Thursday, April 19, 2012

Centennial History Displays at MPL

The first of five Through the Decades centennial history displays celebrating the 100th anniversary of MPL is now available for your perusal at the Library.  You'll see it as you come through the front entrance.  Click each image to enlarge.

The displays recount what was happening at the Library, and in America generally, during the decades indicated.  The first display covers the 1920s-1930s.  Subsequent decades will soon follow.

The dress is authentic period.  It was made circa 1900 by the great-grandmother (GGM) of MPL Head of Circulation, Virginia Jensen.  We will be adding a photograph of Virginia's great-grandparents from about the same time.  GGM wore this dress for all her daily activities--she had one dress pattern, said Virginia--and so the dress had to be functional, durable, and practical.  It reflects the straightforward, unpretentiousness of Hoosier farm folk from the turn of the 20th century.  These were honest, hard-working, perseverant people.  You would have liked them, I'm confident.

We decided to have a little fun with the dress.  Virginia said that, as a child, she remembered the dress being among those that the family children were allowed to use for dress-up play.  We wondered how Laura James, MPL Circulation Teamster, would have looked.  (GGM, who stood approximately five feet tall, was about the same height as Laura.)  Laura is standing on one of the circular steps that you see sitting around the Library stacks.

 American Gothic Stoic Stare

 Can We Lose the Shoulders?

There!  Almost Lifelike

Thanks to Laura for being a good sport, and thanks, too, to Virginia and her GGM.

Watch for more of these displays as our anniversary celebration day approaches (Saturday, May 12, 2012).  Maybe Laura will agree to more poses.

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