Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Today we had an all staff meeting where the main topic was GRAND OPENING which is now a mere MONTH away. We got multiple explanatory handouts, printed spreadsheets of daily assignments, and early reminders about taking breaks and eating so we don't pass out. As stressful as it sounds I'm looking forward to it. The only serious bad news was confirmation that the V.I.P. opening is cocktail attire rather than black tie as I was previously told. Ugh. Now I have to re-think my whole dressing concept for the night.

We also got an update on press coverage, and it was announced that our director, creative director, and historian have been co-named on a Seattle Magazine list of the most influential people of 2012.  We all applauded but then the director cut in with "Well, actually we are just stand-ins representing the whole MOHAI team. So really it is the whole team that made the list--that means you!" Aw. Thanks Leonard. Now I can proudly say that it was implied that I was part of a group of people who made a list of the most influential Seattle people of 2012.

Speaking of teams, here is a previously untapped font of historical delight I just discovered: old photos of sports teams. I was searching for some photos of athletic clothing in MOHAI's online photo database, and started coming across images like this:

Ice Hockey Team for the University of Washington, c. 1921. PEMCO Webster  & Stevens Collection,  MOHAI
All I'm saying is that if the NHL made pomade hair mandatory and switched from oversized polyester jerseys to tight, long sleeve, black shirts, then maybe that is a sport I would watch.

University of Washington Football Team, c. 1903. William Jennings "Wee" Coyle Photograph Collection, MOHAI
I don't even know where to start with this. Very awkward guy with the substantial wavy hair in the middle row? Pop-out-the-hip model poser on the upper right? Those weird things around their necks? Some comment about padded, pillowy thighs?

And my absolute favorite: 

Crescent Manufacturing Company Bowling Team, c. 1923. Crescent Manufacturing Collection, MOHAI
How nerdily dapper is this crew? Can you read their sweaters? Crescent was a local spice manufacturing company, and their most famous product was a maple flavor substitute called Mapleine. The team was called "The Mapleines" and they were the Commercial Bowling League Champions of 1922-1923. I realize these are grown men who probably had very complex lives and personalities but all I have to say is ADORABLE. 

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