Thursday, February 24, 2011

The New Guy In Town

Up until this last September the Amana Heritage Museum has been running without a curator for a while. What is a curator exactly, you might ask. Well, it depends on the institution.  At the Amana Heritage Museum the curator is the person who processes and takes care of the artifacts, archives and photographs in its collections, creates exhibits, and takes care of the museum buildings. It’s a big job!  Not having a curator at the museum has meant a little more work for everyone here and that we have had a little pile up of new artifacts that had been donated to the museum, but we have been managing for the most part.

Luckily though the Amana Heritage Museum now has a new curator. His name is Zach Row-Heyveld. He’s Dutch. His family is from Pella, but we try not to give him to hard a time about that.

 Zach is originally from Peoria Illinois, and currently lives in Iowa City and drives into Amana three days a week. Zach walked into a big job, I hope he is not too overwhelmed. Right now he is working with our artifact collection, securing and bring up to date all of the storage for it. Zach has been doing everything from putting away artifacts, sorting artifacts to making padded hangers for our clothing collection. Before he came to work here in Amana he worked at the University of Iowa Natural History Museum doing exhibit design and maintenance. So we should be getting some great new exhibits at the Amana Heritage Museum in the near future.

I asked Zach if he had found any really interesting artifacts here at the museum as he is familiarizing himself with the collection. Like a true history buff Zach likes items that show how people of the past dealt with everyday problems that we still struggle with. He finds the clothing collection interesting, for it shows this kind of problem solving. He also found a collection of 1930s glass slides that were used in a class room. They are of images from all around the world. Zach finds it interesting to look back and see how places still familiar to us today looked back then.

I also ask Zach what his favorite thing about Amana is, being a fan of architecture he said the old houses, though Millstream Brewery is also pretty high on his list too.

Zach is a big asset to the museum. Each year the Amana Heritage Museum gets hundreds of items donated that need to be taken care of. The artifacts that you see on display are just a tiny percentage of what we have here. As Zach get to know our collection better, I’m sure that you will see some fun new exhibits here at the museum. So make sure that you come on by. Not to be bias, but I think it is the first stop you should make if you ever visit the Amana Colonies.

Working hard in My Town: Amana Colonies

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