Docent: a person who leads guided tours esp. through a museum or art gallery (Webster).
Volunteer: people who devote endless time and talent to things they are passionate about (ISM).
Editor’s note: These folks are priceless to the museum, as they help to involve visitors with the exhibits through additional education. They often have a special interest or passion in one aspect of the museum.
Such is the case with Jan Snowden. She has volunteered for the Indiana State Museum for years, delighting children and adults with her rendition of Raggedy Ann. In fact, Rags, the official Raggedy Ann Magazine highlighted her in their September issue.
Through Snowden you’ll learn that this familiar American icon was developed by Johnny Gruelle for his daughter, Marcella. She had an old hand-made rag doll and he drew a face on it one day to entertain her while she was sick. Pulling a book from his bookshelf, he combined the name from two separate James Whitcomb Riley poems, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphant Annie.” He said, “Why don’t we call her Raggedy Ann?” and so it was. Though Gruelle was born in Illinois, James Whitcomb Riley is a beloved Hoosier author, giving some Indiana claim to Raggedy Ann and her pal, Andy. There are dozens of Raggedy Ann and Andy books credited to Gruelle, as both author and illustrator.