Friday, June 29, 2012

Street of Shops scripts

Gas Station in the Street of Shops
This week I sent out letters to invite several people in the community to come in and record the new scripts in the Street of Shops.  We're having a fantastic response!  Recording begins Monday!

Our goal is to have the entire project completed by our September 20 event "Taste of Our Town:  A Progressive Dinner Through the Street of Shops."  It will be the perfect time to debut the new buttons!

After we record the voices, we will add sound effects and music, where appropriate.  For example, I found a great clip of a blacksmith hammering on an anvil and the "ding ding" you used to hear at the gas station when you pulled up.  The dentist, however, will likely not have sound effects.  I found a recording of a dental drill and couldn't stand the sound of it!  I don't think our visitors would enjoy it either.  (Ha ha!)

Here are just a few of the people who have said yes so far:
  • Brad Black from Downtown Ford (Gas Station, including the Ford Model A)
  • Ron Ponder from WHBC (Blacksmith Shop)
  • Chip Conde from Strategy One (Fire Station)
  • Gary Brown from the Repository (Print Shop)
We'll announce all the participants as we get closer to the finished product.

Another view of the Gas Station

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking for dollhouses!

I've started working on the fall Keller Gallery exhibition Life in Miniature, featuring dollhouses, roomboxes, and miniatures! 

I have a file of applications that have come in since the last time we did a dollhouse show, but there is still time to submit an application.  Call me at 330-455-7043 to request an application.


We are looking for all kinds of dollhouses, including vintage wood or tin houses, modern day houses, themed houses (Christmas, Halloween, etc), and other miniature scenes.

When submitting your application, be sure to measure your dollhouse AS IT WILL BE DISPLAYED.  That means, if you have to open something to view inside, please measure it open so we can assign it the proper sized case.

Here are some of the dollhouses we featured in the 2009 Life in Miniature exhibit:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another great car show!

We could not have asked for better weather on Saturday for our 11th Annual Cruisin' Thru History Car Show!

It was a fantastic day.  We had about 140 cars, a huge increase from our first car show when we were happy with the 18 cars that showed up!  My, how we've grown.  Here are some of the highlights:

Monday, June 18, 2012

Back to buttons

Now that Campaigns & Cartoons is up and the busy field trip season is over, I'm returning to a project that has been in the works for a long, long time...

The new audio buttons in the Street of Shops!

I have narrowed down my list of people in the community that I would like to ask to record a stop in the Street for us.  I'm also in the process of researching sound effects to add to the realism of the scene.  There are some really neat websites out there!  Who knew you could actually buy a sound effect of firemen coming down a fire pole?  (We decided that one was a bit too obscure to figure out, so we're not getting that one!)

Steve and his crew have built beautiful wood cases to house the buttons.  I've let the scripts "simmer" enough that I am now happy with all of them.  I read them this morning while Chris timed me, to make sure each one was short enough.  (Most are under 45 seconds!)  Chris has experimented with the software he will use to create the files.  Next we need to purchase a new microphone, so the recordings will be high quality.

Stay tuned as we continue to work on this project!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Raccoons in politics?

As I was selecting artifacts to supplement the traveling exhibition Campaigns & Cartoons, I came across a beverage set with the image of a raccoon on the pitcher and glasses.  The database said "used during the 1896 campaign of William McKinley."

The database included a photo of the set.  From the image, I could only see the raccoon.  I assumed it said "McKinley" or "Sound Money" or something else familiar on the back.  Went I went to storage to pull it for the exhibit, I realized it had no words on it.  Just the image of a raccoon, thumbing its nose.  Strange.

I started to do some research about raccoons and politics, but didn't find anything in a quick search.  We were in the middle of field trip season, so I put it aside and continued working on the exhibit in between greeting schools and helping them get from place to place throughout the day.

Several weeks later, Chris was working on a video for me to put in the exhibit.  I wanted to show more campaign and inauguration photos than I could fit on the panels I was making.  He had some images scanned from our collection for his outreach programs that I didn't have, so I told him to use both sets of photos to make the video.

He called me over to his office to view the finished product.  As I watched the images go by, I saw one of a campaign pin with McKinley's name on it AND that same raccoon!

I was knee-deep in exhibit prep by then, so I asked Chris to look into it for me.  I had a space in one of the cases where I needed something big, so I was really hoping he could find something about what this raccoon was doing on McKinley-related artifacts.

He found enough information for me to write the following label:

Raccoons in Politics

By McKinley’s 1896 campaign, the image of a raccoon thumbing its nose at the opposition had become a well-known symbol of the Republican party.  It was first used in the 1840s in reference to Henry Clay as “That Same Old Coon.”  It was last used in 1964 on a Barry Goldwater pin.

These raccoon artifacts are currently on display in the Keller Gallery.  The exhibit closes September 30, so come in and see it this summer!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Front Porch Campaign flag

One of my favorite artifacts in the Campaigns and Cartoons exhibition is the a flag from the Front Porch Campaign.

The database said the flag was from the famous Front Porch, but I was speechless when I was able to identify the flag in a photo from our collection!

Because the flag is homemade, the stars are placed in a unique pattern on the blue field.  If it had been a "standard issue" flag, it would have been next to impossible to authenticate it!

Here are some photos from the exhibition:

Campaigns and Cartoons is now OPEN in the Keller Gallery!

On Friday night we opened Campaigns and Cartoons: the Role of Caricature in Political Persuasion from the collection of Julian and Sue Ridlen in cooperation with the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Sit.  It is a fantastic exhibition of political cartoons, ranging from 1876 to 1908.

Many of the cartoons in the exhibition depict McKinley or issues relating to his presidency or campaign (the Spanish-American War and the Gold Standard, for example).  But I also wanted to display some cartoons from our own collection about McKinley.  And Doug Bennett emailed me after seeing an ad for the exhibit in About magazine to loan me three more framed cartoons about McKinley.

In total, there are more than 20 about our president!

I've also added several McKinley campaign artifacts, including canes, buttons, ribbons, a soap baby, a punched lantern, instruments used in parades to the Front Porch Campaign house, and lots more.

The exhibit is on view through September 30.  I hope you come see it!

Here are some photos from Friday night's opening: