It may seem, if you wander Appleton’s College Avenue, that this is an ordinary, bustling city – a prime example of a Midwestern community. Yet, this city’s history, while similar to many metro areas, had its own unique influence on this country. So, a trip to an old masonic lodge, set in the heart of Harry Houdini’s childhood hometown, would sound pretty cool, right? Add a powerful exhibit, one that draws from a desperate hope, and this spot’s ten dollar charge isn’t overly exorbitant.
I’ll start off, as I’m going to focus on the main exhibit, which I was told opened today, with a few of the museum’s other points of interest.
Of course, residing on the top floor, you’ll find the ever present Houdini exhibit.
This fun segment tells the tale, through interactive and cased displays,
of Appleton’s most famous resident.
Then there’s the Fox Cities ABC’s.
It’s another fun exhibit. This time, the tale is told of the people, products and ways of life in this area’s past.
There is also a small bit on the economic, governmental and social climate of the United States.
Finally, I discovered ‘Stitching History From the Holocaust’.
This is a sad and powerful story, one you see through the eyes of Czechoslovakian Jews. It’s about a couple trying to earn passage to the US.
Their ticket, or their hope, as Paul and Hedwig resided in occupied Czechoslovakia, was to escape Nazi tyranny through Hedwig’s stylish dress designs.
From what I gathered, while, today, her dresses stun those that peruse this exhibit, their hopes were dashed, and a talented woman was taken from this earth….
I guess I really don’t have to say anymore.
These designs, while never put into production, were found in a family member’s attic. It was Paul and Hedwig’s hope that these designs, which Paul sent to an American relative, would earn them a VISA into the US…that never happened.
So, while in Appleton, as the town will soon be celebrating Octoberfest, keep this thought provoking exhibit in mind. I think, while enjoying the festivities, which is a fun College Avenue celebration, a stop at this cool museum would be in order…and an appreciation of voices gone forever may be soberly understood.
4 responses to “A Powerful Exhibit”
I would love to visit this history museum. The “Stitching History” looks like a very powerful exhibit. I sent an email to the St. Louis History Museum and suggested that this exhibit be brought to St. Louis. Thank you for your post.
Thanks, Betty! If the Museum needs more info, this exhibit’s home is in the Milwaukee Jewish History Museum-At least that’s what I discovered online.
Very interesting–especially the Stitching History From the Holocaust exhibit.
Yes, the place is pretty cool. The building, itself, is on the National Historic Register. While not ancient, it must be nearing 100 years. The Houdini exhibit is pretty fun also.
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