State Historical Museum explores Victorian Iowa with new exhibit Oct. 1 – Nov. 27, 2005

For immediate release September 16, 2005

 

 

Contact: Jeff Morgan, (515) 281-3858

Discover Victorian Iowa opens in conjunction with Alice Cycle art show

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Museum will bring tea parties, parlor games, paintings and more to Des Moines October 1-November 27, 2005, in a new exhibit called Discover Victorian Iowa.

The exhibit will feature a Victorian parlor and a number of fun-filled family events, including chess tournaments, parlor games, tea parties, special guest speakers and presentations, storytelling and gallery walks led by Iowa artist Mary Kline-Misol, whose Lewis Carroll-inspired paintings from her Alice Cycle also will be exhibited.

“For today’s younger generation, gathering in the family room around the television for a favorite show or playing video games with neighborhood kids are common evening and weekend activities,” Department of Cultural Affairs Director Anita Walker said. “But children living during the Victorian Era did not have family rooms or video games. They had parlors and parlor games. This exhibit and the events involved with it are terrific opportunities for children and their families to learn how people had fun and enjoyed themselves during the Victorian era in Iowa.”

As part of the exhibit, families can explore the literature, history and customs of the Victorian era through an interactive interpretation of a 1880s Victorian parlor, which has been constructed in the second floor gallery. Parlor games and tea parties, as well as readings from Victorian children’s books and interactive presentations on Victorian life, customs, and etiquette will be offered during Family Days in October and November.

In addition, the museum is pleased to present the paintings of Iowa artist Kline-Misol, whose work is inspired by the lifetime and written works of Lewis Carroll. Nearly 40 of her paintings will be on display, and she will be giving several gallery walks talking about the extensive historical research she conducted on the life of Lewis Carroll and Victorian history before painting the Alice Cycle.

Please contact Heather King at 515-281-8754 or Heather.King@iowa.gov for more information about Discover Victorian Iowa programming and activities.

Following is a list of events that will be held during the run of the exhibit:

October 1, 2005
Exhibit Opening/Family Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. unless otherwise noted
Visitors will learn how to play Victorian games, hear storytellers, listen to special presentations and have a lesson in chess playing. Chess tables created by Des Moines Public Schools students through a summer workshop with Kline-Misol will be on display in the atrium.

· Victorian Parlor Games and Children’s Literature - different games from the Victorian period can be played in the parlor area throughout the afternoon. Children will be able to try on a hoop skirt and a vest, and learn to tie a bowtie; play games like chess, checkers, nine pins, pick up sticks, Jacob’s ladder, graces and jacks. Many children’s books popular in the late 19th century will also be available.

· Des Moines Public School District Art Display – Painted chess tables created by Des Moines Public Schools students during a summer workshop with artist Kline-Misol will be on display in the atrium.

· 9:45 a.m: Lewis Carroll Chess Demonstration. Kids from local chess leagues will compete. Seasoned players will be available to teach the game to visitors, who will be encouraged to spend some time learning and playing in the atrium.

· 11 a.m.: Mary Bennett and Paul Juhl present Iowa Stereographs: Popular Parlor Pastime. Along with games and reading, Victorian children and adults alike also enjoyed looking at stereographic photographs. Hear the history of these unique images; learn how they were created and experience 100-year-old images of Iowa come-to-life in stereovision! Four different 15-minute presentations on the Grinnell Tornado, the State Capital Building, Clear Lake, Iowa, and The Corn Palace in Sioux City will follow introductory comments.

· 12:30 p.m.: Victorian Yard Games Demonstration. Learn how to play popular Victorian yard games on the Grand Terrace.

· 1 p.m.: Maureen Korte presents Alice. Experience popular scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in the parlor! Don’t just listen to the stories, but watch them unfold before you, and participate in the action, too!

· 2 p.m.: Gallery Walk with Artist Mary Kline-Misol. Local Iowa Artist Mary Kline-Misol will give a guided gallery walk for families. Learn how she researched the topics of her images, from reading novels to visiting far away places! Gallery walk begins in Classrooms A/B with a short slide lecture, followed by a tour of the gallery with the artist. $5 per person. Reservations suggested but not required. Contact Heather King at 515-281-8754 or heather.king@iowa.gov for more information.

October 8, 2005
History Together: Victorian Visits: 9 a.m.-Noon & 1-4 p.m
An exciting collaboration between Terrace Hill and the State Historical Society of Iowa offers a new program called History Together: Victorian Visits. The public is invited to explore the new exhibit, Discover Victorian Iowa, at the State Historical Society. Participants will learn how to make a Victorian calling card and proper etiquette while hearing stories and songs from local storyteller Nina Givan in the parlor. As part of the same program, participants will visit Terrace Hill, the historic Governor’s mansion, and enjoy a guided tour of the home and a special treat in the carriage house. Transportation between events is provided via a special bus tour of intriguing historic locations. Tickets are $35 per adult/child couples, and $10 per additional child. Limit two children per adult. Reservations are required. Contact Heather King at 515-281-8754 or heather.king@iowa.gov for more information.

October 15, 2005
8 a.m.-4 p.m. unless otherwise noted

· Lewis Carroll Society of North America Fall Meeting – The LCSNA is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering Lewis Carroll studies. Join them for the fall meeting, which is free and open to the public. The group will present a film during the morning and then adjourn for a short lunch. Afternoon activities consist of several talks by national scholars. The featured speaker will be Frankie Morris, author of Artists of Wonderland: The Life, Political Cartoons, and Illustrations of Tenniel. For more information visit the LCSNA at www.lewiscarroll.org.

· Des Moines Public School District Art Display: Painted chess tables created by Des Moines Public School students during a summer workshop with artist Mary Kline-Misol will be on display in the atrium.

· 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Nina Givan, Storyteller in the Parlor – Hear and watch popular fairytales and nursery rhymes come to life in the parlor with two special performances by Nina Givan, a local storyteller who will take on the persona of a Victorian Lady to tell these great stories! Performances are free to the public.

· Victorian Parlor Games and Children’s Literature – Different games from the Victorian period can be played in the parlor area throughout the afternoon. Children will be able to try on a hoop skirt, a vest, and learn to tie a bowtie; play games like chess, checkers, nine pins, pick up sticks, Jacob’s ladder, graces and jacks. Also available will be many of the children’s books that were popular in the late 19th century.

November 12, 2005
Family Day: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. unless otherwise noted
Family Day activities will center on exploring Victorian Customs and Etiquette.

· Victorian Parlor Games and Children’s Literature – Different games from the Victorian period can be played in the parlor area throughout the afternoon. Children will be able to try on a hoop skirt, a vest, and learn to tie a bowtie; play games like chess, checkers, nine pins, pick up sticks, Jacob’s ladder, and jacks. Also available will be many of the children’s books that were popular in the late 19th century.

· Des Moines Public School District Art Display – Painted chess tables created by DMPS kids through a summer workshop with artist Mary Kline-Misol will be on display in the atrium.

· 10 a.m.: Gallery Walk with Artist Mary Kline-Misol – Local Iowa Artist Mary Kline-Misol will be giving a guided gallery walk for families. Learn how Mary researched the topics of her images, from reading novels to visiting far away places! Gallery walk begins in classrooms A/B with a short slide lecture, followed by a tour of the gallery with the artist. $5 per person. Reservations suggested but not required. Please contact Heather King at 515-281-8754 or heather.king@iowa.gov for more information.

· 11 a.m.: Bonnie and Donna from Historic Montauk present Victorian Etiquette and Customs – Learn about Victorian life from two Victorian-costumed women! Proper salutations, behaviors, and popular pastimes and customs will be explored during this interactive presentation.

· Noon: Nina Givan, Storyteller in the Parlor – Hear and watch popular fairytales and nursery rhymes come to life in the parlor with a special performance by Nina Givan, a local storyteller who will take on the persona of a Victorian Lady to tell these great stories! Performance is free to the public.

· 1 p.m.: Hats, Hats, Hats! – Create your very own Victorian hat and make sure to wear it to the tea party! Workshop is limited to 30 kids and will cost $5 per person. Local artist Mary Zirkelbach will be hosting the program. Contact Heather King at 515-281-8754 or heather.king@iowa.gov for more information.

· 1:30 p.m.: Special Vault Tour “Victorian Life” – This one and one-half hour-long behind-the-scenes walking tour explores the museum’s “vault,” and underground, climate-controlled storage facility that is home to more than 100,000 artifacts in the State Historical Society collection. This special tour will focus primarily on the furniture, finery, pottery and china of the Victorian age. These tours are limited to groups of 20; reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for children. Reservations can be made by calling the Iowa Museum Store at (515) 283-1757.

· 2 p.m.: Tea Time – “Imagine yourself in Alice’s adventure during an interactive theatrical reenactment of the Mad Hatter Tea!”

November 19
Victorian Lady’s Tea: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

A Lady’s Tea presented by Patricia Tice. Mothers, daughters, and grandmothers are invited to a Victorian Lady’s Tea, where they can enjoy tea and scones while learning about the history of tea and Victorian etiquette. This event is limited to 50 persons. Tickets are $20 per person. RSVP is required by contacting Heather King at 515-281-8754 or heather.king@iowa.gov. Sponsored in part by the Tulip Tea Room of Pella.

The State Historical Museum is located in the heart of Des Moines’ Historic East Village at 600 E. Locust Street. The museum is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, although there may be a fee for special programming. Please call (515) 281-5111 or visit www.iowahistory.org for more information about the State Historical Museum.

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