Red Bird Stadium and Emerson Burkhart

Our latest exhibition, Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart is opening on Wednesday, September 3.  Emerson Burkhart (1905-1969) ruled the Columbus art scene during the 1950s and 1960s with his honest portraits and depictions of life in the city.

Burkhart painting at Red Bird Stadium, 1948, Ohio History Connection Collections, AV 58.

Burkhart painting at Red Bird Stadium, 1948, Ohio History Connection Collections, AV 58.

While Burkhart was praised for his artistic skill, conflicts in his personal and professional life prevented him from receiving national attention.  Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart displays never seen artwork by Burkhart, including the original sketches for the controversial mural Music.

Emerson Burkhart documented life around Columbus, including a series of watercolors paintings done at Red Bird Stadium. Red Bird Stadium was the original  name for Cooper Stadium where the Columbus Red Birds, and later the Columbus Clippers, played.

Cooper Stadium was a landmark in the Columbus landscape. Opened in 1932, the stadium IMG_2279hosted several baseball teams and a football team. It was constructed based on blueprints for Red Wing Stadium in Rochester, New York, but was renovated in 1977 with the return of minor league baseball to Columbus. Though it held several names over the years, in 1984 the stadium was renamed in honor of Harold Cooper, the county commissioner who was responsible for keeping baseball in Columbus in the 1950s. Over the years, Cooper Stadium hosted several players who made it to the major leagues including Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Derek Jeter. On September 1, 2008, the final game was played by the Columbus Clippers in Cooper Stadium to a sell out crowd of 16,777. The Columbus Clippers moved to Huntington Park in 2009. Recently, it was announced part of the stadium would be demolished  for a new racetrack.

IMG_2282Emerson Burkhart documented life as he saw it happening on a daily basis. He helped preserved memories of life and places in Columbus that no longer exists. To see Burkhart’s portrayal of Red Bird Stadium, visit Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart.

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Ask a Curator Day Returns!

Ask a Curator Day is Back!

Ask A Curator Logo
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 curators from around the world will be answering questions from the public via Twitter for Ask a Curator Day. And our own curators will be joining in on the fun!

How does it work?
By using the hashtag #AskaCurator. The public can ask questions to specific museums by using the museum’s Twitter handle in the tweet (So, if you are asking us a question you will use our handle @OhioHistory and the hashtag #AskaCurator.

Why?
Why not. As stated on the official Ask a Curator Day website, “Museums and galleries not only house fascinating collections, they are also the home to leading experts who love to share their passion for art, history and science.” It’s that simple.

People are encouraged to ask anything related to museums, collections, professional standards and training, or anything else that curators might be able to answer. Examples are:

General: Why did you become a curator? What did you study in school?

Practice: Why do curators wear gloves? Why can’t I take photos?

Collection: What is the largest piece in your collection? What is the most controversial piece in your collection?

Personal: Have you ever been grossed out by an object in your collection? What is your favorite piece?

Specialized: Can you tell how many times a musket has been fired? Why are the frames of “masterpieces” so detailed?

A huge “thank you” goes to our curatorial staff who have agreed to take time out of their busy schedules to participate tomorrow. Answering questions in 140 characters or less can be fun (and a bit of a challenge) and some questions may require a quick bit of research. The goal of Ask a Curator Day is connect our in-house experts with an interested public…digitally and differently than they may have before.

Who will be answering your questions?

Cliff Eckle – Currency, fire arms, flags, military collections and political memorabilia

Erin Cashion –  Natural History; Ohio birds, and reptiles & amphibians

Dave Dyer – Natural History; Ohio mammals, Ice Age animals, fossils

Brad Lepper – Ohio archaeology

Lisa Wood – Historic film and photography

Emily Lang- Ohio art and textiles

Invite your friends and family to join in! To learn more about Ask a Curator Day click here to visit the project website.

Looking for more information about Twitter and how it works? Click here for an introduction to get you started.

We look forward to answering your questions!

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Register Your Kroger Plus Card to Support Ohio History!

Don’t forget to register your Kroger Plus Card to support Ohio History! The more you shop, the more rewards you earn for history.

Last year, our staff, volunteers, members and friends raised over $2,100! Register your Kroger Plus Card today and Kroger will donate a percentage of your purchases to benefit the work of the Ohio History Connection.

Best of all, the only cost is a few minutes of your time. All participants must re-enroll each year to make their purchases eligible for community rewards.

  1. Go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com
  2. To find the nearest participating Kroger store, please select “View participating Columbus, Ohio stores” or “View participating Cincinnati, Ohio stores.” Please note that Kroger’s Columbus Division has participating stores throughout the central, northwest, and southeast region of Ohio. Kroger’s Cincinnati Division has participating stores throughout the southwest region of Ohio.
  3. Select your location and register with your Kroger Plus Card.
  4. When asked which nonprofit you would like to support, enter the organization number: 84059.
  5. Shop at Kroger and use your Kroger Plus Card at the register.

Be sure to register today to make all your purchases eligible. Help us get the word out by sharing this great opportunity with your friends and family.

It’s easy… just shop, swipe your card and earn!

kroger

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State Wide I Found It In the Archives Contest

Cast a vote for your favorite I Found It In the Archives entry from institutions across Ohio!

I FOUND IT IN THE ARCHIVES

The statewide competition is sponsored by the Society of Ohio Archivists. There are finalists from three organizations:

Click here to read the entries and make your selection. Voting ends on August 31, 2014.

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Prepping for Our Latest Exhibit, Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart

From SC 22

From SC 22

Our latest exhibition, Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart is opening on Wednesday, September 3.  Emerson Burkhart (1905-1969) ruled the Columbus art scene during the 1950s and 1960s with his honest portraits and depictions of life in the city. While Burkhart was praised for his artistic skill, conflicts in his personal and professional life prevented him from receiving national attention.  Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart displays never seen artwork by Burkhart, including the original sketches for the controversial mural Music.

Annotation in one of his books.

Burkhart’s annotation in one of his books.

The Ohio History Connection is fortunate to have a large archival collection of letters, personal mementos, and notes from the artist in MSS 440. Part of this collection includes books from Burkhart’s personal library. Burkhart used these books to keep track of paintings he sold, experiment with block printing, and even wrote letters in them. When doing research for the exhibition, a passionate letter was found to his wife Mary Ann in A Bibliography of the First Editions of John Cowper Pawys. Emerson and Mary Ann had a troubled relationship and simple arguments often turned into loud brawls. After one particularly bad fight, Mary Ann left the house and Burkhart wrote this letter to her in the book,

BurkhartMaryAnn“If you go, I die, where you are there I want to be also. I talk reason but sweetheart there is no logic in love…Mary Ann you tromp on my tears, what do I need to do to convince you I love you. Why did I let you go and in a storm? Yes the world is coming to an end for me.”

To learn more about their relationship and to see the portrait of Mary Ann painted by Emerson, visit Reflections of an Artist: Emerson Burkhart opening September 3.The exhibit will be displayed in the Archives Library 3rd floor gallery and a companion piece on creating art using Burkhart’s mediums will be in the Spotlight Gallery on the first floor of the Museum Center.

Emily Lang, History Curator

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I Found it in the Archives Winner!

Congratulations to Deborah M. Tracy the winner of the 2014 I Found it in the Archives Deborah M. Tracycontest! Deborah discovered her maternal great-grandfather name’s was Jasper Haddock, an ancestor previously unknown to her family, and that he served in the heralded 55th Massachusetts Colored Infantry, the unit consisting of the overflow of African-American recruits for the legendary 54th, featured in the 1989 movie, Glory.

Thanks to everyone who participated and voted!

Check out the results below:

Capture

 

 

 

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Meow! Cat Collecting in Ohio

From the Albert Ewing Collection. A girl sits on a chair with her cat as her portrait is taken, likely in Southeastern Ohio.

From the Albert Ewing Collection. A girl sits on a chair with her cat as her portrait is taken, likely in Southeastern Ohio.

Are you a cat person? While historically, dogs were more popular as domestic pets in the United States, cats are currently the most popular animal in the United States today with 90 million cats in 34% of home.

Ohioans have long appreciated the physical and personality traits of this domesticated creature. In honor of #MuseumCats day, we are taking a look at a few items in our history collection celebrating the feline.

IMG_3200

H 23508

One of the earliest depictions of cats in our collection is a figurine. H 23508 was made in 1900 and used by a young girl in central Ohio. This felt tabby was well loved by its owner, perhaps because she was not allowed to own a cat in her house.

H 20048

H 20048

Another way cats were depicted in material culture was through samplers, quilts, and coverlets. H 20048 is a sampler made in 1927 by Mary Stofer of Mansfield, Ohio. Stofer was just a child when she created this intricate piece. The cross-stitched sampler shows a small brown and red house surrounded by trees, a red well, a brown fence, chickens, birds, a cat and a dog. At the center are two figures, a man and a woman with the words “Hame’s Best” underneath them. Stofer could have been portraying her own family and home, complete with a domesticated cat.

H 52235

H 52235

One of our most popular cat related objects (especially around Halloween!) is H 52235. This child’s wooden chair dates from 1930. Not much is known about the provenance and there are no markings indicating a company or artist. It was likely enjoyed by a child living near Marietta, Ohio. The black cats on the front legs of the chair stare into the eyes of the viewer; this has even frightened some visitors to the Ohio History Connection!

A Hello Kitty plush doll purchased by curator Emily Lang at King's Island in Mason, Ohio in 2002.

A Hello Kitty plush doll purchased by curator Emily Lang at King’s Island in Mason, Ohio in 2002.

Ohio still has a strong cat appreciation today. The “Grumpy Cat” meme franchise started in Ohio and still has its corporate headquarters there today. The Cat Fanciers’ Association, started in 1906 after breaking ties with the American Cat Association, is based in Alliance, Ohio. Ohioans still collect cat related material culture today, including members of our own staff!

Do you own a cat? Do you collect any cat material culture?

Emily Lang, History Curator

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