No, we don’t have Gaultier–he’s the wrong century for our museum. But we are delighted to have received a piece by Charles Frederick Worth. I don’t know if Madonna would have liked his clothing, but throughout the decades around 1900 all the other women in America longed to wear a dress by the undisputed leader of the Paris fashion scene. The House of Worth was the shopping destination for American women rich enough to journey to Europe for fitting and to spend amounts that would embarrass some of our modern fashionistas. Worth was known for some signature fashion touches, such as using lots of lace. But he championed the practice of constantly changing fashion trends. New shapes, details and colors rendered last year’s dress passé. Am ..
As you all know, we close to the public in January and August, the two months that feature our worst weather and our lowest attendance. A few years ago when we analyzed the cost of staying open to the public versus how much revenue we generated during those months, it was clear that we were losing money being one of the only outdoor museums in the country that operated twelve months a year. So, we now close to the public during those two months. But that does not mean that we are all in hibernation. Our administrative, education, and curatorial staff and our maintenance contractors continue normal working hours. We always have post-Candlelight chores, like putting away the decorations and stowing the candles and stanchions. Of course, work on Gone To Texas really picks ..
Dallas has a rich history. Perhaps surprisingly for a relatively young city, it also has quite a few historical organizations devoted to preserving aspects of that history. In 1998, when Gary Smith, President and Executive Director of Dallas Heritage Village, suggested to me the idea of organizing a conference devoted to local history, I was immediately intrigued. Our semi-annual regional history journal, Legacies, had thrived for nearly ten years, partly because it was a collaborative effort among several historical groups. These and other similar groups might find a conference a perfect project through which to promote local history. Gary and I contacted staff members at five other historical organizations, all of whom were enthusiastic about the idea. The Executive Di ..
Candlelight 2011 wrapped up over three weeks ago, but we’re still on a bit of a high from a truly great weekend. The weather was beautiful, lots of fabulous people came to see us (and hopefully you were one of them!), and everything just seemed to work. Plus, it was fun to celebrate 40 years of tradition. During that very hectic week, I caught myself thinking about all of the people that make that event possible. Part of the reason Candlelight has continued for 40 years is that it’s never been solely a staff-driven event; it’s fueled by our larger community. Though we work with some of these groups throughout the year, everyone comes together at once for Candlelight. And it’s pretty magical. So, in no particular order (and with an almost ..
Even though every day is different around here (should I mention I had to help catch an escaped rooster yesterday?), it’s still possible to fall into ruts. A museum educator’s creativity can only go so far before it fizzles. We have a series of recurring events at DHV, and when you start entering into that era of planning the same event 7 or 8 times, well, the ideas for fun and creative learning opportunities start to fade. One event I’ve always struggled with is Civil War on the Home Front. Confession time: even though I am a self-proclaimed history nerd, I’ve never gotten really excited about the Civil War. I’ve always been more attracted to lesser-known stories, and most people at least know the basics of the War Between the States. But v ..