Wednesday, October 8, 2014
If you have ever stopped to notice the variety of mushrooms - amazing shapes and crazy textures - in the forest, your backyard, or along the roadside, then you will understand why hats are like mushrooms. What appears to be a straightforward subject, almost simple, becomes increasingly complicated under inspection. The history of hats is a complex story that includes an enormous variety of hat styles and hat-making materials and highlights the importance of hats in shaping our social and cultural behavior. Far from simple, the history of hats, or even the names of hats, will make your head spin.
The current exhibit, Old Hat! 100 Years of Headgear, displays 65 hats, caps and bonnets dating from 1850 to 1950. You’ll find skimmers, a snood, the cartwheel, the platter, the fedora, the half-hat, a pill box, a homburg, a cloche, and a merry widow. There are hats with sideburns, hats made of horsehair, straw, cellophane, felt or beaver fur, and hats with feathers, beads, bands, and buckles. There are hats for work and hats for play. There are hats that were worn to indicate ‘membership’ in a group or class, and hats worn to set a person apart from the crowd.
Hats are not the social necessity that they once were prior to 1960, or as varied in style, but they remain important indicators of personal and group identity. I see hats everywhere now – mostly ‘gimme’ caps – but sometimes I glimpse a rare mushroom (yes, there’s a hat style called the mushroom), and I smile.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
George Louis Crocket: Out of the Ordinary
George Louis Crocket: Out of the Ordinary
The Stone Fort Museum will host an opening reception for the exhibit, George Louis Crocket: Out of the Ordinary, on November 8th from 6 p.m. to 8p.m. The newly installed exhibit examines the life and times of Dr. George Crocket. Born in the mid-nineteenth century, Crocket’s life spans a period of great changes in East Texas.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Thank you to everyone who visited our booth at the Scare on the Square event this past weekend. Our Humpty Dumpty bean bag toss was a smash with children large and small - even some teenagers managed to have some fun. Many visitors stopped by our silhouette screen once the sun went down. We enjoyed ourselves very much and hope to see you at the museum in the near future.
|Are we ready?|
|The first bean bag tossers of the day.|
|Alice gives the Great Pumpkin a hand.|
|Why toss when you can just drop the bean bag in?|
|and ten gallon silhouettes!|
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Silhouette Studio at Scare on the Square
Silhouettes became popular in the mid-eighteenth century as a fun (and cheap) alternative to the painted portrait. These profile portraits were accessible to almost everyone and became a popular evening pastime. Originally called, 'profile shades' or 'shadows', the French coined the term "à la Silhouette" as a derogatory reference to Louis XV's Minister of Finance, Étienne de Silhouette. Silhouette not only made a hobby of the inexpensive shadow portrait technique but also instituted austerity measures while in office that earned him a reputation as stingy. The phrase, "à la Silhouette" came to mean on the cheap. By the nineteenth century, shade portraits were commonly known as silhouettes, but the work was no longer considered cheap. As often happens, the craft transformed itself. In the second quarter of the 19th century, the accomplished paper cutter, Augustin Edouart, proclaimed that the term "shade" was derogatory to his art and began using the term "silhouettist".
For an example of a regional silhouette portrait, go to the East Texas Research Center’s digital collection. Follow the link: ETRC Digital Collections to find a portrait of Sam and Margaret Houston made in 1843.
Visit the Stone Fort Museum and the East Texas Research Center at Scare on the Square to sit for your ‘shade’. Be sure to bring your camera because we’ve taken portraits to the next level – no cutting or drawing required! Look for us in downtown Nacogdoches on October 29th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Cornerstones of the Community:
African American History in Eastern Texas
The Stone Fort Museum, on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, is putting the finishing touches on its new exhibit, “Cornerstones of the Community: African American History in Eastern Texas.” After five years of research, planning, and collecting, the exhibit will open on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm. Please join the Stone Fort Museum staff and community partners in celebrating this exciting event and the unveiling of an exhibit that is one of the first of its kind in East Texas.
The Stone Fort Museum has collected artifacts, images, and stories from Nacogdoches to the United Kingdom that span parts of three centuries. During this time, African Americans lived in Texas as subject of the Spanish crown, the Republic of Mexico, the Texas Republic, and the United States. Their stories are a part of the story of Texas, and this exhibit is designed to further our understanding of the roles that they played in the development of this region. Each of the men and women featured in this exhibit exemplify the universal desire for freedom, faith, and family.
Over seventeen community partners and fourteen museums, archives, and historical associations have contributed more than 150 items to the exhibit. Items in the collection, such as family heirloom quilts and tools used by blacksmiths, lumberers, and cotton-field laborers, evoke powerful personal stories. A cast iron bed from the 1870s, passed down for generations in the same family, highlights the large collection of home furnishings that comprises part of the exhibit.
In addition to forging important partnerships between the museum and the local community, the exhibit has created new opportunities to donate artifacts to the museum’s permanent collection. Without the help of our community partners and contributors this exhibit would have been impossible. The staff at the Stone Fort Museum extends its heartfelt thanks.
The exhibit opening will feature comments by Jeri Mills and entertainment by Steve Hartz and the Attoyac Valley String Ensemble. For questions, please contact the Museum at 936.468.2408 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.