Reflections From the Curator General

Written by: Barby Frankenberry, Curator General
February 25, 2019

Serving as Curator General for the National Society while “Moving Forward In Service to America,” I have enjoyed many opportunities to utilize photography to capture so many memorable events!  Since it has been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” I want to share just a few of the thousands of “snapshots” of the past three years.

Our beautiful new DAR Museum Gallery renovation certainly brings us into the twenty-first century while keeping the “flavor” of our beloved Headquarters.  Thank you to our DAR Museum Staff who worked diligently moving all the artifacts into storage, meeting with the architects and making suggestions about innovative displays items.  We now have a museum object study area; display cases that are very user friendly; a more accessible quilt area; and so much more! We are so grateful for Mrs. Dillon’s guidance during this project and for including the DAR Museum Exhibit Gallery renovation as one of her President General’s Projects.  We sincerely thank all our members who have made monetary donations or gifted items to our DAR Museum collection.  If you are unable to visit our DAR Museum in person, we hope you will visit us on our website and/or on Facebook.

I learned very quickly that our DAR Museum Staff offers a wealth of knowledge and creativity to their work areas of the Museum.  My appreciation to:  Heidi Campbell-Shoaf, Museum Director and Chief Curator; Patrick Sheary, Curator of Furnishings and Historic Interiors; William Strollo, Curator of Exhibitions; Alden O’Brien, Curator of Costumes; Anne Ruta, Carrie Blough, Leo Sylvester, and Maria Ventura de Franco, Collections Management staff; and Katie Cannon and Hayley Prihoda, Education Curators.

The many new programs developed by our staff help encourage visitors to come participate and see our many DAR Museum areas.  Tickets for the WWI Tea sold out in less than twenty-four hours.  The popular “World’s Fair,” started in 2017, is now an annual event with more than a thousand visitors.  The exhibition, “An Agreeable Tyrant” Fashion after the Revolution, enticed visitors to see our Period Rooms!  The education staff has hosted a summer camp for children age 10-13 where they explore the important women in history through fun activities.  Other new programs include:  “Period Room Periodical”, “Coffee with a Curator”; a Victorian Halloween; a Murder Mystery evening; a YouTube Channel, and even more! We are excited to unveil the newest exhibit in the main gallery in March! A Piece of Her Mind: Culture & Technology in American Quilts will be on exhibit through December 31, 2019. The exhibit highlights the popular culture fads and developments in textile technology that influenced American quilt makers from 1820 to 1920.

The DAR Museum Docents have many “Service To America” hours with all the time they spend in our building touring the multitude of visitors through our thirty-one period rooms and galleries.  When new items are added to an area or changes are made to a room, the Docents must keep up on the many changes!  I want our Docents and Correspondent Docents to know how much their Service is appreciated and how valuable they are to the success of our DAR Museum Outreach Committee program.

I feel so blessed by all the people I have met, friends I have made and the places I have visited over these three years! I hope you enjoy just a few “snapshots” of fun and memories for me!

 

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