"EdinaScapes" exhibit opened on Sunday. All the work that led up to the grand opening party, the time spent hanging the art, the publicity and promotion, and label writing is done. Whew!
But we have no time to rest on our laurels. Even before "EdinaScapes" opened, we were already working on our next exhibit, which will open sometime in February or March. I'm not quite ready to announce the topic, but I'll be shooting photos of the artifacts soon and will post them next week. We think the show will be a great draw. Or to put it less professionally: It. Will. Be. Awesome!
But even before the next exhibit opens, we're thinking about the next next exhibit, which would open in 2015. (Yes, we do work that far ahead - two years flies by before you know it.) Right now, we're at the brainstorming stage and I'm looking for your help. What would be a great exhibit for the Edina History Museum?
We have a few guidelines:
So let me show you some examples of past exhibits to spark some ideas.
Morningside: A Century of Good Neighbors
This brought in perhaps a record number of visitors, with 250 people attending the grand opening alone, thanks to great partnerships with neighborhood groups, like the Morningside Woman's Club, the Morningside Neighborhood Association, the Morningside Community Church and a dedicated group of Morningside School alumni who made it their mission to spread the word and organize a reunion. We also had help organizing a home tour, where current homeowners opened their homes to past residents.
Many current and former residents looked through their attics and basements and donated or loaned items for display. As a result, the Edina Historical Society added hundreds of great artifacts to its collection, including the interior shot of Carlson's Odd Shop (above), donated by the owner's daughter Marilyn Carlson.
The exhibit continued to draw people throughout its year-long run, and we still receive donated artifacts as a result of connections made during that year.
We can do something similar for any Edina neighborhood, but we need partners on the project. Contact me if you're interested in finding out more.
"To Protect and Serve: The History of Edina Police and Fire Departments"
Both departments already had unofficial historians: Kevin Rofidal with Edina Police and Steve Nelson with Edina Fire. I had chatted with them several times during their research, and we decided to create an exhibit. Why not take all this great info and bring it to the public to enjoy?
We started with tons of photos, but few three-dimensional artifacts. In the year of development, however, they contacted former Edina employees, dug through storage rooms and borrowed from private collections to create a fun exhibit. (Even children appreciated this display, with its old mug shot cameras, jail door and skeleton key, and old firefighting equipment with some similarity to Super Soaker water guns.)
The grand opening -- despite pouring rain -- brought together a great crowd of retired employees as well as people who wanted to meet Edina's K9 dogs and see fire trucks.
Does your community group have some cool stuff to show off? Would an exhibit help you round up artifacts from members' basements? Contact me to see if we can combine collections for your own display.
"Edina's Greatest Generation: From the Home Front to the Front Lines"
I knew city employee Vince Cockriel had an impressive collection of World War II artifacts through our conversations and his small displays at the Edina Senior Center. Still, I didn't want to put up a exhibit without some Edina connection. Then, the Edina Veteran's Memorial Committee formed and member Marshall Schwartz visited our research library frequently to find out more information about Edina's veterans.
Aha! Now we had local stories that could be told with Vince's collection. During development, we asked the public for their stories and many people donated or loaned photographs, uniforms, Victory Garden signs, ration cards and other pieces that told the story of Edina's soldiers, as well as what was going on at home during World War II.
I loved that this exhibit allowed Edina residents to tell their own families about their war stories.
Do you own a fabulous collection that we can augment with local stories? Let's talk about the possibilities!
2015 will be here before you know it.
What Edina stories interest you? What would make you visit the Edina History Museum? Please comment here or email me.
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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