Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goal #10: Relics

I lived one and a half blocks away from the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer Museum and I never once walked in the building. I looked at it a lot. I drove past it a lot. I said to myself. "I should go in there one of these days," but I never went in. The problem was their business hours were also my business hours. UNTIL! They decided to stay open late on Wednesday nights. It wasn’t until I moved away that I made it a goal.

My delightful friend Pete volunteered to join me when I set this goal back in December. He had never been either and he also lived on Capitol Hill for years. So. It was time. I've heard all sorts of things about this museum from my friends. I heard it was like stepping into your grandmother's attic. It was pretty close. A lot of quilts. A lot of bibles. A lot of lacey stuff. There were also a lot of portraits of people who look disappointed in you -- whether they were paintings or photographs, no one smiled back then so their eyes spoke volumes. I didn't take any pictures of the portraits. It was a little too disturbing for me. I was impressed with how many pianos people brought over in covered wagons. Pianos are big and heavy.

The first thing I did when I walked in was eat one of these taffys. The docent there said Taffy Town makes honey taffy specifically for them and you can’t get it anywhere else (with the exception of their warehouse). I took three.

The docent also told us how the fa├žade of the museum is modeled after the original Salt Lake Theatre. And when you walk inside there are three stories and staircases just like a theatre would have balconies and staircases. I thought that was nice.

For someone who works in arts and museums I am not the most reverent visitor. This is Pete holding his ribs as he laughed (he broke a rib playing soccer, and my jokes weren’t helping). I'd say something and Pete would go silent and then fold over with his hand on his side. Pete and I laughed a lot, but really, it’s impossible not to laugh at some of this stuff. I'm not sure exactly what he's laughing at here. He can tell you in a comment. It appears they unloaded everything the pioneers brought over in their handcarts, wagons and trunks and spread it all out under plexiglass. And I think this museum has to display everything that is donated to them so there is a lot of rubbish and nonsense.

Here’s something odd:

The thing that grossed us out the most was the hair art. It was shocking at first and then we just saw it show up everywhere. It was explained to us that these people didn’t have cameras to take pictures of their loved ones and so hair was something they could take, braid or knot into a chain or rope and keep on their person as a memento. Still, I think it’s weird. Pete tried to compare it to feathers from birds and people making things out of feathers, but I still think it’s weird. People could make stuff out of dead toenails too but no one does that.

I looked up the Durhams in their binder. There they are. 

A "real replica" of the golden spike. I don't even think the real golden spike is at the Golden Spike Museum. I think it's in California somewhere.

Pete said I would like nice in this dress:

I think they should make reproductions of these old study cards and sell them at Deseret Book or something. I’d buy them.


Sue S said...

I love adventures like this. Call me next time you go on one and I'll go with you!

Ilene said...

You would look nice in that dress. Jewel tones look good on you. You could pretend to be Winona Ryder from the Age of Innocence movie. Such a pretty movie.

Do you think they ever wore those hair brooches in their hair or was that considered a faux pas? I wonder if one day hair extensions will make it into the Great-grand daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum... at the very least perhaps those hair feather thingees will make an appearance.

Ilene said...

That bread is gross, by the way. I wonder what someone was thinking when they saved it. I mean, do any of us look at it and say, "Wow, if this bread could talk, the stories it could tell!" ? No. We just think, "Ew."