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31, August 2010

Without a Passport

Rome. Paris. Florence. Japan.
The names may sound exotic, but all can be found right here in Missouri.

After talking to a friend who didn’t seem excited about an upcoming trip to Mexico, St. Louis photographer Nancy Bridges discovered that Missouri is home to a number of towns named after international locales. Read more »

26, August 2010

Celebrating Mass in New Madrid

Visitors who have enjoyed the Vatican Splendors exhibit at the Missouri History Museum may want to visit the current display in the Library and Research Center reading room, which features artifacts and documents related to Catholics in Missouri. Among the artifacts is a pair of pewter casters used during Mass at the first Catholic Church in New Madrid, Missouri.

St. Isidore Church in New Madrid was established in 1789, the same year the town was founded. Read more »

23, August 2010

Putting on a Show

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of articles exploring the history of the Saint Louis Zoo as it celebrates its centennial. The History Museum has partnered with the Zoo to develop an exhibit chronicling its first 100 years. The Zootennial exhibit is located on the Zoo grounds in the 1917 Elephant House, now Peabody Hall. Read more »

20, August 2010

Remembering Sammy Lane Resort

On a recent phone conversation with my mother, she informed me that she and Dad are taking a vacation to Branson, Missouri. Read more »

18, August 2010

A Voice Heard

The Sunday after the opening of the exhibit The Americans with Disabilities Act: 20 Years Later here at the Missouri History Museum, I arrived at work a little earlier than normal in order to beat the large crowds expected for the 20th annual Disability Pride Parade in Forest Park. I noticed a woman heading toward traffic in her motorized wheelchair around the circle drive at the museum. As she passed me I pointed out the accessible ramps installed along the sidewalks. Read more »

10, August 2010

Father of Waters

One day during my first year of working in the Library and Research Center of the Missouri History Museum I was showing materials to a group of elementary school children. The idea was to show them items from the collection that would give them a sense of history of the area. They could look at old newspapers, magazines, atlases, maps, and books about St. Louis. Fourteen years later, I still smile when I see one of the items that we showed the kids. It was a map of the Mississippi River that starts with the headwaters in Minnesota and goes down to the Gulf of Mexico. Read more »

3, August 2010

The Saint of St. Louis

The current display in the Library and Research Center reading room complements the History Museum’s Vatican Splendors exhibit. The display explores objects in our collection pertaining to Catholics in the St. Louis area.

Although there are only nine American saints, the St. Louis metropolitan region can claim one. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769–1852) grew up and entered religious life in Grenoble, France (which Americans may recall as the scene of the 1968 Winter Olympics). Read more »

3, August 2010

Rolling with the Changes: Keeping Up with Storage Technology

During my time in the Missouri History Museum’s conservation lab as the Williams intern, I have enjoyed working on a variety of projects—each rewarding in their own way. One of the largest and most visually interesting projects I have participated in is the rehousing of the Missouri History Museum’s rolled textile collection. The word “textile” refers to any goods that are produced through weaving, knitting, or felting, which includes clothing items such as gowns or household items like bedding and draperies. Read more »

30, July 2010

Ode to Glory: Restoring a Grand Collection of Costumes

Dancer and performer Katherine Dunham gave a large portion of her fanciful collection of costumes to the Missouri History Museum in 1991. Miss Dunham and her dance troupe wore the costumes on stages around the world, starting in the 1930s. Many of these ingenious designs were created by Dunham’s husband, renowned theater designer John Pratt.

Since receiving the collection, the Museum has meticulously conserved 45 of the costumes and related textiles, which were included in the recent exhibition Beyond the Dance. Read more »

27, July 2010

A Brief History of…Minnie Wood Memorial Square

In south St. Louis there is a small park with a playground located on S. Broadway and Meramec. I have been by the park a few times in my life and never really knew the name of it or for whom it was named…until recently. After preliminary research involving how the park was named, I was intrigued by the information about this woman. Her name was Minnie Wood and the park is called Minnie Wood Memorial Square.

Born in Germany as Minnie Sommers, she and her parents immigrated to Columbia, Illinois, in 1851. This is a town known for its German heritage. Read more »