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24, January 2015

Searching the Library and Research Center: Missouri Mystery, Magick, and Poetry

During my first year as a graduate assistant at the Missouri History Museum, I was conducting research in the Library and Research Center when I came across a book in the card catalog titled The Water Witch. Being a lover of all things magical, I was intrigued and requested the book from the stacks. While it wasn’t a long-lost tome of ancient magick, I nevertheless found myself enchanted. It turned out to be an absolutely delightful book of Missouri poetry that was published in 1924. Read more »

17, December 2014

Mid-Century St. Louis Through the Lens of the Mac Mizuki Photography Studio Collection

For the past year, I have had the great pleasure of processing the Mac Mizuki Photography Studio collection at the Museum. This collection contains negatives and other material created by Henry T. “Mac” Mizuki in the course of operating his independent photography studio. My job has been to rehouse and catalog the 1,590 separate job assignments included in the collection. Mizuki opened his studio around 1953 and remained in business until his retirement in 1985 or 1986. Read more »

4, March 2013

Do They Look Like Frolickers?

This season of Downton Abbey brought us one of my favorite lines ever, spoken by the offended Mrs. Patmore when accused of “frolicking” with a known prostitute: “Do I look like a frolicker?”

Now, “frolicker” is not a word one normally hears very often. I, however, have had the pleasure of reading it numerous times in the book I’m editing right now, Up North...

Left: Bathing poseurs, Gratiot Beach, 1908. Courtesy of Douglas Scott Brookes.
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21, June 2012

Behind It All: Observations of an Exhibit Installation

The installation of Missouri History Museum's upcoming Underneath It All exhibition is well under way. Risers have been placed around the outer wall, providing the perfect height to view the "models" as they strut their stuff through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries of women's fashion. With the "runway" constructed, exhibition curator Shannon Meyer and exhibition registrar Amy Berra transport the artifacts/costumes from the Museum's storage facility to the exhibition gallery. Read more »

15, March 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

“Action!” “Cut!” “That’s a wrap!” These are not phrases typically heard in a museum setting, but they were on Monday evening in the Missouri History Museum’s Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age exhibition. The crew of D3D Cinema, a film production firm, transformed the exhibition into a movie set as they captured footage for their upcoming IMAX film The Ice Age. Throughout the evening, they captured images of visitors viewing the exhibition and interviewed renowned mammoth and mastodon expert Dan Fisher. Once released this summer, it will serve as the companion film to Mammoths and Mastodons, and future venues will have the option to show it alongside the exhibition. Read more »

2, February 2012

Translating Pictures

Working on the Missouri History Museum’s ADA exhibit (The Americans with Disabilities Act: Twenty Years Later) helped me think about and then expand what I knew (or thought I knew) about accessibility. One of the commitments the exhibit team made was to provide Braille label text throughout the exhibit. Read more »

11, January 2012

Behind the Scenes of Mammoths and Mastodons

As an exhibit designer and project manager at the Missouri History Museum, I have the opportunity to do a lot of cool things in my job. November 18, 2011, was an especially memorable day at the Missouri History Museum, as we welcomed two new members to the staff—a Columbian mammoth and a short-faced bear. Both of them now grace our entrance area and Grand Hall, welcoming visitors to MHM, creating excitement about our newest exhibition—Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age—and helping us to learn more about these magnificent creatures. Read more »

9, December 2011

Memories of the Opening of the Library and Research Center

December 2011 marks the twentieth anniversary of the opening of the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center (LRC). Prior to that time, all of the Museum’s artifacts were housed in the Jefferson Memorial Building.[...]

Photo at left: Decked in bunting and afloat with balloons, the Missouri Historical Society's Library and Research Center welcomes MHM members for a reception and tour on December 15, 1991. Read more »

2, December 2011

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Transporting Mammoths and Mastodons to St. Louis

The movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles was released almost exactly twenty-four years ago in 1987, which documents the struggles that Neal Page and Del Griffith face as they try to go home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. As weather, flight cancellations, and other disasters occur, the two are forced to adapt their original travel plans and work together in order to get home. Read more »

27, October 2011

Woven into My Life

Working on the Woven in Time exhibit has been a new experience for me! As Curator of Domestic Life at the Missouri History Museum, I frequently handle household artifacts. For this collaboration with the Weavers’ Guild of St. Louis, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary, I’ve had the opportunity to also work with textiles and clothing.

One highlight of installing the Woven in Time exhibit was getting to meet Connie Curtiss Hilgert. Read more »