I Have the BEST Job…

Really, I do. I meet interesting people, indulge my love of history, and have a built-in excuse to visit historic homes and buildings. Probably the oddest part of curating a small museum is dealing with our mannequins.

Yesterday, we dressed them for the Halloween event. I have two wonderful volunteers who took care of all the details.

If you have never dressed a mannequin, you don’t appreciate how much work it is. They do not cooperate, and you frequently need to remove limbs, wigs, fingers, clothing, heads, and occasionally the full torso. It’s not uncommon to overhear, “no, pull that arm off again, and stick it in the sleeve first.” “Take his head off, and pull the shirt on that way.” “lift her by the crotch and see if you can get her to lean against the bookcase….”which sounds really dirty, but isn’t! (old store mannequins come apart in the middle-if you grab them around the torso to move them, you just get the upper half!)

the ladies had a good time putting the mannequins in costume

So yeah, it is kind of weird. But we have a nice collection of Halloween costumes from the 1920s, and wanted our visitors to enjoy them. Some of them are pretty elaborate.

Madeline as a 1920s witch. Can you see her cute papier mache cat basket?

Most of our mannequins are old store mannequins from the 1940s and 50s.

Blanche in a very elaborate 18th century costume, with a Napoleon-style hat!

I think they dressed Daisy as a daffodil. It still didn't get her out of the kitchen, though...

Daisy’s husband, Charlie, as a matador, I think. Another very elaborate costume.

Charlie's is by far the most detailed costume, corduroy, velvet, and satin ruffles. Doesn't he look handsome!

Mike getting dressed in his jester costume

Even little Jimmy is ready for the party. He's a lion!

The decorations are in place…

vintage pressboard decorations

table is all set for our guests!

We had so much fun with the costumes and decorations, and hopefully our visitors will enjoying seeing them all month long.

All is in preparation for our Ghosts of Our Past walking tour, Friday, October 21st, 2011. If you are in the Clawson area, join us. We’ll be leaving from the Blair Memorial Library and walking downtown to look at the buildings and learn some history, but we’ll also encounter some ghostly residents from the past.

File this under “I can believe I get paid for this!”

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About claymire cottage

I'm a museum curator who lives with a wonderful husband, Rowley the golden Retriever, and 2 cats; Mr. Cookie, and Mabel the Magnificent.

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