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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A museum visit

I can't believe I haven't posted since Saturday. I might post a couple of times today and tomorrow, to share the projects I've been working on. But this post is about a museum visit!

On Saturday, my EGA chapter visited a local museum and was treated to a private showing of 40-50 samplers. This is about half of their collection, and they had to get them out of storage. Some of these samplers have not been seen by the public in over 15 years, and most have never been displayed as a museum exhibit, and are not terribly likely to be put on display in the near future. They were great! Those that had not been displayed before were not even under glass, so we had the opportunity to study them closely without worrying about glare. If I were an outsider, I probably would have laughed at 25 women bending over tables, with their hands behind their backs and noses a couple of inches off of whatever was on the table!

While I'm discussing this museum, I have to advertise for it (though I'm completely unaffiliated!). The Strong Museum was started in the early 1980's from the personal collection of Margaret Woodbury Strong. This woman collected thousands of dolls and toys over her lifetime (and a few samplers, apparently, as well).

As an example of Mrs. Strong's collecting skills, one of our members said she had known her from a button collecting club. The curator said they had sold off many of her buttons, but kept a "representative sample" of over 7000 buttons!

Anyway, when I went to the Strong Museum 20 years ago, I just remember cases after cases of dolls. A few years ago, the museum went under a drastic change in mission, and is now known as the Strong National Museum of Play. If you are ever in the Rochester NY area with your kids, you have to take a day (or two) to visit! Oh my gosh! After I had looked at each sampler at least three times, I wandered over to the "Reading Adventureland" exhibit. The best way I can describe it is as a reading playground. There were different sections for various genres: detective stories, fantasy, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, pirate stories, etc. Each section had activities for the kids to try. For example, in the fairy tales section, kids could put on a royal cloak, sit on a throne, make their own crown. In each section, a variety of books were available, to read (while sitting on a throne, if desired!) or to take home, since these were part of the local library system. I got lost in this exhibit for an hour, enjoying all there was to see, and probably would have stayed longer if we didn't have lunch plans! I didn't get to any of the other exhibits, but if they're anything like this, it would take a few visits to get through it all, especially with kids!

1 comment:

Meari said...

That museum sounds like a fabulous place!!