Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dunn Museum grand reopening

A recent Saturday was the grand opening of the Lake County Museum, now called the Dunn Museum, in its new location. We heard a fascinating lecture by paleoartist Tyler Keillor on how he crafted the museum’s dryptosaurus dinosaur model. Both his scientific research and artistic methods were interesting. This dino is based on bones found in New Jersey in mid-1800s—only about half a dozen bones though, so the model seems fairly speculative.

Museum exhibits take people from prehistoric times, through Native American settlements, through the 1800s and 1900s into this century, all with a focus on Lake County, Illinois. For example, there’s an 1864 letter from a Civil War soldier to his sister in Lake County.

In the simulated classroom are a local family’s ancestor’s textbooks like Appleton’s School Reader, a primer that competed with the popular McGuffey Reader in the late 1800s. My grandma used McGuffey Readers in Indiana at the turn of the century, and I love knowing she learned to read by reading bible stories and classic literature, including challenging poetry. And Dick, Jane, and Spot primers of the 1950s were thought to be an improvement on McGuffey?

Videos narrated by journalist Bill Kurtis depict famous Lake County events (train robbery) and inventions (35mm movie projector).

I loved working at the Lake County Museum eons ago, and Saturday I tracked down my former boss, who declined to be photographed but wanted a photo of the first person (me) she hired to work on the one-million-plus postcard collection with the last person (Rebecca) she hired to work on the collection. 

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