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Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future

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The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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Still Life

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 28, 2021

This abstract watercolor is titled "Still Life, 1957." 
It was in fact painted in 1957 by Keith Havens.

Happy Kwanzaa!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 27, 2021

Yesterday was the first day of Kwanzaa, the annual celebration of African American heritage, unity, and culture.
This cloth doll was made by Phyllis Chatham of Minneapolis in 2012 to celebrate Kwanzaa, using mainly African fabrics. The dress is mainly orange with multicolored strips and a matching crown.
From the artist's statement: "This is a chitchat doll - a celebration of life, capturing cultural reflections. Cloth doll making is the art of healing; a journey celebrating the human spirit."

Best Wishes of the Season!

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 24, 2021

This Christmas card depicts an abstract branch with red ornament on blue, with holiday greeting on the interior. 
It was made by artists David and Lolita Granahan between 1963 -1974.
We wish you all a wonderful holiday full of peace and light!

Christmas Pyramid

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 23, 2021

And now for the yearly Fruit Cake...

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 22, 2021

We may not regularly eat Fruit Cake, but it is fun to contemplate this time of year.
Enjoy this page from "Festive Christmas Foods from Many Lands," published by Saint Paul's own Brown & Bigelow Company in 1958.

COOKIES

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 21, 2021

Since it is THE cookie season, please enjoy this short selection of cookie-related titles from our Library Collection.
Watch here: https://youtu.be/CCr2keYoC8g

Library Hours - Holiday Edition

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 20, 2021

Please be aware that the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota Historical Society will be closed this Friday, 12/23, and Saturday, 12/24.
The Library will be open the following Friday, 12/31, but close on Saturday, 01/01/2022.
Appointments are still required; make those here: https://www.mnhs.org/library/about/hours
Happy Holidays and all best for the year ahead!

Winter Scarf

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 16, 2021

This man's wool scarf was used by Dr. John L. Scofield of Northfield. Scofield represented Rice County as a member of the first Minnesota state legislature from 1857-1859. The scarf has a geometrical print, fringed ends, and purple, green, red and black decorative stripes. It was used in 1865.

Evening Dress

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 15, 2021

We think this evening dress would have been very appropriate at holiday parties of the past.
It is made of silk chiffon over white satin and sequined black Chantilly lace. The dressmaker was Mrs. George F. Hall of Chicago, circa 1905.

Snowscape

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 14, 2021

This winter landscape, titled "Snowscape," shows bare tree trunks silhouetted against snow-covered hills. 
It was made by Alexander Oja as part of the WPA art project between 1935 - 1943. 

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