August 12, 2013
SUBJECT: NEW EXHIBIT FEATURES FAMILY HEIRLOOMS DATING FROM NEARLY 200 YEARS AGO
By: Nathan Brown
For a limited time, the Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks is displaying “Sacred Objects of Families and Cultures” in the Edwards Art Gallery. The gallery features many different paintings, sculptures, and unique family heirlooms dating from nearly 200 years ago. The public may view this exhibit through October.
One part of the display highlights the family collection of John and Ann Hutton Gardiner. In the early 1800s, the Gardiner’s built their own ship and sailed from England to New York to make a new home in America. Included in the collection is a family Bible, a map drawn by John Gardiner, several family wedding bracelets, plus several other artifacts that tell the Gardiner family’s story.
“We often have family descendants who stop by and take a look at these special and sacred family pieces,” said Jeanelle Ash, Ralph Foster Museum curator.
C of O student Nick Higgins, a direct descendant of the Gardiners, visited the Museum to view the display with his family.
“We were impressed with how well the College has preserved articles of our family history,” said Higgins. “In some cases the student workers have even spent time transcribing my ancestors’ letters out of their pre-industrial calligraphy.”
Nick went on to say that it was somewhat overwhelming to see his family history and that he almost felt a responsibility to read everything and know as much as he could. “Though I can hardly grasp my place in the lineage of such intriguing individuals, I could hardly leave without feeling a more personal connection with my genealogy.”
For more information on the exhibit, Museum prices and hours of operation, call 417-690-3407 or visit www.rfostermuseum.com.