My Five Top Museum Visits of 2022

In this post, I’m going to list my five favorite museum visits-where true sources of info lie.  You may think, and plenty do, that I’m plain nuts, but I believe museums are powerful parts of the community.  This year, through museum visits, my perspective, in some aspects, has changed.  Other view points, well, they’ve been solidified.

For instance, I’ve learned why  the phrase Native American, which I thought was a totally acceptable term, might not be the most sensitive label.  I’ve also learned that Green Bay, while some fought fervently, didn’t always support women’s rights.  Moreover, being another tough lesson, and it did move me, I was made aware that, sometimes, no matter how hard we try, tragedy may simply be unavoidable. 

Oh, before I begin, a bit of a disclaimer: some of the temporary exhibits that I’ll feature, being that I’m sifting through ten months of material, are ending soon.  Still, while I’m not sure, they might not be exclusive to that museum.

Aztalan State Park

First off, let’s start with a place that certainly isn’t going anywhere.  It’s actually not a museum; it’s a state park.  Yet, ancient history is its focus. 

Aztalan State Park, which is full of reconstructed effigy mounds and a stockade, celebrates the lives of the Mississippian people.  While much of the original features, including mud brick homes, have been destroyed by white settlers, the souls of these indigenous humans can be felt.

HER STORY

Second on my list, and in today’s progressive society, it’s worth noting….anyways, I’ve decided to highlight an exhibit labeled Her Story.  This uniquely northeastern Wisconsin exhibit, situated in Green Bay, focuses on the struggle for women’s equality- especially in the local area.  I was surprised to learn, and I do feel a bit of shame, that Green Bay’s city government, albeit during the early twentieth century, banned the hiring of women in certain government jobs. 

This exhibit also features triumphant area ladies, ones who impacted this portion of the U.S.  Her Story is at Green Bay’s Neville Public Museum and lasts until November 6th.

Sound

Next up, I’ll step away from turmoil and oppression, and, instead, I’ll just mention something fun.  It’s an exhibit simply known as Sound. 

It’s amazing how sound impacts our lives- I could list dozens of examples.  In this exhibit, you’ll learn of the science behind sound, the technological ways to harness it and the benefits of such a phenomenon.  Like the exhibit ‘Her Story’, ‘Sound’ is at the Neville Public Museum through Nov. 6th.

Reclaiming Identity

I’ve reached my fourth entry.  With this one, if you recall, I had mentioned how the term Native American might not be the most sensitive label. 

My last statement is true, and here’s why: people indigenous to the Americas, both north and south, were here long before European immigrants.  Yet, the name for these continents, as I’ve broken out my history book, is a celebration of a European explorer: Amerigo Vespucci.

Why strip these nations of their Identity?  That’s what this exhibit is all about, as it recognizes Ho-Chunk, Sioux and any other indigenous peoples.

While not a history exhibit, ‘Reclaiming Identity‘, which is at the Trout Museum of Art until January, 8th of 2023, allows indigenous artists to freely express themselves.  Many personal and bold statements reside in these walls.

Stitching History From the Holocaust

Lastly, and I’m sure you’re wondering, I had mentioned that not all tragedies can be avoided.  I guess, if you delve deeper into the problem, Hedwig and Paul Strnad’s situation may have been preventable, yet it was out of their hands.

And try as they may, they could not escape a dark end.  Right now, and hopefully forevermore, Hedwig’s dresses, ones that reached the US as designs on paper, testify to that gut wrenching fact. 

Paul, Hedwig’s husband, sent her designs to an American family member. The Strnads had hoped to earn a visa via Hedwig’s talents….that never happened.

Instead these Czechoslovakian Jews perished in the Holocaust. 

Nazi tyranny prevailed: such a black mark on history, especially when you see these dresses and realize how much talent was taken from this earth. This Exhibit, named Stitching History From the Holocaust is at Appleton’s History Museum at the Castle through January 30th of 2023.

There, my list is done.  I feel, or more correctly stated, I think I’ve  gained important knowledge this year.  All this has been accomplished through museums.  Yes, exhibits can contain powerful testaments.  It’s through those well thought out displays, and I’m grateful for such efforts, that I gain practical insight. 

Safe Travels!

2 responses to “My Five Top Museum Visits of 2022”

    • Thanks, Diana. When writing this, speaking of my selection, I realized that these museums were performing an important function: spotlighting the missteps of our predecessors. As for not being able to visit as many as me, awareness, in this day and age, can come from a variety of sources. I prefer museums, because they’re reasonably objective and the info comes from accredited sources…but there are other avenues with the same credentials. Have a great day!!

      Liked by 1 person

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