Nebraska State Historical Society Blog

Kearney bachelors newspaper article

March 7, 2017

Timeline Tuesday: The Bachelors' Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, single business and professional men was already well known in Kearney. Formed in November of 1888, the club took for its motto "Divided We Stand, United We Fall," and held many of its social functions at Kearney's Midway Hotel. The Kearney Daily Hub said on March 6, 1890:
From the Kearney Daily Hub, September 25, 1889.   Solomon D. Butcher depicted the cigar stand inside Kearney's Midway Hotel, which hosted many social events sponsored by the Bachelors' Protective Union. NSHS RG2608-2628 "The brotherhood, as its votaries delight to call it, has become very popular among society lovers, as was very evident last night from the many smiling, happy faces of the tenderer sex. It has been a time honored custom among the bachelors that when one of their members stepped aside to take a peep at the other side of life-the matrimonial side-this breach of faith is punished by visiting upon the offender the punishment of dining and evening [sic] him." The gathering was held at Kearney's Midway Hotel, where the guests were seated at a table forming the letter "U" to designate the matrimonial unions of the two former club members. "Till nearly 11 o'clock the epicures feasted upon raw oysters on the half shell and other delicacies of the season," after which...

Assistant Objects Conservator Rebecca Cashman works on one of the Doane Powell masks

March 3, 2017

Flashback Friday: What’s more ghoulish than a historic mask of a long-dead celebrity?

What’s more ghoulish than a historic mask of a long-dead celebrity? Any mask of a long-dead celebrity with wrinkles, tears, missing ears, or discoloration – or at least that’s how the conservators at the NSHS’s Ford Conservation Center feel. “The large spots of discolored adhesive make it look like he has leprosy or something,” says Rebecca Cashman, Objects Conservator. The objects lab at the Ford Conservation Center in Omaha is currently busy with 30 masks that will soon be part of the “The Strange and Wonderful Masks of Doane Powell” exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum. In March, these masks will replace the first group of treated masks currently on display. That way, the masks aren’t subjected to the rigors of being on display for the entire ten months of the exhibit. The Doane Powell masks have been a huge group effort for the Ford Center. While each conservator usually works on projects related to his or her specialty (paper, paintings, or objects), the masks...
Kenneth Be, painting conservator at the Ford Center, is shown with a John Falter painting.   Paper conservator Hilary LeFevere and conservation technician Megan Griffiths work on paper objects at the Ford Conservation center.   Cashman works on a Doane Powell mask at the Ford Conservation Center. As a result, conserving these objects requires a one-of-a-kind approach to clean and repair each mask. “There are about 70 masks and they’re not all painted with the same media,” Cashman says. She picks up a mask of early 20th century entertainer Sophie Tucker and points to Sophie’s lips. “In some cases we think actual makeup, like lipstick, was used to color some of the lips. ,” Cashman says. “We have to be very careful.” At the beginning of the project, Cashman carried out extensive testing on a group of masks to gain a sense of cleaning methods and repair materials that could be safely used to treat them without interfering with the original materials. Lab technicians Megan...     

Legacy of Nebraska: Paintings by Todd Williams

March 1, 2017

The Legacy of Nebraska Exhibit Opens 6:00 p.m. March 1

Exhibit Opening at Nebraska History Museum Nebraska will celebrate 150 years of statehood throughout 2017, but the birthday bash at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln starts at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 1.  “The Legacy of Nebraska: Paintings by Todd A. Williams” will open to the public on Statehood Day. Nebraska-born artist Williams spent five years creating paintings that depict historic, geographic, and figurative elements from each of the state’s 93 counties. He worked with historians, sponsors, and leaders in each county to identify significant subjects for the project. Some counties inspired more than one painting. A total of 124 pieces will be on exhibit through June 4 at 131 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln. In addition to the March 1 opening from 6:00-8:00 p.m., the museum will be open late on Friday, March 3 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. as part of Lincoln’s First Friday Gallery Walk. The museum is open daily except state holidays free of charge. Call 402-471-4782...
Summer Tour This summer parts of the exhibit will tour to Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (June 17-August 20), and Omaha’s Gallery 1516 (September 1-October 15). Regional selections will be simultaneously exhibited at Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, David City; Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice; Gallery 92 West, Fremont; Dawson County Historical Society Museum, Lexington; and the West Nebraska Art Center, Scottsbluff throughout the rest of 2017.

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