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look back look back, but not too far

February 24, 2008

Melania and I went down to the historical society to see the miniatures exhibit, yesterday afternoon.

It was entertaining, in a mild sort of way. Not really what I expected. I thought, because it was at the Historical Society, that it would be vintage doll houses, toys and other items; there were a couple of beautiful, meaningful old dollhouses at the start, but the rest were created scenes, often of nostalgia-laced, Norman Rockwell-type events. I guess that’s where the historical aspect came in.

Apparently “miniatures” is some sort of official hobby. Which pretty much explains aisles 17-32 at Michael’s, I guess.

That said, it would have been nice to have some kind of exhibit commentary around how and why these are created, and which elements (if any) are actually made by the craftsperson, and not merely assembled.

So you’re looking at something besides “cute.”

A lot of the exhibits I’ve seen there, including the quilts, which I really enjoyed, tend to have the same people’s names on them. So they may not quite realize that outside viewers would appreciate a bit more explanation. Or rationale.

Later, we went downstairs past the new “Sports Legends” room and the new theater. I didn’t want to look at the Sports Legends this time, because I’m a purist and don’t like too much mixing around of exhibit aesthetics. It kind of spills out from its room and smacks you across the face, however, with it giant hall-of-fame photographs lining the walkway, and the endlessly-repeating TV screen presentations blaring. Antioch football is a bit of a sore point with me, and I have to work up to confronting it. However, this was done with so much love and dedication, and it was really done beautifully; the room has been transformed into a very well-appointed and informative space.

If they get a Cheerleader Legends annex I might could lose a little of my receptive cool.

But the very best thing was the new theater—now this has real promise! It’s small, maybe 50-75 seats?– seats from the Campanil, and the original carpet as well. And a mind-boggling amazing old movie projector with a hand crank, that apparently was the first projector from the Casino Theater. Because yes, that was the original Antioch theater, built in 1911, and as many years as I’ve been in and out of the Casino building, I never knew this until yesterday.

And THAT is what a Historical Society is for. I’m actually quite glad this one has so much life.

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