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Behind the Scenes Tour

Very rarely am I asked to give behind-the-scenes tours as Jeanne and Cindi usually do them, but this past Friday I got to take a small group of Ukrainian journalists on one. They were here as part of a media partnership program with The Daily Press. You can read more about that HERE.

Wanting to pull something from their country, I searched and searched and was only able to come up with one piece, a print of Odessa, which actually shows the city at a time when it was part of Russia.

After that I showed them how we store prints and have used archival board to create dividers within drawers to more easily separate different sized prints. It’s an ongoing project that will probably take years considering the amount of prints in our collection.

Always a popular room, we went to check out the paintings next. I pulled a few of the large pieces from Thomas Skinner to give an idea of some of our larger paintings, but even more popular with this group were the paintings by Montague Dawson (1890-1973). Dawson was a British painter who was so skilled that when he was in the Navy they set him to the task of visually capturing the war (WWI) at sea. A nice biography for Dawson can be found HERE.

Wintry conditions in the Atlantic are Only Now Drawing to a Close, Montague Dawson, 1944

One of the pieces I love to pull out to show people is our tattoo man that belonged to August “Cap” Coleman. The collection of items that belonged to Coleman is one of our most popular and is often requested by other museums. Many of these items we purchased directly from Coleman, while a few others we acquired later. For this group I pulled out the tattoo man, an electric tattoo needle from the 1930’s, the switchboard for the needles, and a set of three hand tattooing needles. You can read more about the Coleman collection HERE.

The sword in the picture above is a new acquisition from last year. It is a Peterson Type K viking sword ca 801-925. Before this sword we did not have any objects from the viking culture, so this is an important addition to the collection.

Overall the tour was a lot of fun and quite interesting for me as I’ve never had to work with an interpreter before. Hopefully we’ll be able to give the next group of journalists a behind the scenes tour as well. A big thank you to Crystal Hines in our Digital Services department for taking pictures of the tour!

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