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16, January 2013

The Doll Project

The memorials are easy to miss. A group of stuffed animals, maybe some photos, a cross draped with flowers—roadside tributes have become a ubiquitous feature of the American landscape. But when you stop and look more closely, you find that these monuments are telling stories: stories of loss but also of life.

Image at left: Lois Ingrum, creator of the "Doll Project." Read more »

8, August 2012

Uncovering the Details: Underneath It All

The Underneath It All exhibit (currently open at the Missouri History Museum) is a visually stunning display of fashionable silhouettes from 19th century and beyond. Much work was done behind the scenes before the exhibit opened, and Missouri History Museum intern Bobby Watson photographed and documented the installation. His images and observations are below.
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31, May 2012

Some Old Friends from Camp

When I started my internship at the Missouri History Museum, I was most excited about the opportunity to work with rare and beautiful objects that I would never come across in my everyday life. There is something wonderful about meeting, learning about, and handling objects that are one-of-a-kind. So imagine my surprise when the most poignant find for me was an object that I had spent every summer with throughout my growing years.

Photo at left: Coleman portable glass stove, ca. 1960s. Courtesy of Maggie Abbott. Read more »

22, May 2012

Fire! Friend and Foe Now Open

Be it a simple spark or a roaring inferno, fire elicits both fear and fascination. Fire warms us, but it can just as easily destroy us. Flames can engulf a city, leaving death and destruction. By harnessing fire, workers forge sturdy steel and artists create delicate glass objects of great beauty. Campfires and candlelit services create a sense of community and camaraderie. Using artifacts from its extensive collection and local collectors, the Missouri History Museum examines the mystifying duality of fire in a family-friendly new exhibition, Fire! Friend and Foe. Read more »

18, May 2012

About Hunger in the 1930s

The powerful exhibit About Hunger & Resilience will be closing on May 28. When I learned about this exhibit I immediately thought of a book we published in 2007, The Boyhood Memoirs of A. E. Hotchner: King of the Hill and Looking for Miracles. Hotchner recounts his childhood in St. Louis during the Depression, when jobs and food were scarce.

Left: Author A. E. Hotchner, who lived with hunger during the Depression. Read more »

12, April 2012

Whodunit? A Mystery of Mammoth Proportions

What exactly killed off mammoths and mastodons nearly 13,000 years ago? That is the question that scientists have been trying to answer for years. Even in our current exhibition, Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, a media piece poses the question with no definitive answers. It does, however, postulate that mammoths’ and mastodons’ extinction stemmed from at least one of four possibilities: a devastating meteorite impact, disease, overhunting, or climate change. Read more »

5, April 2012

Mammoths, Mastodons, and Mankind

As hosting curator of the Missouri History Museum’s presentation of Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, I’ve mostly played the role of awestruck student. This exhibit was first presented at its originating institution, Chicago’s Field Museum, and is a rare glimpse at the preserved remains of some of the largest mammals ever to walk the earth.

Image at left: C. W. Beehler at the Kimmswick bone bed, surrounded by mastodon remains, ca. 1901. Missouri History Museum. Read more »

23, March 2012

Hunger Isn’t a Game

I don’t know much about the book or movie The Hunger Games, but it’s all I’ve been hearing about for the past few days. It takes place in a dystopian future where food is hard to come by. Read more »

13, March 2012

I'm Going to Need an Extension on That

The continued preservation of cultural artifacts for future generations is a crucial responsibility for institutions such as the Missouri History Museum. There are a variety of methods to preserve different types of artifacts, and sometimes the best way could mean adding something to the original piece. These additions, or stabilizations, can be incredibly small, like when a textile conservator uses only a few stitches to mend a tear in a historical garment. But stabilizations can also be incredibly big, as when preserving a painting in its original frame. Read more »

9, March 2012

About Hunger, About Resilience, About America

About Hunger & Resilience is an exhibit that shows the faces and shares the voices of American poverty. Moving beyond statistics and political rhetoric, photographer Michael Nye has shot portraits and recorded stories of the “other America.” In these images and audio stories visitors will find pictures of pain and struggle but also glimpses of hope and grit. The exhibit runs at the Missouri History Museum from March 10 to May 28, 2012.

Included below are photos and excerpts of stories from some of the people visitors will meet through this exhibit. Read more »