30, 2009

Tribute to McKinley

Click here for a neat video Gary Brown made with Chris about President McKinley! The Repository is starting to make more and more of these multi-media presentations for their website, which is pretty cool!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

McKinley Day program

Here is the schedule of events for McKinley Day THIS SATURDAY JANUARY 31!

Oh, and by the way, the President's birthday is actually TODAY, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. PRESIDENT!!

(Click on the image to enlarge)

New ipod tours

Gary Brown did a great article in today's Repository about an exciting new project we're working on!

Jim Gerren of Nightwine Productions, whom you will recognize as the mastermind behind our hugely successful movie making summer camp, is working with Chris to develop some really cool ipod tours for the Street of Shops!

There will be photos from our archives, as well as VIDEO of some neat stuff that will enhance the exhibits up there.

They have been meeting weekly for awhile to work on this project, which they hope to unveil this spring. Stay tuned for more information!

Clewell Pottery

A small Clewell vase from our collection.

I mentioned earlier this week that I am working on a program for the Questers about Clewell pottery. I also wrote two Suite 101 articles about the pottery:

Clewell Pottery: Ceramics with Rare Patina on Bronze

Clewell Pottery Maker's Marks: Identifying Rare Bronze Patina

I am currently trying to track down any other museums that have a piece of Clewell pottery in their collections. Hopefully this blog will reach the right people and you will contact me to let me know what you have!

I have posted an inquiry on the Museum-L, and I already know about the large collection at the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan. They have about 100 pieces, which represents the largest collection of Clewell pottery in the world. They have an exhibition of his work currently on display through April 11.

If you work at a museum that has a piece of Clewell, or if you've recently visited one that had a piece on display, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busy busy busy

Wow, so much is going on!

The Masons were here today to install their new exhibit, which is looking great. I am working with them on some of the little things they need, such as dress forms, a padded hanger, a tripod, etc. They are about 2/3 done.

This morning I did my "Little Chicago" program for the Arboretum Garden Club at the Canton Woman's Club. I LOVE going there -- the food is great! I enjoy talking about the 1920s -- what a fun decade.

Plans for McKinley Day are all set. We are getting craft supplies, buying food, and bringing wreaths down from the Monument. I have all the information from the Army. We are going to have 8 wreaths this year, which I think is the most I've ever had! Lots of people want to pay their respects to the President this year. Gary Brown did a great article about McKinley Day yesterday. Thanks Gary!

In between everything, I have been researching our collection of Clewell pottery for a program I'm doing next week for the Questers.

So I haven't had a lot of time to blog lately!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel

OK, this has nothing to do with the Museum, but I couldn't resist posting this video!!

Last night Chris and I went up to the IX Center to the boat show, and I was super excited to see Twiggy! We have been to the boat show a couple of times, but we always seemed to miss the show.

But this year we got to see her! I took a couple of pictures and a video. And after the show, I was the only grown-up in line to pet Twiggy. :-)

And here she is in a video clip!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Soup at Six: "The McKinley Years"

Chris did a great job last night at his Soup at Six program on "The McKinley Years"!

We had stuffed pepper soup, which every on seemed to enjoy, and of course bread baked on the open hearth by Chris!

oplAnd judging my the many questions at the end of the program, everyone enjoyed Chris's program too!

Here are some photos of the evening, followed by some video clips:

Chris wore McKinley's trademark scarlet carnation.

The crowd was very interested in what Chris had to say.

Here are some video clips of the program:

Chris compares the challenges President McKinley faced when taking office to President Obama's challenges today.

Chris talks about McKinley's Civil War service.

Chris talks about the famous Front Porch Campaign.

The next Soup at Six will be my program "Meyers Lake Revisited" on Thursday April 30. Make reservations by calling 330-455-7043.

Also coming up are two Teas with the Curator:

February 9: "Sweet Stuff: The Story of Chocolate"

March 30: "Woman's Suffrage: A Celebration of Persistence!"
(Celebrating Women's History Month in March)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A peek inside the Keller Gallery

Since we have some extra time between prepping the Keller Gallery and installation of the Masons exhibit next week, I thought it might be neat to show you what the gallery looks like between exhibits!

It's a preview of the set-up for the new exhibit too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Painting is done!

I cannot believe we painted all the walls in one morning!

Thanks to Amanda and Jerry for helping me! It is amazing how fast painting goes when there are three of you doing it!

Now I am free to focus on a few other things, such as creating a Save-the-Date card for our "White Glove Affair" to celebrate the opening of the new Stark County Story exhibit on September 25. And get the readings ready for Amanda. And prepare a few notes on the Clewell pottery for a group coming in the first week of February. And...

Well, you get the point.

There's lots going on!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coming soon to the Street of Shops! A Doll Shop!

Since the doll exhibit was so popular, we are planning to change the Hat Shop in the Street of Shops into a Doll Shop!

We have a few modifications to make first. There are a lot of things on the to-do list right now, so I don't have an exact date for when this will happen. Check back for more information!

My new intern Amanda and I put all the dolls away yesterday. It took us all day! But that is a big job done. It was her very first day, so she got right into doing museum work! I felt bad to give her a job that was so huge on her first day, but she was a great help and I was glad to have someone to work with while putting artifacts away (which you all know I HATE doing!!).

Preparations have begun for The Masons in Ohio. They will be coming next week to install, so we have all week to paint and move cases around. It is nice to be able to take my time getting the gallery turned around. I have some other pressing things on my list that I will be able to get done this week too, since I'm not in a rush.

I'm sure next week will be a different story! :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saying goodbye to the dolls

I just took my final look at A Doll's World in the Keller Gallery.

The exhibit closes on Sunday, but today is the last time I will be able to see it before we start tearing it down Monday morning.

It is always sad for me to take down an exhibit, but this one is particularly worse. It might be because it was so popular (our December numbers were higher than last year, partially because so many people wanted to see the dolls!).

Or maybe because each doll seems to have his or her own little personality, and I hate to think about wrapping them in acid-free tissue and putting them back into their dark boxes.

I got attached to those little dolls, and I'm going to miss them!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Planning ahead

This week I am planning the exhibition schedule for 2009-2012. I normally plan three years out, but I have booked a traveling exhibit from the White House Historical Association in 2012. After I plugged that in, the rest of the year looked blank! So I started filling that in too.

So here's what's coming up in the future in the Keller Gallery:
(Everything is cast in stone for 2009, but there may be changes in the 2010-2012 schedule)

The Masons in Ohio (January 31 - June 7)
The Working White House (June 19 - August 30
Life in Miniature [DOLLHOUSES!] (October 16 - February 14, 2010)

Advertising in Stark County (working title)
The Victorian Age
White House Gardens

Celebrating the Sixties
Health Care in Stark County (working title)
White House Christmas

Communication (working title -- telegraphs, radios, TVs, etc)
White House Horses
Colors! (artifacts/costumes grouped by color)

So that's the plan for the next couple of years. I try to plan a variety of topics that will appeal to different groups. Hopefully you see something on this list that intrigues you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Oh well

After three days of tracking these letters down, I finally talked to the owner yesterday on the phone. He sent me scans of the letters this morning, and after seeing them, I realized we already had copies of them in the files!

Big disappointment.

There was one letter we did not have, reprimanding one of the Secret Service officers for his comments to the press. Apparently Wilkie believed he was "grandstanding" and should have kept his mouth shut.

But since none of these letters were available to historian E.T. Heald when he wrote his definitive biography on McKinley (which was never edited and published before his sudden death 40 years ago), Chris will be able to include that information in the published version that he is currently editing.

I wrote back and asked if we could have a copy of the TR death threat letter from Canton that I mentioned in my last post. I am waiting to hear back about that.

The McKinley birthday banquet in question was the first "McKinley Day," which we still celebrate here at the Museum. So it is timely to discover that document, since McKinley Day is coming up on January 31.

If anyone saw that episode of Antiques Roadshow, and would like to hear one of the letters in its entirety, Chris will be including one in his Soup at Six program on "The McKinley Years" on January 22. Call the Museum at 330-455-7043 to make reservations!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

McKinley assassination documents on Antiques Roadshow

Wow -- what a treasure on last night's show!!

The Antiques Roadshow had a guy on with an amazing collection of papers that were related to McKinley's assassination!

Apparently a box had been left in the attic of a home that had once been owned by the son of John Wilkie, who was head of the Secret Service when McKinley was shot. Wilkie had asked each agent at the scene of the assassination to write out their recollections of what happened that day, and all of those letters were in that box!

First person accounts of the assassination! Amazing!!

Also, there was a handwritten letter warning President Roosevelt that there was a plot to kill him at the opera house. The letter was postmarked January 24, 1903 in CANTON OHIO.

Guess who came to town on January 27, 1903 to be the guest speaker at a McKinley birthday banquet at the Grand Opera House in Canton?

You got it! President Roosevelt!

I contacted the Roadshow this morning to see if they could help put us in touch with the owner of these amazing papers. We would absolutely love to get a look at them!

This just goes to show that after over 100 years, there are still some amazing McKinley-related materials still out there!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to the grind

Happy New Year!!

Finally, I can live out of ONE calendar!! I hate the last few months of a year when you are juggling between two calendars. Finally, I am dealing exclusively with 2009.

Time to start looking ahead to the exciting things in 2009. Starting this month, we've got some neat McKinley events coming up in January!

McKinley's presidential portrait

Soup at Six is BACK!

Join us on Thursday January 22 for Soup at Six: "The McKinley Years" as Chris takes a look at McKinley's life, in honor of the President's birthday (which is January 26). We'll look at his service during the Civil War, his rise to political prominence, and his tragic death. Chris will also explore the wide variety of campaign memorabilia used in the Front Porch Campaign. This program will also examine McKinley's legacy, including his role in creating the Panama Canal and establishing the United States as a world power. The lecture also includes two rare film clips of the President's funeral train. Pre-paid reservations are required. It's just $10 for a great soup dinner, homemade bread on the open hearth, and a great program!

McKinley in his Masonic uniform

New Exhibit in the Keller Gallery!

We will be opening a new exhibit exploring the Masons in Ohio on Saturday January 31, in conjunction with McKinley Day (see below). President McKinley was a Mason, and we are honoring his membership in that group with a special traveling exhibit on Masonic history. If you've always been curious what this group is about, come see the exhibit! It will be on view through June 7.

A general lays a wreath on behalf of the White House

Celebrate Canton's Favorite Son at McKinley Day!

Preparations are underway for this family-friendly community celebration of McKinley's birthday. All of your favorite McKinley Day activities will be back again this year, including an open hearth cooking demonstration (with samples!), Civil War re-enactors, special shows in Discover World, and “Meet the President” talks. Our Museum CafĂ© will again serve lunch.

Please plan to join us as we honor the birth of our 25th President with these January events.

It is easy to take things for granted when they are right in your backyard, but remember, only a handful of cities in this country can call themselves a community that created a President of the United States.

And CANTON is on that select list!