MIDDLEBURY — A local museum’s annual exhibit seeks to offer insight into the lives of Hoosiers living before the Digital Revolution.
Middlebury Community Historical Museum’s newest exhibit, “At Home – The Way We Were” features classical items from vintage Bibles to baby-doll strollers.
“It consists of displays and household items that would have been typical to middle-class homes in the early to mid-20th century,” museum co-director Richard Smith said.
Multiple displays exhibit a living room, dining room, parlor, kitchen and a child’s bedroom.
“We also have some tools that would have appealed to men as well,” Smith said.
The majority of the collection was donated by residents of the greater Middlebury community. Smith explained that after committee member Kim Clark suggested the new exhibit to her fellow board members, the idea took off quickly.
“I had people calling me up offering to loan things,” he said.
“At Home – The Way We Were” functions as this year’s main exhibit for the museum and is changed each year.
“We typically will pick a subject and that will be our focus for the year. Setting up and taking down exhibits is very time consuming. We commit ourselves to a particular theme or subject,” Smith said. “We’ve had topics like schools and churches, or businesses on numerous occasions. Our last one was third- and fourth-generation businesses in Middlebury. The year before that we did (an exhibit on) antique quilts.”
“At Home – The Way We Were” will remain on display until the second week in December, and then the items will be returned to their owners, but that doesn’t mean the museum will stop telling history. The gingerbread competition exhibit will follow.
In development are two permanent exhibits, one on the Krider Nurseries World’s Fair Garden. Another is celebrating literature, thanks to a 1772 Bible recently added to the museum’s collection. It will be the oldest item in the classic books exhibit.
Another exhibit features local artistry, and currently displays the art of Middlebury native Linda Pieri, a prolific artist whose work includes a wide variety of subjects and styles.
The Middlebury Community Historical Museum is at 301 W. Bristol Ave. It is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Special arrangements may be made for group tours. Admission is free.