Sunday, July 31, 2011

Unintentional Collections

"A collection can arise out of intent but also out of negligence. Despite our best efforts to stay organized, objects pile up on our desk, overflow our file cabinets, and make junk drawers almost impossible to open and close. These happenstance collections speak of who we are and how we live. Curated involuntarily, the bits and pieces exhibit an honest view of the collector's way of life, important tokens and subconscious arrangement of moment's they can't let go of. The haphazard organization creates the semblance of a single collections, though each little piece tells its own story."

    By:  Sam Rosen
From:  Collections - A Post Family Exhibit
Dates:  Now through August 28, 2011
Place:  2229 South Halsted Street, Chicago, Il
CLICK HERE: to see video of opening event.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Gift Shop at CCM

Be sure to visit the Gifty Shop downstairs at Chicago Children's Museum. Besides the wonderful array of exciting, educational, fun products ... see the collectible items inspirited by Michael's Museum.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 21 at Kraft Free Family Night

At least three people came up to Michael to tell him, "You have a book from my culture."

Many boys and girls "feather dusted" the displays.

At least two dozen groups posed with Michael so a family portrait photograph could be taken.

Someone sorted ALL of the buttons by color into one of the activity trays.

Several visitors arranged a Visitor Display and had a parent take their picture in front of the finished product.

A woman made Michael a purple foil and a green foil origami crane, each measuring approximately 1/16th of an inch. TINY!!!

Literally hundreds of visitors played the Coffee Table Treasure Hunt Game.

Many visitors shared stories of their collections.

A group of 15 visitors (young and older, all wearing pink shirts, all from the same Girl Scout Troupe) visited the exhibit tonight.

Magnifying glasses were in use everywhere you looked.

A lot of adult visitors took close up pictures of items in the various collections.

Most common question, "What is the oldest item in the collection?"
Answer: "The little black horse (#29) in the blue cabinet which Michael carved with his father to earn a Cub Scout badge. Michael was 9 years old when the horse was carved 56 years ago. The math is up to you."

People loved sitting around on the sofa and chairs just looking and visiting and resting.

Screams and laughter greeted the discovery of the Museum Mouse and his friend in Drawer 19, The Cat. Someone named the mouse, "Seemore."

This evening no adults used the "Smaller Door" but many have done so in the past.

Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures amused, amazed, and astounded close to 500 toddlers, children, youngsters, teens, adults, parents, and grandparents at Thursday's Kraft Free Family Night's THE CURATOR IS IN Program.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kraft Free Family Night

Visiting Michael's Museum on Thursday, July 21 during the Free Night sponsored by Kraft. Chicago Children's Museum is proud to partner with Kraft Foods to present Kraft Free Family Night every Thursday evening from 5:00-8:00 p.m., when families enjoy the entire museum free of charge. Each year, nearly 40,000 visitors are enriched by the unique programs offered on Kraft Free Family Night, including vibrant multi-cultural performances, health and wellness events, and hands-on workshops for the whole family.

Monday, July 18, 2011

All Things Tiny

This woman has been knitting TINY THINGS! Read all about it.
Click here to see them!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thank You So Much!

I thought it would be nice to repost a list of THANK YOUs to the people who have helped make Michael's Museum such a success at the Chicago Children's Museum.

Thank You So Much!
Mom & Dad 
where it all started and to whom I owe my very being. (Dad RIP March 2005, Mom RIP March 2010.)
Gregory Maire
who has been there for me for more than thirty two years and who always encourages me to be myself.
Mariah & Hoover
who are my constant companions. (Hoover RIP June 2007)
Marla Weismantel
who taught me that it is OK to be a little crazy. (RIP May 2005)
Amethel Parel-Sewell
who first really convinced me that Michael’s Museum could realize greater ambitions then I dared to imagine!
Barbara Mahany
whose wonderful writing helped to bring Michael’s Museum to the “world’s” attention in her feature article for the Chicago Tribune.
Chris Walker
whose detailed photographs helped to bring alive the magic of Michael’s Museum for all those who saw the article.
Barbara Unikel
whose long time friendship is so valuable to me and for helping to connect Michael’s Museum to it’s new home, The Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier.
Jennifer Farrington
who believed enough in Michael’s Museum to get the ball rolling and introduce MM to the right people at CCM.
Louise Belmont Skinner
whose passion, foresight, and encouragement has found Michael’s Museum a new home, The Chicago Children’s Museum (on Navy Pier) in which countless numbers of people will be able to “feel the magic, experience the joy.”
Patricia and Ken DiPrima
for their support in all things optimistic and for being good neighbors and friends.
Harvey Pranian
for using his knowledge and expertise with “Objects of History, Design, Imagination, and Surprise” to appraise the value of Michael’s Museum as it prepares for its move to The Chicago Children’s Museum.
TAGs Bakery
especially Gretchen and Gregory, for their help with collecting box after box after box for the moving of Michael’s Museum from Poplar Avenue in Evanston to The Chicago Children’s Museum and for their delicious bakery treats .
Jenny Schrider
exhibit designer extraordinaire for her creative ideas, collaborative and kindred spirit, and skill-full documentation skills. Also, for your packing skills and sense of humor in moving Michael’s Museum towards its new home at CCM.
L.S. Carper
nephew and friend, for his photography skills and amazing camera equipment  as we took one last round of photographs to capture the spirit of Michael’s Museum before having it packed for the move to The Chicago Children’s Museum.
Sheila Scullin
For your wonderful ideas and support in the creation of Michael’s Museum as it will live at The Chicago Children’s Museum.
Peter Williams
For your understanding and talents in what it takes to make an exhibit look and stay secure and in shape and for your detailed attention to the packing of Michael’s Museum.
Keith, Tim, & Patrick
For your respectful, careful packing of Michael’s Museum which took us 50 hours of acid free archival boxes, baggies, stiffeners, foam, and stretch.
Barbara Mahany (Again)
for her follow-up article in the “Q” Section - End of the Year Epilogue in The Chicago Tribune.
The MM@CCM Team
for their time, effort, and commitment to ensure the success of Michael’s Museum at The Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier. Team Members: Katie Silvovsky - Exhibit Developer, Michele Boglio-Project Manager, Natalie Bortoli - Education & Community Developer, Jenny Schrider - Designer, Louise Belmont-Skinner-Exhibits & Design Rep/VP, Benjamin Waite-Visitor Advocate.
The MM@CCM Extended Team
for their time, effort, and commitment to ensure the success of Michael’s Museum at The Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier. Extended Team Members: Mark Frank - Lead Preparator, Patrick Downs - Asst. Preparator, Rick Cassettari - Support Preparator, Stephanie Lieber  - Individual Giving VP, Jennifer Joyce - Marketing VP, Ellen Sanderson - Graphic Designer, Jon Resh - Artistic Director, Peter Williams - Preparator VP, Jennifer Farrington - CEO.
The Following Businesses 
for donating refreshments for the opening celebration
Limelight Caterers
2000 North Racine
Chicago, Il 60614
(773) 883-3080
Food Stuffs
2106 Central Avenue
Evanston, Il 60201
(847) 328-7704
Great Harvest Bread
2126 Central Street
Evanston, Illinois
(847) 866-8609
Casteel Coffee
2924 Central Street
Evanston, Il 60201
(847) 733-1187

Monday, July 11, 2011

Visiting Collection Exhibit

Every two months at Michael's Museum, the Visiting Collection Exhibit changes. For July and August, the exhibit will feature "Tiny Top Treasures on loan from the collections of Elaine Bentley." Come visit! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Recently Discussed in Michael's Museum

During a "Curator Is In" session, a woman with whom I visited told me that her daughter discourages her grand-daughter from collecting. The grand-daughter loves to collect and has little collections neatly arranged all over her room. The daughter hates the mess and the dust on the little objects.

The visitor said that she had to bring both of them to Chicago Children's Museum to see Michael's Museum to show them how wonderful collecting can be. I suggested that a glass front cabinet be found, new or old, and the Grand Daughter's collections could be arranged there. Cabinets are easily available at antique shops, Target, K-Mart, Michael's, Hobby Lobby. All problems solved - at least theoretically.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Banner in Admissions Area of CCM

Just up today. Will post better pictures of the 3-D Shadow Box Frames with their collections of: Arrow Heads, Teddy Bears, and "Stuffed Full of Stuff."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Recently Seen in Michael's Museum

  1. a little girl on her belly visiting with the Museum Mouse
  2. a grown woman on her belly visiting with the Museum Mouse
  3. a dad and son playing PEEK-A-BOO through the game piece PEEK-A-BOO cabinet
  4. a mom crawling through the "smaller entrance" with her three year old son crawling through after her
  5. a little girl crawling through the “smaller entrance” while her mom hurried to the larger entrance to catch up
  6. kids sorting the multi-colored puff balls into the type tray on the wall
  7. six visitors grouped around the Coffee Table playing the Coffee Table Treasure Hunt Game
  8. a grandmother looking at the Antique Christmas items
  9. a kid on a stool filling a Visitor Display with wooden animals
  10. children going from cabinet to cabinet carefully studying the collections
  11. a well dressed older woman, with her daughter and granddaughter visiting from South Carolina, walking around the room from cabinet to cabinet with the “Collections List & Numbers” laminated card.
  12.  one little girl whose main focus was trying to pry open the cabinets
  13.  a mother who grabbed her child (the child obviously intrigued by what he saw,) by the hand and dragged him away from the exhibit entrance saying, “You won’t be interested in this.”
  14.  a kid of just able to walk age interacting with a collection in the Tower by pointing from one item to the next for a period of five or ten minutes
  15.  a 6 year old boy doing a knee dive through the smaller entrance
  16.  an adult sitting on the couch reading through a collection book
  17.  many care givers easily pushing small and large buggies through the entire exhibit
  18.  wheel chairs easily maneuvering through the entire exhibit
  19.  kids climbing on a stool or chair to get closer to a cabinet
  20.  kids piling blocks on the shelf over the smaller entrance
  21.  kids and parents arranging their “collections” in the Visitor Display cabinets on the wall
  22.  wooden animal manipulatives artfully arranged throughout the exhibit on to of collection cabinets, picture frames, and other unexpected areas
  23.  kids carrying around green magnifying glasses to magnify tiny objects in various collections, some doing it correctly, some not.
  24.  kids carrying arouns green magnifying glasses to magnify large objects that do not necessarily need magnification 
  25.  people at the Curator’s Desk using the magnifying glass to study the items in the Teeniest Collection Cabinet
  26. visitors recognizing my portrait over the sofa and approaching me to talk about Michael’s Museum
  27.  and much much more...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Big Wonders of a Small World

From The Huffington Post

"The next time you’re out and about in the city, be sure to tread lightly: You may step on someone! Or a whole crowd of someones going about their daily lives - just on a much smaller scale.
There are tiny worlds sprouting up in sidewalk cracks and sewer grates, in puddles and yesterday’s trash. It’s a small world after all, as the song goes, and for London-based street artist Slinkachu, this is both literal and figurative: He’s a small-scale installation artist, setting up miniatures on the streets which he then photographs and later “abandons” to the world at large (pun intended) ....