Confessions of a Curator
I know, I know….love… (cheese alert) who wants to read about that? Honestly, I think we all do (maybe some of us in secret). I think we are all a bit romantic at heart and we all want to hear happy stories that bring smiles to faces and bear witness to that bit of glossed over mooniness that washes over us as we tell the tales of how we met our significant other, or how our parents or grandparents met. A good love story is the ultimate icebreaker -“So how did you guys meet?” is often one of the first conversations we have with potential new friends. Everyone wants to share that story.
The Personality of an Exhibit
The emotion in our personal stories bring our museum exhibits to life. We are a community museum, we want to tell our community stories. The stories we share do not always have to be historically heavy. Sometimes they can just be light, funny, endearing, whimsical, heartfelt…it is these kind of stories that help define the communities within this County. I truly believe it is these quirkier stories that lend themselves to some personality and relatability within the museum.
This summer’s new exhibit “Affectionately Yours” will reveal some personality through local love stories that we have discovered in the museum and archival collections. After this very long COVID year, I wanted to have a fun exhibit that brings joy, brings a bit of sweetness, and perhaps a bit cheese for us to grin at because I think we are all missing our personal connections.
We have discovered love letters, love tokens, jewelry, quilts, wedding apparel, valentines, journals and photographs. We have stories of happily ever afters, sadly there are also stories of love lost and some love that is broken. But who is say those sad and broken loves aren’t worth the telling, some of our history’s greatest love stories have not ended in happily ever after.
Okay, I won’t be chicken, I will tell you a bit of mine…. I met my husband, Greg, in high school, yep…that’s right, high school. In 1995, at our grade 13 prom, our group of friends were leaving to go to the after party. While in the parking lot, we were goofing around with some coconuts (it was a Hawaiian themed prom). Greg’s date asked me to throw her the coconut. Well I guess my baseball days got the better of me, so I did! BUT, she instead of palming it, she caught it right in the face. I swear I truly felt bad. Did I subconsciously want to knock my competition out of the game? We have been examining my coconut throw for years!
I guess I must have impressed him with my shot – because Greg called me and asked me out for a movie. Twenty-six years later, we have- lived in our first tiny apartment, graduated university, married, coped with a chronic sickness, built a house (for reals like we hauled drywall, hammered stud walls, laid flooring, lifted trusses built it!), travelled parts of the world, had 2 babies, settled into careers, and we are still holding onto this crazy ride of ours. What makes it so wonderful is that to this day neither one of us can look at a coconut without laughing! Don’t worry- Greg’s date was fine…she went onto to have a love story of her own.
Do You Have A Story To Share?
Okay so I just shared a tidbit my love story, can you share yours? I want to hear it. I really do! I would love to include your story in this exhibit. Furthermore, do you have an object that represents your love? Can you guess what my object would be? Yes, that’s right…a coconut. What is your object? It doesn’t have to be traditional or practical…It just has to be the object that brings your love to mind!
As always with the exhibits that I curate, I leave a bit for you to curate too. I love the mix of old and new with my exhibits, our present (along with our past) has important stories to tell, so I always want to make sure we include it.
Has your love story shifted? Did it break or was it lost? These are also important stories to tell. It is this story that shaped you. Let me know if you have something and let’s discuss it, I may include it in the exhibit, along with your story. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Come now, be brave! I just told you I threw a coconut at someone!