Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dale Petrie Wins Wabash College Alumni Award

Dale Petrie, longtime leader with the Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society and the chair of the Taste of Montgomery County Committee since its inception, has received the Fredrick J. Urbaska Civic Service Award from the National Association of Wabash Men for his contributions to Crawfordsville and Montgomery County.


Dale is also president of the Crawfordsville School Board and the board at First Christian Church. He has been actively involved in the Character Counts program, and has chaired the Strawberry Festival Committee three times.


At the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum, Dale has assisted the staff and board in everything from shaping our strategic planning, fundraising and long-range goals to ensuring the performers and vendors at the Taste of Montgomery County have enough power to shine into the late-summer night. We are a far better organization for having his input and direction.

Congratulations, Dale, on this well-deserved honor, and thank you for everything you do in making our museum the best it can be!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

6th Annual Artists In Residence Program Brings Art to All Ages

The sixth annual Artists-in-Residence program will take place on the grounds of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum on Sunday, October 4, 2009 from 1:00-4:30pm. The event coincides with the last day of the Downtown Art Show as a community-wide celebration of art. Visitors will have the opportunity to interact with four local artists and watch as they complete works in progress. Featured this year are the artistic talents of Don Black, a wood carver from Crawfordsville; Karen Patton, a plein air painter and co-president of the Art League of Montgomery County, who will work on a painting of the Study; Peggy Boyd of Crawfordsville’s “A Tisket, A Tasket” basket shop, who will be weaving a garden gathering basket; and Michael Phelps, a self-taught watercolorist.

This year, the Museum will have six art education stations where children and families can create their own original works of art to take home. Terry Lawrence, a veteran of the Artist-in-Residence program, will encourage visitors to look at some of the architectural features of the building and then use their imaginations to create their own original buildings; Mary Dawald will assist young artists in making their own tin-punch ornament; Jaroslaw Petruniw will instruct visitors how to create their own comic strip; and June Gourley will guide students in a string art activity. For the first time, the program will feature youth artists, including Riley Edie, a student from Pleasant Hill Elementary, teaching basic origami techniques; and the Crawfordsville High School National Art Honor Society aiding budding artists in creating sand paintings.

The Museum will also have two local luthiers, or violin makers, participate in the program this year. Archie Krout and Alan Frodge will be on hand to demonstrate the art of violin-making, an activity that General Wallace taught himself later in his life, and they will play finished pieces.

Visitors can also go on free guided tours of the Study to see examples of Wallace’s sculpting, drawing, painting, the violin that he played as well as a violin that he was making. With preparations underway for the Study Restoration Project, which will replace the leaking dome, this will be visitors’ last opportunity to tour the building before the artifacts are packed for temporary storage. Come visit the Study October 4 to see local artists at work and create your own masterpieces.

The Artists-In-Residence Program is made possible, in part, with support from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For information on this or other exciting programs at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum, visit our website at http://www.ben-hur.com/ or phone 765-362-5769.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the Autumn Air

Have you been outside? It is gorgeous. Fall is my favorite time of year, and the Museum grounds make a perfect place to watch the seasons change. The trees change their leaves in different shades, and I'm hoping for a particularly colorful spectacle given the wet year we've had.


I have also never seen such fat squirrels and groundhogs hoarding stores of food! It's a great place to spend a quiet afternoon, or to bring the kids and dogs. We've had bunches of students since school started coming to gather leaves for school projects. A bit of the great outdoors right near downtown!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking Forward to Larry's Arrival

Larry Paarlberg, former executive director of Goodwood Museum and Gardens in Tallahassee, Florida, has been named Director of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum. He will begin at the Museum on October 1.

Paarlberg, an Indiana native and 1980 Purdue alum, has worked in historic preservation in the Tallahassee area since 1982. In his seventeen years at Goodwood, an antebellum estate in Tallahassee, Paarlberg oversaw the restoration of the 19th century mansion and seven cottages on the grounds as well as the renewal of the mansion’s gardens. In his career, Paarlberg has directly raised over $2.8 million in competitive grants from private and public sources as well as $1 million in private funds.

The General Lew Wallace Study and Museum, a 2008 winner of the National Medal for Museum Service, conducted a nationwide search to find a director after the departure of Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, who had been with the Museum since 2003. Paarlberg will join a staff of one additional full-time and two part-time employees and a cadre of volunteers responsible for daily operations.

"The Board has engaged in a nation-wide search for a new director, working over several months,” said Suanne Milligan, President of the Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society Board of Trustees. “Now we are thrilled to be able to bring someone of Larry's expertise, experience and enthusiasm to the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yea for the Taste!

The Taste was a success! We had over 2,100 people on the grounds enjoying the food, music, and fun, and we raised thousands of dollars toward the restoration of the Study building.



Thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers, and vendors who made the event such a huge success!

Congratulations again to our award winners:


Judges' Choice for Best Taste: Joey's Main St. Cafe


Judges' Choice for Best Showmanship: Moon Dance Cafe


People's Choice for Best Taste: Two Guys Cooking


People's Choice for Best Showmanship: Bon Appetit


Pete Miller Vendors' Choice: Miller's Quality Meats and Catering








We're looking forward to next year (well, after a month or two off...), so mark your calendars for August 28, 2010.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Technology, Web 2.0 and Historic Sites: Strategies for Engagement

Last week, Visitor Services & Marketing Coordinator Kara Edie presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for State and Local History on how historic sites of all sizes are utilizing new technology to spread their mission to larger audiences. The presentation, "Technology, Web 2.0 and Historic Sites: Strategies for Engagement", was chaired by Craig Tuminaro, Director of Museum Interpretation for Drayton Hall in Charleston S.C., and also featured Erin Mast, Curator and Site Administrator for President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington D.C.

All three presenters shared their experiences with new initiatives such as weblogs, social networking and interactive media, which led to an immensely informative discussion with audience members about what new technologies are working (and what aren't) in their own respective sites. Click here to listen to a podcast of this session, and find notes from the discussion here.

Many thanks to Craig Tuminaro and the folks at AASLH for giving us the chance to participate!