Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Preservation Workshop - Furniture

Yesterday we wrapped up our series of Preservation Workshops with a session on how to take care of furniture.  Previous workshops focused on textiles and photographs/letters.

Mark and I were thrilled with the attendance at all three of the workshops!  When we first discussed doing them, we said we would cancel them if we didn't get at least 5 people.  Well, we need not have worried.

My programs will be added to our Speaker's Bureau soon, so if you'd like to book a workshop about taking care of textiles or furniture for your group, please give me a call.

If you're interested in learning more about these topics on your own, here are a few resources:

The American Institute of Conservation has a series of leaflets called Caring for Your Treasures available for free about how to take care of all kinds of different artifacts.

A great, easy-to-read reference book to purchase is Saving Stuff by Don Williams.  He is a senior conservator with the Smithsonian, but his book is very user-friendly. I highly recommend it!

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Peanuts are coming to the Keller Gallery!!

Snoopy is doing a Happy Dance because he's on his way to Canton, Ohio!
Peanuts...Naturally opens in the Keller Gallery on Friday May 23 with a FREE reception from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.

We're excited to host this unique exhibition that examines the natural world through the eyes of the Peanuts characters.  Since our mission includes science, I like to use the Keller Gallery to showcase a science-themed exhibition every few years.

Here are a few of the comic strips visitors will see in the exhibition:

All graphics courtesy of the Charles M. Schulz Museum

Here is some more information about the exhibition, provided by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, Santa Rosa, California:

Charlie Brown is in trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lucy knows the Earth has 48 suns, and Snoopy and Linus are planting french fries in the garden.  These are just a few of the misadventures and explanations gone wrong as the Peanuts Gang explores the natural world—what other trouble will they find?!

Peanuts… Naturally takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through Peanuts comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations. Visitors get a Peanuts-eye view of the universe, “web of nature,” trees, birds, the elements (snow, wind, rain, and clouds), gardening, and Charlie Brown’s EPA escapade. Activity stations allow kids of all ages, from pre-school to adults, to learn more about and appreciate the wonders of the natural world.  

Schulz, who created the Peanuts comic strip for nearly 50 years, was immensely curious, an avid reader, and took a keen interest in the latest research findings in a variety of fields. It is not a surprise that many of these findings and facts found their way into Schulz’s comic strip carefully interpreted through his characters’ unique, and sometimes wacky, understanding of their world. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My volunteer Sally

Yesterday my volunteer Sally Winkelman received her 20 year pin!

Before I came in 2001, Sally did a variety of volunteer work at the Museum, including making padded hangers for the hanging textile collection.  Shortly after I arrived, we launched a project to document the artifact collection for the new database, because we could now attach pictures to each record.

Sally has been photographing artifacts ever since!

A few years ago I gave her the Curator's Award for her dedication to this project.  It is ongoing, because we have thousands and thousands of artifacts, plus new ones coming in all the time. 

Sally is a treasure in my department!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tiara update - April 16

I was in Columbus all day yesterday at the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio meeting, so I didn't get a chance to update yesterday.

With the pledges we have (that aren't recorded on this chart) we're almost half way there!

Institute for Cultural Entrepreneurship for Museum Leaders

Otsego Lake, May 2010.  You can see why it's nicknamed "Glimmerglass Lake"!
Back in 2010, I had the opportunity to attend the very first Institute for Cultural Entrepreneurship conference sponsored by my alma mater The Cooperstown Graduate Program.

It was literally life-changing for me.

I began to see things in a very different way.  Sometimes as a mid-career professional, we begin to lose sight of the ideals instilled upon us in our museum training.  The day-to-day tasks of our careers start bogging us down, and we can't see the forest for the trees.

ICE woke me up.  Big time.

I have never felt so inspired in all my life!  This is not your ordinary conference.  It is intense, and paradigm-shifting.  If you ask any of the ICE alumni, they will tell you the same thing.

The application deadline is May 1.  They only take a small group of people, making it much more intimate than a typical museum conference experience.

The year I went it was held in Cooperstown in May, but this year it will be at the Pocantico Conference Center in Tarrytown, NY from July 7-10.

They have asked everyone who participated to help spread the word.  So share this blog post to anyone you know in the museum field.  If your budget only allows for limited spending on conferences, trust me, this one is the one to put your money into!

Volunteer Recognition

Congratulations to our 2013 award recipients! (We always recognize the achievements of the previous calendar year.  That's not a typo!)

Ted Gup
Director’s Award

Madeline Lee
Teen Volunteer of the Year

Lynn Weber
Volunteer of the Year

Doris Wertz
Curator’s Award

The theme today is "tropical."  We're all dressed in our best "tropical" outfits.  And we're all freezing. :-)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Black Wings closes in 2 weeks

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
It's hard to believe, but Black Wings is going to close on SUNDAY APRIL 27!

We have been so busy around here lately, the time has just flown by.  It seems like just yesterday we were unpacking the crates, and soon we'll be packing them back up and shipping them off to Albuquerque.

The photo above of Bessie Coleman is one of my favorites in the exhibition.  I love her tenacity, and the lengths she traveled to fulfill her dreams!  Although my hurdles in life have not been nearly as great as hers, I can definitely appreciate what it means to face down those who stand in your way, and to go right on ahead and achieve your goals anyway!

If you haven't been to the Keller Gallery to see this exhibition, be sure you get here before it closes.  We are the only venue on the schedule in the state of Ohio, so it will never be closer to you than it is right now.

Tomorrow is TAX DAY!

Did you check "Ohio Historical Society" on your tax forms to donate a portion of your Ohio state tax return to The History Fund?

Click here to learn more from fellow Ohioan Annie Oakley!

The History Fund is a competitive matching grant fund that supports history projects across the state.  Ohio's museums and historical sites are in desperate need of funding for great projects ranging from historic home repairs to symposiums to conservation projects.  The average donation is just $8, so a little goes a long way!

The form says "Ohio Historical Society," but they just administer the program.  The monies are funneled back into Ohio communities big and small, all across the state.

Please consider making a donation!

Tiara update - April 14

The donations keep pouring in!

Today we've heard from people in California and Alaska! Thank you to everyone who is supporting our effort to purchase Ida's diamond tiara. We are well on our way!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tiara update - April 11

We are well on our way!

Donations continue to arrive in the mail, over the phone, or online.  Click here if you would like to make a donation!

We have received donations from all across the country.  It is amazing how this story has touched so many people.


Also, remember our two fundraising events:

  • "A Diamond Soiree" on April 30 at 6:00 PM, $500 per person, April 25 reservation deadline
  • "An Evening of Civil War Music with Steve Ball" on June 5 at 7:00 PM, $20 pre-sale, $25 at the door

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Diamond Soiree details!

Invitations will go out yet this week!  We are moving fast to capitalize on the momentum of this project.  Time is of the essence with a June 24th deadline!

If you are interested in attending "A Diamond Soiree," here is all the information you'll need!  Services have been donated, so 100% of your ticket price will go directly to the Ida McKinley Tiara Fund.

If your browser doesn't open the above images large enough for you to read, here is the text!


The McKinley Presidential Library &
Museum cordially invites you to
A  Diamond Soiree
A fundraiser for the Ida McKinley Tiara Fund

Wednesday April 30, 2014
6:00 to 7:30 PM
Keller Gallery
McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar
$1000 per couple • $500 per person

The favor of a reply is requested by April 25, 2014

The evening will include:

A rare glimpse at Ida McKinley’s gowns
which are currently awaiting conservation work

A behind-the-scenes tour

An appearance by
William and Ida McKinley

A keepsake souvenir


The favor of a reply is requested before Friday April 25, 2014

will attend A Diamond Soiree
$_______ is enclosed

You may also call 330-455-7043 to make
your reservation via credit card

I cannot attend but would like to make a donation of $_____

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Preservation Workshop - Textiles

It has been a BUSY couple of days around here!

Yesterday, after meeting with the caterer to plan "A Diamond Soiree" and recording an interview with Channel 5, I taught a Preservation Workshop in the Ramsayer Research Library about how to care for your textiles at home.

We had a much bigger response than we were expecting!

The next two workshops are:

  • April 22:  Photos and Letters
  • April 29:  Furniture
Thank you to everyone who attended!  It was a great workshop and I'm looking forward to the rest in the series.

Bridal Show

The Bridal Show was absolutely perfect on Saturday!

I've heard many comments that this might be the best yet!  The dresses were just gorgeous, and the stories were fantastic.

Here are just a few highlights of the day.  Check out our Facebook page later for more photos!

(Special thanks to volunteer Dick Conde for being our "official photographer" for the event!)

OMA Conference

On Monday Chris and I had the honor of presenting a session at the Ohio Museums Association Conference at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio called "Community Collaborations:  How a Single Book United Canton's Cultural Organizations" with Lisa Boyer (Director of Education at the Canton Symphony Orchestra) and Gail Martino (One Book, One Community Selection Committee).

It allowed all of us to relive A Secret Gift one more time!

The presentation was designed to showcase how all of our organizations worked together to make big things happen in Canton around A Secret Gift last fall.  We wanted to inspire other museums to approach other cultural groups in their areas to create something similar.  We had quite a few partners, but what we did could be replicated on a smaller scale almost anywhere.

We decided to organize our presentation chronologically by event during the One Book, One Community celebration.  Each of us spoke on the topic we were most involved in.

I started the program by explaining what the book was about, showing slides of Sam Stone, the ad he placed in the Repository, some of the letters, and the canceled checks.  I explained how Ted Gup discovered the letters and figured out that B. Virdot was actually his grandfather.

Next, Chris talked about the event at the Palace in 2010 when the book first came out, featuring descendants of letter writers reading their family's letters. 

Then Gail spoke about the selection process for One Book, One Community, followed by Chris talking about the workshops he ran for teachers with our Archivist Mark Holland.  Then Gail spoke about the dramatization and the walking tour of downtown Canton.

Chris came back up to talk about the Soup at Six featuring composer Eric Benjamin, who spoke to museum guests about his orchestral composition based on the book.  It was the first time he had shared any of his piece with the public.  Chris also talked about how the Symphony provided our guests with a special coupon code for discount tickets to the concert.  He also talked about the special rates we created for field trips who booked both the Youth Concert and a tour at the Museum.

Next I spoke about the exhibition itself.  I had several slides showing how we re-created Sam Stone's office and included the suitcase and other artifacts relating to his life.  I also showed how we borrowed artifacts connected to some of the letter writers, and then fleshed it out with period artifacts from our collection.  I explained how I found each address on a period map of Canton to show visitors where each letter writer lived, and the chart I made showing what things cost in 1933 so visitors could appreciate the true value of $5 in that time.

My part finished with the program presented by the genealogy department at the Stark County District Library, where staff explained how the helped Ted Gup locate descendants to interview for his book.

Gail talked about the Meet the Author event at Malone, and Ted's trip into the schools to talk to students about his book.

Lisa finished the program with five wonderful clips from the concert itself, showing highlights of how the performance Incorporated Ted as the narrator and volunteers from the community with many speaking parts.  She also explained some of Eric Benjamin's inspiration for the piece.

It was a fantastic experience to get together with these ladies once again to relive our collaboration for OMA!  Our session was well-received, and we hope we inspired Ohio museums to think outside the box to partner with groups they may not have considered in the past.

On a personal note, Cutler's Restaurant at the Ohio University Inn was wonderful!  If you're in Athens, definitely check it out.  I had the portobello mushroom and eggplant Parmesan with a side of risotto that was out of this world!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tiara update - April 8

Chris and I were at the Ohio Museums Association for a few days, so I haven't had a chance to post an update! Here's where we are, plus there are quite a few pledges that will be counted later when they become donations.

Just this morning we finalized details about the high-dollar fundraiser.  Here are the basics for now:

This afternoon I did our first Preservation Workshop on Textiles, and I've had zero time to blog about the conference OR the Bridal Show!  That will be coming later this week.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tiara update - April 4

Huge boost this afternoon!  THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

Fundraising update

Each diamond on this chart represents $1000.  I'll re-post it regularly to show you how close we are to our goal!

An Evening of Civil War Music with Steve Ball

Announcing our first fundraising event for the Ida McKinley Tiara Fund

"An Evening of Civil War Music with Steve Ball" will be held on Thursday June 5 at 7:00 PM at the Museum. The concert will feature authentic Civil War music performed as it sounded in the 1860's, on a true period-correct Civil War era guitar.In addition to a performance, Mr. Ball will display his collection of pre-Civil War guitars and original sheet music.  

Pre-sale tickets are $20 per person, $25 at the door. Mr. Ball is graciously donating his time and talent for this event and will donate 50% of his CD sales that evening to the fundraising efforts as well. 

Steve Ball is a musician and historian from Columbus, Ohio. He started both playing the guitar and studying the American Civil War at the age of twelve. Over the years, Steve developed an interest in older styles of American music, and has performed in Folk groups, Bluegrass and Country bands, Square dance bands, and even a Western trio. 

His interest in Civil War music was generated by tunes he learned while in the Western trio, and eventually he built a repertoire of songs from the 19th century, both before and during the Civil War period of 1861 to 1865. His interest in the history of the war led to learning about the composers, and the events that led to many of the songs of the period being written and composed. As his knowledge grew, he developed a presentation that explains both why the tunes were written, and what was going on in the war at the time. The songs are presented in a somewhat chronological order, and Steve tells the story of each song, and keeps listeners informed of the progress of the war at the same time. 

Call 330-455-7043 for pre-sale tickets!

Remember, you can also make a donation to the Ida McKinley Tiara Fund online on our website!

Online donations are now set up for Ida's tiara!!

We now have the ability to accept donations online for the Ida McKinley Tiara Fund!  Click here to go to our website, where you will find a "donate" button right on the homepage.

The story about our efforts has hit the AP wire and was posted on websites for newspapers and TV stations across the country and around the world!  The story has also aired on WKSU, our local NPR station.

In addition, we are working on two fundraising events -- a high-dollar "Diamond Soiree" in May and a Civil War musical performance in June with a lower ticket price.  More details will be posted about both events next week, when we have the details all worked out. 

We are well on our way to making this thing happen!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More tiara publicity! PLUS "Throwback Thursday"!!

Check out this story in the Akron Beacon Journal this morning!

Our fundraising efforts are really taking off!  It's so exciting to be a part of a community coming together to bring an important artifact back to Canton. 

It reminds me of some of the highlights of the past decade in the Museum's history.  Two specific events come to mind.

First, the community gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the McKinley Monument with great enthusiasm at our "100 Hours Celebration" back in 2007.  Second, we saw an amazing collaboration just this past year with A Secret Gift.

Canton is a wonderful place to work and live.  And the Museum is grateful to be in a community like this one. 

Thank you for all of your support!  People have been coming in all week bringing checks to help us buy the tiara.  We are grateful beyond words.

"Throwback Thursday"!

I'm feeling very proud to be a part of this Museum today, and 100 Hours will always be one of the best community-wide events I've ever been a part of!  The Museum was open for 100 hours -- continuously, all day and all night -- with a full slate of programs and events.  It was absolutely fabulous, in every way.  I worked the Noon to 2AM shift, and it was so much fun!

So here's some "Throwback Thursday" pics for you!

A "Nooks and Crannies" Tour of the Monument

Tethered balloon rides, courtesy of Remax

The penney campaign!  We collected 1.2 million pennies!

Chris and me heading up to the Monument, wearing the volunteer and staff shirts for the event

Butter churning demo in the Cabin

The Monument at night

Mayor Janet Creighton at the official opening ceremony

"Ghost Tours" of the Street of Shops

Our annual Cruisin' Thru History Car Show!

Horse-drawn carriage rides around the grounds and up to the Monument

Haunted History tours with Betty O'Neil Rodderick and smores at the outdoor hearth

A midnight pancake breakfast in the Street of Shops, cooked over the open hearth

An albino wallaby in the Petting Zoo

Ice cream social, the last event of the celebration

Lake Township Historical Society's calliope

Balloon animals!

An old-fashioned baseball game

A baby otter at the Petting Zoo

Did you come to our "100 Hours Celebration"?  Leave a comment if you were there!