Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stories in Stone

My weekly Museums article at BellaOnline this week is a BOOK REVIEW of Stories in Stone by Doug Keister.

A few years ago we hosted a traveling exhibition based on Stories in Stone. At the same time, we also hosted an exhibit based on Doug's book Going Out in Style.

I wanted to share my review on the blog because Stories in Stone is still the absolute best resource for decoding cemetery symbolism out there. It is the most comphensive field guide I've seen. I never go through a cemetery without it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Busy tour season is HERE!

This marks the first day of the busiest time of the year for us -- spring school tour season!!

I've lost count of how many kids we'll see in the next 5-6 weeks. I think it is more than 5000.

Today one of our docents was sick, so Chris had to do the three tours she had signed up for. Which meant the role of "Chris" was played by "Kim" today! (We also call this role "Traffic Cop"!!)

During the busiest school field trip season, I often don my portable mic and head out to the lobby to help get the kids where they need to go. We can have hundreds of students from 3-4 schools in the building at once, and when they switch from tour to tour, it is organized chaos.

If Chris has to give a tour, someone has to step in to make sure the switch goes smoothly, so the kids have the longest possible time doing their programs.

Teachers can choose any of the following tours for one low price of just $5 per student:
  • American Heritage Tour (history galleries)
  • Discover World
  • Planetarium
  • Ohio & You (history programs)
  • Science Expeditions (science programs)
  • McKinley National Memorial
  • Museum Shoppe

Click here for more information about our education programs.

I don't mind helping out. It's fun to see how excited the kids are when they come into our building. Their eyes light up when they see the pendulum or Alice the Allosaurous in DW. (I'm sure their eyes light up when they get upstairs to the history galleries too, but I don't get to see that from the command center -- aka: the lobby!)

Anyway, if I'm not in my office in the morning between now and June, chances are I'm out playing traffic cop.

And if you'd like to become a volunteer, now is an excellent time to learn!

Call Volunteer Coordinator Stephanie Span at 330-455-7043 and tell her you want to be a docent!

Believe me, we can use all the help we can get!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Coffee & Crafts

Today I'm getting ready to teach a counted cross stitch workshop for our Coffee & Crafts series on Wednesday April 28.

We are making a matching set of towels with a pink floral border. I'm going to make one today to see how many strands of embroidery floss I use for each one. Hopefully I won't have to go back to Pat Catan's to get more supplies.

There are still a few spots open so if you're interested, call 330-455-7043 to sign up! The cost is $20 per person and includes all supplies. (And the coffee is decaf!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Victorian gowns


I just dressed five mannequins in spectacular Victorian gowns for the next exhibit!

I had intended to only get the boxes out of storage, but I was curious what they would look like on mannequins, so...

I've gotten through the grueling database search. Over the next few weeks I'll be pulling other kinds of artifacts, including mantel clocks, corset covers, toys, games, glass, china, mourning outfits and furniture.

This is going to be a lot of fun to put together!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Searching the database

Today I am continuing to search the database for artifacts that date between the 1870s and 1890s for The Victorian Age exhibit.

It is tedious because I have to search through hundreds of records. I am doing a search for "187" "188" or "189" in the description field to find the right era. There are almost 1000 artifacts for each of those searches. Tedious.

Normally I would prefer to go into the storage areas and make my selections by just looking at the artifacts. For example, when I did the glass and china exhibit, I went through that area of storage and pulled things that I liked. I was not concerned about dating them, since the exhibit wasn't focused on a specific time period.

For this, I need to be sure the artifacts date from the Victorian era if I'm going to include them. And we don't group our artifacts by time period -- they are stored by type or material. So the textiles are all together, the hats are all together, the china is all together, etc.

I could walk through the storage areas and "guess" the dates and then go back and check them, but that would be extra work in the long run. And I might be disappointed to find out something I really, really like is actually from 1910 and can't be included after all!

So the only way to verify an artifact's time period is searching the database!

Did I mention it was tedious? :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On to the next exhibit!

The Harter Mansion was a grand dame in Victorian-era Canton

Now that the Bridal Show is over, I am concentrating on the next Keller Gallery exhibition The Victorian Age, which opens June 18 and will be on view through November 21.

The exhibit will feature a wide range of Victorian-era artifacts, including fancy dresses, furniture, vintage photos of Stark County and other items from the era. Visitors will learn about fan language, mourning customs, flower symbolism and much more!

PLUS we will be exhibiting some of our collection of Ida McKinley dresses, which are rarely on view!

I will begin with a quick database search for things I'm looking for, and then I will move into the collection storage areas to select the artifacts that will be included.

It's going to be a great exhibit!

2010 Best of Stark County Awards

Please VOTE for us!!

2010 Best of Stark County Awards

In the past we've been nominated for Best Place to Spend the Day with Family and Best Museum.

Help us win!! You can only vote once per email address, so this isn't something you have to remember to do each day. Take the time and VOTE NOW!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bridal Show a success!

Tina wearing a beautiful dress from the 1980s.

What a fantastic Bridal Show!!

The show was just fantastic. We had an amazing day!

Everything went exactly as we planned. No glitches. Delicious brunch catered by Chateau Michele. Beautiful models. Gorgeous dresses. Fabulous stories. A sunny spring day.

What else could we ask for?

Here are some highlights of today's show!

As always, Stephanie and her committee did an amazing job on the raffle baskets!

Volunteers Jane and Linda at our popular $10 raffle -- guests spent $10 per ticket and were guaranteed a gift certificate valued between $10 and $50! (I bought two!)

Chris played the piano for the social hour and during the show.

Overall view of the basket raffle during the social hour.

Helena in a classic ball gown dress!

Rachel -- this dress was a showstopper!

Joyce greeting guests.

My former intern Erin wore her own unique and gorgeous dress from her December 2008 wedding.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Photo in Ticket

Chris and I were shocked this morning to see ourselves on the cover of Ticket! Click here to see it!

Bob Rossiter took the photo at the Pictures of You exhibit opening on Wednesday night. It's a great picture! I think I'm going to order a copy. :-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rehearsal went great!

I got home from the Bridal Show dress rehearsal a little while ago -- it went great!

Everyone did a wonderful job. The models and dressers are phenomenal!! Without them, we couldn't have a show. Cindy coordinates everything wonderfully -- all the dressers know exactly what to do to get our models out on time. And all the models looked absolutely beautiful!

I'm looking forward to Saturday's show!

Building update

The new storage building is 99% complete!!

We are thrilled with a major donation from Gregory Industries of a unistrut shelving system for the perimeter walls. THANK YOU so much!

We expected it would be several months and/or years before we would be able to raise additional funds for shelving inside our building. This means we can move the artifacts into their new home much sooner than we expected!

We are still seeking funding for compact rolling shelves for the center of our building. We want to maximize floor space, and the best way to do that is with rolling shelves.

For now, we are going to move large items onto the perimeter shelving, and we will also be moving hanging and flat storage textiles, as well as our hat and shoe collections, into the new building.

It has been a long term goal to build this much needed addition. We are thankful for all of our Capital Campaign donors who made this project possible.

When it stops raining, I'll get some pictures!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pictures of You exhibit

Chris and I just got home from the exhibition opening of Pictures of You: A Tribute to Stark County featuring the work of Repository photojournalists Mike Balash, Julie Botos, Scott Heckel, Stan Myers, Bob Rossiter and Ray Stewart at the Joesph Saxton Gallery of Photography.

What an AMAZING exhibition!

I had the chance to speak to each photographer (except Ray Stewart, who couldn't be there) and they were all so humble about their work. They all took amazing photos, but were so modest about it!

We have such fantastic talent at our local newspaper, which is celebrating its 195th anniversary this year. It is no small feat to be in business that long, especially if you are in the newspaper business. They are fortunate to have great writers and great photographers. And we've had the chance to talk with many of them over the past 8 1/2 years. They've all been a pleasure to work with.

It was strange -- and quite nice! -- to attend an exhibition opening that had nothing at all to do with me being relieved that the work was finally done. I go to lots of exhibits and many museums, but rarely do I get the chance to attend an opening event! It was a lot of fun.

The exhibit will be on view through April 24. Definitely stop by and see it. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New niece!

Chris and I just got back from visiting family in NY for Easter. And look who arrived last week before our planned trip home anyway!

Brianna Marjorie was born on March 31 by c-section after my sister spent 36 hours in the hospital. She was due on April 12, so we didn't expect to be able to see the new baby at Easter!

And here is big brother Dylan, who wanted to take his baby sister home the day he met her in the hospital!

It was fun to take a few days off to see our families.

Now back to final preparations for the Bridal Show!