Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Preservation Workshops!

Preservation Week is April 27 - May 3, 2014.  The Museum is planning to celebrate this year with a series of Preservation Workshops to help you learn how to care for YOUR STUFF:
  • April 8 - Textiles (Curator Kim Kenney)
  • April 22 - Letters and Photographs (Archivist Mark Holland)
  • April 29 - Furniture (Curator Kim Kenney)
Participants will learn how to care for their own treasured heirlooms at home.  Although Preservation Week is only the last week of April, we'll be celebrating it all month long!

These workshops will be held in the Ramsayer Research Library at 2:00 PM on the date listed above.  Cost is $10 per workshop, per person.  Or you can sign up for all three for $25.

Call 330-455-7043 to make a reservation.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Designer Shoes

Over the past three years, Sheila Markley Black has donated a rather large collection of vintage and designer clothing, shoes, and hats for our textile collection.  In total, there are nearly 300 pieces!

Sheila is a true connoisseur.  Her amazing eye for vintage fashion has resulted in an absolutely fabulous collection.

So fabulous, in fact, we will be featuring it in an upcoming Keller Gallery exhibit scheduled to open in April 2015.

Before donating her collection, it was appraised by Wieschaus & Company, who have graciously supplied us with photos of the entire collection.  This saves us so much time in the cataloging process!  I am a department of one who relies on a dedicated staff of volunteers to help with cataloging new donations.  This collection is so large, it has been volunteer Kathy Fleeher's exclusive project for the past two years...and counting.

We are thrilled to be able to share these fashions with you in person in just over a year.  For now, here are some "digital highlights" from the designer shoes in the collection. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Canton Fire Departments

We are getting ready to make some improvements to the Fire Station exhibit in the Street of Shops. 

The first step was to remove all of the photographs on the right side of the exhibit so I could unframe and scan them.  There were too many little things on that wall, with little or no captions.  The new display will be a larger panel with more information included.

Next we plan to make a new case on the left side of the exhibit, as well as hang two large paintings depicting fire history in Canton.

The following are nine photos of various Canton Fire Departments from around 1900 that were part of the old display and will be incorporated into the new one:

Canton Fire Department, Central Station
Canton Fire Department, Station #2, 3rd St. & Gibbs NE
Canton Fire Department, Station #3, Navarre Rd.
Canton Fire Department, Station #4, 10th St. & Dewalt NW
Canton Fire Department, Station #5, Dueber Ave., just off West Tusc.
Canton Fire Department, Station #6, 8th St. SE, one block east of Cherry Ave.
Canton Fire Department, Station #7, Crystal Park, Harrisburg Rd. and Mahoning Rd.

Canton Fire Department, Station #8, 15th St. & Dueber SW

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RIP Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple doll, 1936.  Shirley appeared in her first movie in 1932 at the age of three and quickly became the biggest child star of the 1930s.

I heard this morning on the radio that Shirley Temple passed away last night at the age of 85.

Until last weekend, this Shirley Temple doll was on display as part of the exhibit A Secret Gift in the Keller Gallery.  We also had her on display several years ago for the exhibit A Doll's World.  Our collection also contains a set of Shirley Temple paper dolls; a blue glass mug, pitcher and bowl; and several other dolls.

Shirley Temple is the same age as my grandmother.  Growing up, my grandma often mentioned this fact.  Although it doesn't really mean anything, I've always found it comforting to know that she was still alive and active.  When an icon as big as Shirley Temple passes away, it leaves a great void anyway.  But when you've spent a lifetime equating her with your own grandmother's mortality, news of her death hits a little closer to home.

RIP poor little rich girl.  And thanks for the memories...



One of my volunteers is in the middle of a long term project to photograph our entire collection.  As it happens, she is working on our paper doll collection.  I just added this to our database:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Black Wings opening

We had a great opening for Black Wings on Friday night!

The exhibition is on view in the Keller Gallery through April 27, so we hope you'll take some time to come in and learn about this fascinating aspect of aviation history.  The message of the exhibition is so inspiring.  These pioneers had to overcome substantial obstacles in order to realize their dreams.  Others might have listened to the people who told them they couldn't, but these aviators pushed on. Their stories are told in the panels of Black Wings.

The exhibition is full of interesting information and beautiful graphics.  Come see it.  You won't be sorry.

Here are some highlights from opening night:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Your Tax Return Can Make History!

The History Fund, administered by the Ohio Historical Society, needs your help!  The following article explains what the program is and how you can support history projects throughout the state with even a small donation.

When you do your taxes this season, please consider a donation!

Your Tax Return Can Make History

It’s tax season again, and this is just a reminder that the voluntary tax “check-off” for the Ohio Historical Society that you’ll find on your Ohio individual income tax return benefits history- and preservation-related organizations throughout the state.

When you opt to donate a portion of your state income tax refund to the Ohio Historical Society, it goes to support the History Fund, which makes grants to organizations for local history- and preservation-related projects in communities across Ohio.

In 2013, the History Fund received $137,153 in donations from 15,890 Ohioans who contributed a portion of their state income tax refund. Most donations are small, averaging $8.63 in 2013, but the impact is big for those who receive History Fund grants. The matching grants are awarded on a competitive basis.

The tax check-off benefiting the History Fund first appeared on state income tax forms in 2012. The first History Fund grants were awarded in 2013 for a variety of history- and preservation-related projects. Learn more about the recipients of grants in 2013 and their projects at

Please consider donating a portion of your tax refund to the Ohio Historical Society for the History Fund when you complete your state income tax return this year. Questions about the History Fund? Visit or call the Ohio Historical Society’s Local History Office at 800.858.6878.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Black Wings installation complete!

We're ready!

The exhibit is fully installed and will be open tomorrow for our visitors to enjoy!

I would like to thank the Timken Company Charitable and Educational Fund for sponsoring this exhibition.  Community support really helps us fufill our mission to bring you exciting and educational exhibitions and programming.

We hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6:00 PM for the free opening reception for Black Wings:  American Dreams of Flight

Here are some photos of the finished installation:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Black Wings Installation - Day 2

Things are coming right along!

We got a ton of work done today.  Steve and Freddie in our maintenance department built the rest of the metal support structures and we hung all of the fabric panels.  We moved the cases into place.

Then we started hanging the smaller panels that go in front of the fabric panels.  They are supported by two runs of wire with clips.  Every single wire has been tangled, which has slowed our progress down a bit.  But we did more than half of them this afternoon, so we're ahead of schedule!

In addition to finishing the installation, my to do list is rather short:
  • Fabricate a thank you sign for our sponsor - the Timken Company Charitable and Educational Fund
  • Create a sign advertising a book available in the Shoppe about the Tuskegee Airmen AND the fact that the second planetarium show offered on the weekends will be about African American astronomers and astrophyicists for the duration of the exhibition (2:00 on Saturdays and 3:00 on Sundays through April 27)
  • Change out the guest book sign from A Secret Gift to Black Wings  
This exhibit is absolutely fantastic.  It is pretty dense, so if you're coming to see it be prepared!  There is a lot to see and read and think about.

Remember, Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight opens THIS FRIDAY February 7 at 6:00 PM with a FREE reception. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Black Wings Installation - Day 1

We got quite a bit done today, considering how much was in the gallery for A Secret Gift!

We hung all of the solid panels first, so we would know how many temporary walls we needed to leave in the gallery.  The guys have built the two largest structures which will have fabric panels hung on them.  There are four smaller ones left to go.  There are also solid panels hung on wires in front of the fabric panels, which is a format we have not seen before in a traveling exhibition.

There are also five artifact cases included in Black Wings.  We have unwrapped all of them and will be putting them in place tomorrow.

Things are on track for this ultra-fast turnaround of the gallery! 

Here are a few photos of the installation in progress:

Black Wings is next!

It's just after noon and already there is barely anything left of A Secret Gift in the Keller Gallery.  They all come down so much faster than they go up.  It was tough to take it down, but we have a schedule to keep, so I really didn't have a choice. 

We've started building the next exhibit and it's going to be amazing!

Stay tuned for installation in progress pictures.  In order to maximize the amount of time A Secret Gift was up, I cut our installation time IN HALF!  We usually have two weeks to turn the gallery around, but we only have one week this time.

I better get back up there!

But first, here's a sneak peek at some of the images you'll see Friday night at the opening of Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight:

Bessie Coleman

This picture features Bessie Coleman in her JN-4 Curtiss Jenny biplane in 1923. Barred admittance to flying schools in the United States because of her race, she learned to speak French so she could attend flying schools there. She became the first African American woman in the world to receive her pilot’s license.

Photo courtesy Wolf Aviation Fund

Air Circus Billboard 1931

This billboard is publicizing the first all black air show in Los Angeles. The show featured a team of all black female pilots called the “Blackbirds.”  William J. Powell, known for his work in and promotion of aviation, was responsible for the event. 

Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum

The Tuskegee Airmen, 1944

The extraordinary works of the Tuskegee Airmen caused the black press to publicize not only their achievements, but those of other black servicemen. The press they both received led many to call for the end of racial segregation in American society.

 Photo courtesy Library of Congress

 Marlon Green
Marlon Green was the first African American pilot hired by a major passenger airline. Green joined Continental Airlines as a pilot and became a captain in 1966. He fought the racial exclusion policy by the airline all the way to the Supreme Court in 1964. He was praised as hero for breaking down this racial barrier. 

Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum