Thursday, September 27, 2012

Georgetown Stories Reception

The Georgetown Stories exhibition opened on Friday with a reception and Chat. This display was prepared by students in the “Curatorial Studies” course who develop and install an exhibition focused on one aspect of Georgetown College’s rich history. The first exhibit was curated in 2005 and entitled “Faith Ablaze! The Chapel Fire of 1930.” This show recounted that tragic, chilly April morning as the building was lost to the smoke and flames. Students learned a great deal about that horrible event and its aftermath, and simultaneously realized there’s much more to learn about the college’s history. As a legacy, they selected the topic for the next year’s class exhibition. 

For this exhibition, the charge before the Fall 2012 class of Curatorial Studies was to document Georgetown’s stories by those who documented them (through scrapbooks and ephemera of long deceased alums), oral histories, and newly-recorded interviews. All of these narratives are paired with objects from the college's archives to provide a visual enhancement to the stories. Two of these stories are recounted below.

Winston (standing in the back) discusses the wonderful world of Marjorie Parrish,
GC '27, whose two scrapbooks are part of the College's Archives. 
In the Archives are a group of letters that Marjorie wrote home to her parents as a student of GC in the 1920s. In addition two richly annotated scrapbooks recount her academic pursuits and social outings.
      A typical weekend for Marjorie in the school year of 1924 involved a great deal of socialization. In particular, she developed adoration for a man named Shep, who happened to be Professor Jones’ son from the English Department. They often went to church together and enjoyed tennis. She wrote to her family, “He has promised me a box of candy if Grace and I win the doubles championship... This has been the happiest year of my college life!” Her sophomore year she began dating a man named Garrett, but continued to find interest in football players, such as Olaf and B.D. Marjorie also harbored a hidden love for a boy back home named Cap. Although many men turned her head, she kept one man close to her heart, her brother Cliff.

Dr. Dave Forman tells of being a freshman in the 1970s at GC.

Seen above, modelling his Freshman Week Beanie, Dr. Dave Forman '72, participated in the Fireside Chat.
      The beanie was required attire for all first-year students. As several alum recounted in the Oral History interviews we conducted this year, wearing the beanies allowed you to identify with your classmates who also wore them, and, too, to identify the upperclassmen (who weren’t wearing them!). But, it also subject students to teasing by the older students who asked (or required) the younger ones to carry their books to class, for example. As one issue of the yearbook noted, “Freshman Week is fun – that’s what the freshmen keep telling themselves. Finally the beanies come off and the greenie is considered fit to be a part of the campus!” 

If you've not already visited, please stop by the Cochenour Gallery through October 3. As you move through the exhibit, you’ll be greeted with historical information, narratives, and human interest stories interspersed, with alumni accounts. 

Previously recorded interviews were conducted by Dr. Jim Heizer in 1979-80 with the following alumni: Don and Chris Kerr Cawthorne, Sara Thomas Hambrick, Robert W. Hinton, Ira and Mary Thompson Porter, and George and Carolyn Rogers Redding. New interviews have been recorded this fall by students in this course with: Janie Hill M. Polk ’53; Martha Hagan ’55; George Lusby ’58; Judy Apple ’65; Flash and Carol Williams ’66; Frankie Johnson ’66; Bob Mills ’67; Dave Forman ’72, and Laura Owsley ’92. Email interviews were also conducted with Eugene Enlow ’44; Shirley Bard ’53; Edward Clark ’54; and Rozanna Dalton ’75.

We hope that you enjoy your visit and spend time listening to the interviews. And, please take care with any items that you handle as many of the items on view are items secured from the Archives. 


Cortney Ragene said...

As always, I wish I was there to see it! Congrats to all Curatorial students on a job well done!!!

Earl Grey said...

Thanks so much, Cortney! We wished you were here too:)