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29, October 2010

Haute Couture History

French designer Christian Dior made this rich red bubble dress circa 1956. He understood how architecture could translate into structurally challenging dresses, and this style of dress is a wonderful example of how he blended his love of architecture and fashion.

The bubble dress is a feat of engineering made possible by the inner construction and draping. Read more »

28, October 2010

Moved by the Spirits at Lemp Mansion

I enjoy a good ghost story, Halloween or not. Lucky for us, St. Louis is home to one of the top haunted houses in the country, the Lemp Mansion. The Lemp family history is riddled with tragedy. Most St. Louisans are familiar with the stories of the decline of the Lemp family—stories of beer brewing and prohibition, lost lives and fortunes, and ghosts of unhappy souls. Somehow, though, this knowledge about the cursed family did not deter my then-fiancé and me from planning our wedding reception at the Grand Hall, a banquet facility that is part of the Lemp Mansion grounds, in January 2000. Read more »

25, October 2010

Water in Perspective

Since the first human settlement on their banks, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers have given life and meaning to the St. Louis region. The confluence of two of North America’s greatest rivers has provided transportation, food, water, and, sometimes without regard to health, sewer services, for the St. Louis region. Today, with about 3 million people in close contact with the river’s influence, planning for the future is more important than ever.

Regional water management planners and users convened on October 14, 2010, to get the broad view on water in our region. Read more »

22, October 2010

Dreaming the Mississippi

By Katherine Fischer (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006)

Reviewed by David Lobbig, Associate Curator of Environmental Life

Dreaming the Mississippi is Katherine Fischer’s passionate account of life on the ever-changing great river of North America. Read more »

18, October 2010

In Memoriam: Leonor Testa Feliciano

The Missouri History Museum lost a good friend recently. Leonor Testa Feliciano, M.D., passed away September 11, 2010, after a valiant battle with cancer. Leonor is remembered among History Museum staff for her long-term commitment to sharing her Filipino culture and heritage. A warm, compassionate, and outspoken adviser, she pushed our exhibition teams to present objects and stories that put people first. Read more »

8, October 2010

Here Come the Brides

Ten years ago, if you asked me for my opinion on the most popular month for a wedding, I would have answered May or June. Today, the spring and early summer months still bear witness to many a bride walking down the aisle. However, brides who don’t want to chance a 90-degree wedding day in the summer or wait two years for their dream venue to be available have begun to plan their weddings in the fall. Read more »

29, September 2010

Collective Memory in St. Louis

Fontbonne University, in partnership with the Missouri History Museum, will soon host a symposium exploring both collective memory and the city of St. Louis. Read more »

24, September 2010

MVVA Team Chosen to Redesign Arch Grounds

Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh and a multidisciplinary team introduced as experts in “urban renewal, preservation, commemoration, social connections and ecological restoration” have been picked for the planning phase of The City+The Arch+The River 2015 International Design Competition.

The jury chose the MVVA Team over four others competing to enliven the area around the Gateway Arch and connect it to downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi River, and the Illinois bank. Read more »

21, September 2010

If You Don’t Know What to Do, Don’t Do It!

September is National Preparedness Month. To most of us these days, that means being ready for natural disasters, with a supply of candles, water, and a radio. But back in the 1940s and 1950s threats of air raids, blackouts, and gas and bomb attacks were real.

Because we just don’t see literature like this anymore, we now bring you some brochures from the Missouri History Museum’s Archives:

The “Civilian Defense Index” of 1942, published by the Massachusetts Indemnity Insurance Company, offers tips on both natural disasters and human-made attacks, along with first aid. Read more »

17, September 2010

Remembering Our Soldiers

A co-worker emailed me a news story about National POW/MIA Day. The article featured a man who, for 39 years, has worn a bracelet bearing the name of a missing soldier from the Vietnam War, someone he had never met. It got me thinking about our own Vietnam display in the Reflections gallery of the Museum, specifically, the story of Richard D. Chorlins. His family has also been waiting more than 39 years for his return to St. Read more »