Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Michael's Museum Mailbox

During August we began a prototype for an exciting new way to engage visitors to Michael’s Museum. The idea is to encourage visitors to tell stories about their collections, ask question’s about Michael’s Museum’s collections, or whatever.
The actual mailbox, location, format etc are not in place but we did get a lot of feedback from our visitors. Soon you will be able to look for a delivery from Michael’s Mailbox to you at this BLOG on the first Monday of each month but probably not until the end of the year. Meanwhile, come back and visit to see interesting photographs of the collections, stories, and ideas for collecting.
We received over 200 notes (many of which were scribbles from our youngest visitors) as well as 16 pictures, 15 notes about visitors collections, 28 comments, and 3 questions. 
We have included the pictures and notes here and answered the questions. Please leave a comment to let us know what you think about the Michael’s Museum Mailbox! Unfortunately, we cannot send e-mails or make phone calls but you can contact Michael by leaving your comments on the Michael’s Museum BLOG at michaelcollects.blogspot.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Fairies on Horses (Thanks Coretta,) Cars, Nativities, Angels, Play Mobil, Giraffes, Pez Dispensers (Thanks Stacy,) Marbles, Barbies, Stuffed Animals (Thanks Natasha,) Over 300 Hot Wheels (Thanks Vincent,) Rocks, and Hotel Passes (Thanks Audrey from Weston Connecticut, I do not collect Hotel Passes but that sounds interesting,) Marshmallows (Thanks Carly,) Pokemon Card, Books big, medium, and small.


“My name is Michael too! I like Chicago Children’s Museum.”
“Thanks for putting a smile on our faces!” (Thanks Andrew)
“I love the Michael House.”
Hi Michael. My mom is a big fan!”
“I love the rock collection.” (Thanks Holy)
“It’s very nice and detailed.”
“This is a really fun and cool place!”
“Thank you for making this.”
“Dear Michael, My name is Giavanna. I am half Mexican and half American Italian. I am 19 months old. My mom is very good in organizing things and she is trying to teach me. We started cleaning up after play time. I hope I will grow up learning from people like you and her. Thank you for sharing your treasures with the world!” (Thanks Giavanna’s Mom)
We love your little collections!”
“Dear Michael, My name is Sax.”
“This is wonderful!
“We love your museum. Our kids always stop and play her FIRST!”
“1 million stuff!’
“We are having a great time here at your house!” (Thanks L.K. & C.C.)
“Today was just great! Had my daughter here with me and had a blast!” (Thanks Jaime & Camryn)
“I love mom!”

“How old is the oldest thing here?” 
The oldest item in the collection is the black and white wooden horse (#xx.) To earn his Cub Scout badge, I carved the horse when I was 9 years old with the help of my father. That was some 58 years ago. If you are good at math you can use these numbers to figure out how old I am!
We love your collection! Very pretty! How and why did you start collecting?” 
I have been a collector most of my life. I probably started when I was 3 or 4 or 5 years old. I always had the encouragement of my parents. The items you see in Michael’s Museum I collected as an adult over the last 30 or so years. The only toy I still have from my childhood is the wooden horse I talked about above. The “Why” I collect is a little harder to explain. I just do! I love small things. I find them magical to hold in my hand or carry in my pocket or to sit on my desk. They probably help me remember what it was like to be a child which I think helps me be a better adult. Collecting small things is fun because they take up less space. Some of the things are very expensive, some cost only a few cents, some have been gifts, some I have found, others I have made.
How long did it take you to finish collecting so many things?” 
The collections in Michael’s Museum have been gathered over the last 30 years although I have been collecting since I can remember, since maybe 4 or 5 years old. When a person is a collector, I believe he or she never STOPS or FINISHES collecting. I still collect things for the museum and to keep in my home.

What do you collect?
Why do you collect? 
What Michael’s Museum collection is your favorite?
What else would you like to see in Michael’s Museum?

Thank you for visiting Michael’s Museum BLOG and for participating in the MAILBOX Activity. Now that we have tried it out and find that many people like the idea, we will continue to look at finalizing how the MICHAEL’S MUSEUM MAILBOX will work. Keep an eye out next time you are at MM to see if the Mailbox is ready. Meanwhile, keep checking this BLOG for interesting pictures of the collections, stories, creative collecting ideas, etc.

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