Monday, April 30, 2012

Campaigns & Cartoons -- coming soon!

Now that the Bridal Show is over, I'm on to new projects!

Next on my list is the upcoming Keller Gallery exhibition Campaigns & Cartoons:  The Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion.  It is a traveling exhibition from the collection of Julian and Sue Ridlen in cooperation with the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.

The exhibit includes 36 original political cartoons, plus information about some major cartoonists of the time.

I am preparing a special section on McKinley's campaign cartoons, based on our collection.  I am currently selecting cartoons to include, and I am making exhibition panels about the history of his 1896 and 1900 campaigns.

The exhibit opens on June 8 with a FREE opening from 6 to 8 PM.  The postcards are already here and will be mailed soon!  If you are a museum member, look for it.

Here is one of the cartoons from the panel I'm working on about the Spanish American War:

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Facebook page for Ida McKinley dress project!

I just set up a new Facebook page dedicated to our First Lady Ida McKinley Dress Restoration Project!  Click here to check it out!

We will be featuring updates on the project, profiling the dresses in our collection, and pointing out our conservation concerns as we move forward.  It will also be a one-stop shop for all of the publicity associated with this project.  So far, we've been fortunate enough to receive media attention from the Repository (Gary Brown's story was on the AP wire, so it spread across Ohio and beyond!), WVIZ, and writer/librarian Betsy Butler's blog (she is working on an article for PieceWork magazine about the project).

If you are interested in making a donation to this project, you can send a check (made out to the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum) to:

Ida McKinley Dress Restoration Project
McKinley Presidential Library & Museum
800 McKinley Monument Dr NW
Canton OH  44708

Every bit helps!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peek behind-the-scenes

This is what our Board Room looks like right now!

These are the dresses for this year's Bridal Show, steamed with trains laid out flat, all ready to go!

Each dress is steamed before the show to remove any wrinkles that formed while they were folded up in their boxes. The goal is to make them look as beautiful as they did the day the bride walked down the aisle!

All of the colored papers you see on the hangars indicates the model who is wearing the dress. There are also two tags hanging on each dress -- a yellow tag with a letter, which is assigned as the dresses come in, and a pink tag with a number indicating the order the dresses will appear in the show.

We present the dresses chronologically, with the exception of a family group. For example if Grandma was married in 1941, Mom was married in 1965, and Daughter was married in 1982, all three dresses come out on stage with Grandma's dress. The other two models stand on the stage while we talk about the first dress on the runway, so the audience can connect the three dresses as a family group. After the last dress in the family group, we return to the timeline.

You may see some colored dresses on the racks as well. We feature bridesmaid's dresses, Mother of the Bride/Groom dresses, and wedding dresses that are NOT WHITE!

This year we have a spectacular selection of gowns for the show. If you would be interested in having your dress modeled in our next show, give me a call at 330-455-7043 and I'll put you on the list!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm steamed!

I spent the past two days steaming all of the dresses for this year's Bridal Show. Yesterday my friend and volunteer Kathy Fleeher helped me all day long. Thank you Kathy!

Everything is now wrinkle-free and ready to go!

It is amazing how different fabrics react to being steamed. Sometimes the wrinkles you think will fall out easily take FOREVER to come out. Some dresses seem like they will be a challenge, and instead you're done in a flash.

I was reminded again this year that no matter how old the veil is, steaming them releases a very particular -- and rather unpleasant! -- odor.

I must be building up some muscles from all the gardening I've been doing because my arm hurt much less this year than it did last year!

This year's show features dresses from 1895 to 2011. We are THRILLED that it is sold out! We've worked really hard to bring you a fantastic show. Can't wait until next Saturday!