Friday, July 29, 2011

Montanans Love their Mannequins

Since moving to Montana, I have decided that on each excursion out of town I should visit a museum if I encounter one. The reasoning behind this is to learn about the local history of the state and to see what people consider important information about the region.

The variety of displayed objects are often fascinating, for example the Headwater's Heritage Museum in Three Forks had a small display honoring the soldiers of the 442nd from WWII, the only all Japanese military unit in the Army, a local Japanese man who served with the unit donated some artifacts, and museum decided to honor his legacy and the service of Japanese American soldiers. In contrast, the State Historical Society Museum in Helena, had a large display of anti-Japanese Propaganda, neglecting the American element and focussing the the paranoia of the time.

But with the tiny museums that dot each little hamlet, burg, and village across the state, one finds different types of histories and artifacts narrating the story of Montana. For example, over a thousand types of barbed wire dated, labeled, and displayed on the lats of folding wall dividers; collections of carved agates dug up from local mines and river beds; guns, guns, and more guns from cowboys, outlaws, and assorted pioneer folks and alleged bandits; and the seemingly ubiquitous diorama.

I am fascinated by dioramas. Some are quite well crafted. Other's, well, not so much. But here, with all of my travels, I have found that the curators of Montana's museums love an unfortunate tacky level.

And so I present the not-historically-accurate "People of Montana's Past" if they they were made out of mass produced, and had bad wigs put on their heads.

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment