Museums collect stories, but a new exhibit at the Chatham-Kent Museum, “Collecting Stories,” relates the stories behind the stories.
These are the stories about how and why the museum acquired certain pieces. Some of the acquisitions involved quite an adventure, while others involved careful research and waiting. Many were found with the advent of the Internet and eBay that revolutionized access between buyers and sellers, and some artifacts were literally pulled from the clutches of the garbage man. Others simply walked in the door, totally unexpected. This is, in essence, a retrospective of 20 years of collecting for the Chatham-Kent Museum.
“Collecting Stories” has been guest-curated by Dave Benson, former Chatham-Kent Museum director and avid local collector. Drawing on his nearly 20 years working at the Chatham-Kent Museum, Benson narrates the collecting stories from a personal and engaging perspective.
“We’ve had some great adventures, repatriated local items from far-flung places, met some wonderful people, made good friends and, I think, touched many people’s lives through our collecting,” related Benson in a press release. Artifacts on display include military items, clothing, crocks, decoys, agricultural implements, and selections from Public General Hospital Alumni collection and Chatham Collegiate Institute. The artifacts are accompanied by the behind-the scenes, frequently touching, and occasionally humorous stories of how the museum acquired them.
“Collecting Stories” is open now on the Chatham-Kent Museum mezzanine and will run until the beginning of July, 2014. The Chatham-Kent Museum is located at the Cultural Centre, 75 William St. N. in Chatham.