March 8, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
We have many interesting displays in our galleries at the Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets in Junction City and we invite you to come and see them. The Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1 until 4 in the afternoon and admission is free.
In today’s program, we would like to share about some of the displays on the first floor in Gallery One. Heather, our Curator has created a potpourri of items around the theme “Curiosity Cabinets”, which were popular in the 1800’s. One such item was the “What-Not Shelves”. The passion for collecting and displaying ornamental objects began in the 18th century and was widespread in the 19th. This led to the creation of personal “What-Not Shelves” or curio cabinets. These were usually placed in the parlor and were used to display family treasures. The display at the Museum has a collection of things like sea shells, human hair, an armadillo basket, and even a memory jug. “Memory Jugs” were particularly popular with the Victorians. They were made with a vessel, plaster and knickknacks. The knickknacks were of value to the owner. In the example we have on display, G.F. Gordon’s pipe and other small items were cemented onto a jar and lightly sprayed with gold paint then put on display as a way to remember him after he had passed.
There are many other items on display in our “Curiosity Cabinets” including a cape made out of monkey’s hair, a baby’s coffin, home embalming equipment and many others. Stop by and see these unique items when you have a few minutes or a few hours and you will see why we say “Our Past Is Present”.