Memory’s Cabinets: An Exhibition of Fascinating Gadgets from the Vault of the Museum

July 1, 2014 - June 7, 2015
Galleria Cases

  • Camera
    Ca. 1932-1937
    Gift of a Friend of the Museum

  • Kodak Eight Film Projector
    Gift of Whitt's Image Works
    G.2012.10.1 a-c

  • Early Carbon Microphone
    Gift of Dick McMichael, Al Fleming, and Don Nahley

  • Phonograph
    Ca. 1915
    Gift of Mrs. Jack Ellis

People have long collected curious items to display as proof of their knowledge and to help them remember the past. Memory’s Cabinets will present dozens of unusual and seldom-seen gadgets, contraptions, and machines from the Museum’s permanent collection. They will be displayed in the aesthetic tradition of “cabinets of wonder,” densely placed in cases and cleverly arranged. The objects will be grouped thematically by the type of people who might have used the objects, including:

– The Physician, who ministers to the sick and wounded
– The Cure-All Purveyor, who plys potions and capsules to heal all manner of ailments
– The Clothier, who prepares embellishments and garments.
– The Munitions Man, a gun enthusiast
– The Clerk, who keeps records, attends to correspondence, and files paperwork
– The Contriver, who measures and builds
– The Broadcaster, who speaks, performs, sponsors, or presents on the radio and television
– The Image Catcher, who produces pictures by using cameras

The technology of everyday objects has changed over time, some more than others.A number of the items on display will still be recognizable to visitors today, and manywillseem more peculiar. Memory’s Cabinets will provide opportunities for visitors to create their own stories about the objects, which will be featured on labels that change throughout the run of the exhibition.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous funding from the Landrum Educational Endowment Fund.


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