Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lazy Weekend Daze

Here’s to lazy summer days and backyard pools that reach 90 degrees by 3 pm.

I've spent most of the last few days on campus, finishing the de-installation of our spring exhibit. We did a lot of this in May, but there was still a lot of material to haul back up into the loft(s)—and let me say, I cannot WAIT till the fire marshal lowers the final BOOM on the Dept. so that we have to RIP those things down! I’m also trying to get the workroom in some semblance of order for the next show. On Wednesday, B. brought much of his collection up and we started to distribute some of the artifacts and ephemera into the glass cases, mostly to see how much material we’ve got to work with for this exhibit. We are still looking for a real cigar store Indian, although we (having lost our minds completely—not to mention $80.00 each) now own a rather hilarious die-cut Winchester cigar store, rifle-selling Indian that B. found on eBay last week. It was a last-minute bidding-war, but we got him. He’s about 5 feet tall and dates from 1967. He’s offering “Heap big savings…Ugh, hunt ‘em all—waterfowl, upland game, deer, Shoot’em trap and skeet.” What more need be said? I’ll have to post his photo once he arrives (we’re already trying to figure out the post-exhibit custody arrangement…maybe he’ll be back on the market after the show closes, with a museum pedigree to his name.)

I spent most of this morning garage sailing, so-to-speak, trying to find more of the same. After a couple luckless hours, I finally headed off to the antique mall by campus where I found (along with lots of super-tacky stuff I would not exhibit, much less buy) a 1950’s toy telescope (made in Japan). The packaging shows a cowboy using it to locate (what else—certainly not cows) an Indian. I also bought a set of postcards of “Indians out West” because it included a particularly “classic” rendition of “Indian Sign Language.” The other two photos I posted here (feminine mystique a la the 1950s and 60s) are just a couple examples of the kind of advertisements that B. already owns (on a pretty grand scale), although the resolution on these is pretty lousy. Enlarged professionally, they will be very dramatic. B. has now sketched out the entry-wall elevation, and we are brain-storming a 3-D timeline, so things are really starting to take shape. Tomorrow, I am going to look for more bits and pieces for our Indian in the (Kitchen) Cupboard component (e.g. Calumet Baking Powder, Land O’ Lakes Butter, etc). And, speaking of the cupboard, one of my retired colleagues who just happened to come in on Wednesday, has arranged for us to borrow an antique oak medicine chest and a couple “Indian”-themed patent medicines from a friend of his. Tonic for firewater liver and kidneys, etc. Perfect for this show. And finally--the wonderful and oh-so-smart grad student MF-W has captured Betty Hutton playing, singing, and dancing Doctor, Lawyer, and Indian Chief for us. It is truly amazing what the 25-and-under crowd can do with YouTube.

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