Posted on February 15, 2012 by Michelle
by Joanna Hahn, Manager of Arts and Culture Programs
70 Indiana artists. Three days. The Indiana State Museum. What more is there to say? We are gearing up for the ninth annual Indiana Art Fair and, despite the warmer weather of late, this is still the winter art event in Indiana. We are featuring artists from 24 counties on all three floors of the museum. Ceramics, fiber, painting, mixed media, jewelry … the list just goes on!
We are excited to kick things off on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m with a preview event. The artists will be selling until 8:30 and, while you are here, make a night of it! Gigi’s Cupcakes and Cabot Creamery will have treats available or enjoy dinner in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room. A cash bar will provide drinks and, this year, d’Indy String Quartet will play music in the Great Hall. On top of that, the museum exhibitions will be open. Visit REPRESENT: Celebrating Indiana’s African-American Artists, featuring work from the likes of William Edouard Scott, as well as contemporary artists. Heartland Art features work from the fine art collection of the Indiana State Museum. This is also the last weekend to view The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition featuring striking photography from his epic journey in 1914. Admission to the Friday evening Indiana Art Fair preview event is free for museum members and only $5.50 for non-members!
The event continues Friday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturday, 240° Sweet will be on hand making fresh gourmet marshmallows for tasting and, on Sunday, Good’s Chocolate from Anderson, Indiana, will hand out caramels. Both will be at the Indiana Store from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Our media sponsor, WFYI, will also have an information table. Admission to the Indiana Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday is only $3 for museum members and $10 for non-members.
Come and support local art and craft as well as your Indiana State Museum!
Filed under: museums | Tagged: 240 Sweet, Cabot Creamery, d'Indy String Quartet, Gigi's Cupcakes, Good's Chocolate, Heartland Art, Indiana Art Fair, L.S. Ayres Tea Room, marshmallows, REPRESENT, Shackleton, The Endurance, WFYI | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 23, 2011 by Michelle
by Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker, Curator of Social History
It all started with a train. When L.S. Ayres closed its downtown flagship store in 1990, it donated its iconic Santa Claus Express miniature train to the Indiana State Museum along with the L.S. Ayres animated window and Tea Room memorabilia. The train had been the centerpiece of Ayres’ “Toyland” since 1958, and given holiday joy to generations of Hoosiers. The museum couldn’t let that tradition die! So it opened a new holiday exhibit, “Toy Soldiers’ Playground,” so called because some giant toy soldier figures were available as decorations. The exhibit included a ride on the Santa Claus Express train, a visit to Santa Claus and the L.S. Ayres window, as well as toys and examples from the L.S. Ayres clothing collection in the Victorian setting of the museum’s former home in old City Hall. The recreated L.S. Ayres Tea Room began as a wildly popular program offered in conjunction with this exhibit.
When the new museum opened in 2002, the familiar features continued, but our building isn’t very Victorian! The exhibit needed a new setting; the village of Celebration Crossing. A few years later the original train was reproduced in a larger size to dependably accommodate today’s bigger youngsters. The old train remains a memorable “photo op” in the museum’s lobby, while new memories can be made in the popular exhibit upstairs.
Celebration Crossing opens Nov. 25 and continues through Dec. 31. Santa will be visiting with children in his house through Dec. 24.
Filed under: history, museums | Tagged: Celebration Crossing, L.S. Ayres, L.S. Ayres Tea Room, Santa Claus Express train, Toy Soldiers Playground, Toyland | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 14, 2010 by Michelle
Written by Jourdan Struck, sales associate with the Indiana Store
Food. Many things come to mind when I think of food. Mostly good, some not so good and others just down right strange. I have noticed since beginning this project that the food that we eat has changed. Or maybe it’s that in today’s world we have more options? Whatever the reason, people today seem to have branched out with their palate. I read somewhere that it wasn’t until the 1970s that American cuisine was significantly influenced by other cultures. If this is the case, that would explain why things have changed drastically since the 1950s.
As I perused the previous L.S. Ayres Tea Room cookbook something struck me; people liked Jello and Jello molds a lot. Maybe this is so striking to me because my childhood did not consist of eating much jello or using jello molds. All I remember is being entertained by Bill Cosby and his Jello commercials. I do realize that my childhood may have been abnormal due to the lack of Jello. I am quite sure that there is a logical explanation for the prevalence of Jello in the 1950s. Would someone please explain this to me?
Filed under: culture, history, museums | Tagged: Bill Cosby, cookbook, cuisine, food, jello, L.S. Ayres Tea Room | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 20, 2010 by Michelle
Written by Jourdan Struck, sales associate with the Indiana Store
Digging deep to find the treasures in the archives!
The L.S. Ayres Tea Room Cookbook project was mentioned to me the day I was hired. I tend to volunteer for things fairly readily, so I am not surprised that the words “I can do that” came tumbling out of my mouth. What did surprise me was the response from my boss, “Well, ok! Great!” I was a little startled that my boss would let the “new girl” tackle such an auspicious project, but I am excited to tackle it.
In the past month, as I have contemplated and discussed with others ideas for where this cookbook will go, I have become very excited about all the possibilities. I have begun to do research on the L.S. Ayres Department Store along with the L.S. Ayres Tea Room. I have asked my grandparents, parents and friends to tell me what they remember about their own journeys to The L.S. Ayres Tea Room and the Department Store. With the help of Katherine Gould, assistant curator of cultural history for the Indiana State Museum, I have begun looking through the museum archives at old Ayrogram Magazines and Ayrespeople (monthly store publications) that date back to 1944, in search of recipes and the occasional blurb about The L.S. Ayres Tea Room.
Luncheon fare from the tea room during the 1950s.
I was expecting to find those things and I have, but what I wasn’t expecting was to be completely amazed at how different society was in the heyday of the L.S. Ayres Department Store and The L.S. Ayres Tea Room. I am 26. I have no clue what it was like to be alive in the post WWII era or in the 1960s, but this project is forcing me to think about what it would have been like to be a little girl, all dressed up in my Sunday best, to go shopping and eat lunch at L.S. Ayres. Gone are the days of dressing up to go shopping and gone are the days of shopping being a special thing. Gone are the days of going to a special restaurant to practice manners and eating with your elbows off the table. As I think about this different time period, I can’t help but compare it to now. It seems to me that there was an innocence and youthful hopefulness that I think we have lost. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that we have today that I would miss if I was somehow transported back to the 1950s, but just think what our society would be like without so much T.V., a few more manners and a little less cynicism.
Filed under: history, museums | Tagged: Ayrespeople, Ayrogram Magazine, cookbook, L.S. Ayres Tea Room, recipes | 2 Comments »