It is a busy time of year at the Porter County Museum! The AmeriCorps members—Jake, Emily, Ian, and Megan—finish their year of service in July, but not without researching, designing, installing, and planning two new exhibits for the summer of 2014.
This year of the Stories Project at the PoCo Muse has taken us to North County, where we have gotten to know the unique community of Ogden Dunes. Our team has pooled resources with the Ogden Dunes Historical Society at the Hour Glass Museum to create two new exhibits—one at the Porter County Museum and one at the Hour Glass Museum.
Ian Roseen has been working diligently at the Hour Glass Museum, collecting numerous oral histories from the residents of Ogden Dunes. This research has given insight into the people, places, events, and organizations that have come together to create this meaningful place.
The resulting exhibit, the Ogden Dunes Stories Project, will open July 20 at the Hour Glass Museum in Ogden Dunes. Stop by the Hour Glass at 8 Lupine Lane on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, from 12-3:30p for an ice cream social and special preview of the exhibit content and process. Dick Meister and Ken Martin, members of the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes, will also be available to sign their new book Images of America: Ogden Dunes.
Throughout this past year, the Hour Glass Museum building itself has fascinated the PoCo Muse staff. This historic home, built in 1934, was the residence of O.D. and Tillie Frank, two fascinating individuals in their own right. When it came time to develop the exhibit at the Porter County Museum, the exhibit team decided to highlight the lives of the Franks, their unique home, and the Ogden Dunes community.
O.D. Frank, a University of Chicago botanist, educated his friends, neighbors, and students around the two story stone fireplace in his home. The fireplace—named the Friendship Fireplace by students of O.D.—is made of thousands of stones collected by the Franks and their friends while traveling all over the world.
Life in the Hour Glass will focus on the Franks, their unique home, the Ogden Dunes community, and the ecology of the Dunes. PoCo Muse visitors will discover how both human and natural communities begin, grow, and sustain one another. In O.D. Frank’s own words, “Happiness comes from reaching objectives together, from thinking together, from watching the beauty of nature together.” Look for some changes on the front lawn of the Museum, as staff and volunteers develop a native plant garden where visitors can learn about the biology and ecology of the Dunes environment.
On June 22, the Porter County Museum will celebrate the opening of Life in the Hour Glass in the Robert Cain Gallery with the second installment of the PoCo Muse Block Party. Join staff and volunteers on the lawn for food, drink, and fun as we kick off a summer of new exhibits and programs at the PoCo Muse!
Despite all of these exciting summer exhibit developments, the Museum staff is sad to see the artwork of Robert Cain leave the Museum at the end of May. Mr. Cain’s drawings and papier-mâché sculptures are inspired by a lifetime of living in Valparaiso and being an educator at Valparaiso High School.
Listen to Mr. Cain’s artist talk from the exhibit opening in February of 2014.
It has been an honor to have Mr. Cain’s artwork—which has inspired countless visitors—showcased inside the Museum. Stop by the PoCo Muse on Saturday, May 31, at 2p for an informal closing reception to thank Mr. Cain for sharing his work with our Porter County communities.
It looks like an incredibly fun summer in Porter County is on the horizon. Hope to see you at the PoCo Muse (and the Hour Glass Museum)!
(Thanks to the Historical Society of Ogden Dunes for providing these historic photos.)