Museum Inspiration

WCHCOn a lark, Greg and I drove up to Lebanon, Ohio, this past Saturday to go to the Warren County History Center. I had read that there was an exhibit of Kings Island (the local amusement park) memorabilia there, so we went to check it out.

Once we got into the museum, we found it to be quite large. The volunteer gave us an overview of what we’d find there and then left us to wander. One of the special exhibits going on was inspired by Downton Abbey. It was a collection of 1900-1920s clothing, accessories and shoes from a prominent local family. Yay! I love clothing exhibits!

WCHC black dressI love the lace sleeves on this beaded gown.

WCHC velvet hatThis velvet hat is something I totally would have worn.

WCHC loud dressThe written description of this dress said it was made of loud fabric for the time. I couldn’t help but think of my Mom and her “loud” fabric choices.

WCHC WWI uniformGreg liked the bag that was a part of the WWI uniform. I took lots of photos—we’ll see if I can make one for him.

WCHC Kings IslandThe Kings Island exhibit was a bit underwhelming. There were several collectible plates, some pamphlets and tickets, and short write-ups on long-gone rides. And this poster, which I thought was great.

The museum also included a lot old household items, donated by families around the county.

WCHC embroideryI love the texture of this embroidered piece, and the mix of French knots and scribbled lines.

WCHC hair wreathAny small museum worth its salt is going to have some hair wreaths, and this museum had several. The detail on this one was outstanding. There was also some really nice hair jewelry.

WCHC velvet pillowMore velvet here. I couldn’t touch this pillow, so I’m not entirely sure how it was constructed. But it looks like velvet pieces were puffed and gathered and then sewn together.

WCHC plateNot a great shot here, either, but I really like the mix of alphabet and birds on this plate. The blue band separating the two was beautiful. I could see making a quilt kind of like this.

WCHC WrightThe museum had a fairly large collection of Russel Wright pieces. A Lebanon native, Wright was an industrial designer from the 1920s to the 1960s with a distinctly modern style. He designed dinner ware, like these pieces, and furniture, too.

In addition to all these items, there was a large section on Shaker history and an exhibit on the county’s involvement in the Underground Railroad (because I’m still on that kick).

I think the Warren County History Center is really a great little museum. We were there for over an hour and a half, and that’s with me only looking at the Shaker items, not reading anything. A fun way to spend an afternoon and a great place to find inspiration!