The Neville Public Museum

The Neville Blog

Cast in Bronze: The Sculptures of O.V. Shaffer

Thursday, June 11, 2015

100 years ago, a small group of women, called the Green Bay Art Club, began to exhibit art and other artifactsGlacial Edge by O.V. Shaffer in the basement of the Kellogg Library.  Their dedication was rewarded with their own space which eventually became the Neville Public Museum.  Since then there has been spaces in and around the museum dedicated to the exhibition of artwork, which is one of the Neville’s core missions. 

One of these spaces is right outside our front door.  The fountain sculpture, Glacial Edge by O.V. Shaffer, was unveiled in 1983, the same year the new museum building opened.  This piece is complimented currently by another Shaffer work, Bird Hawk which is on display temporarily on the mezzanine overlooking the fountain and the Fox River.  Bird Hawk (1970) is on loan for the Lawton Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.   Bird Hawk by O.V. Schaffer

O.V. Shaffer is one of the most prolific sculptural artists in Wisconsin, with more than 1,200 pieces throughout the Midwest.  Born in Princeton, IL in 1928, Shaffer graduated from Beloit College in 1950 and went on to teach for six years at his alma mater.  In 1961, Shaffer resigned from teaching and devoted himself to creating sculptures full-time.  The artist won several awards over the years, including the Governor’s Award in the Arts in Wisconsin in 1970. 

Schaffer’s pieces are held in several private and public collections across the state.   They also adorn several public and private buildings besides our museum including the Madison Public Library, Beloit College Campus, and Riverside Park in West Bend.   

Victorian Secrets at the Neville

Friday, May 08, 2015

A couple weeks ago, we had an interesting luncheon program here at the museum.  It featured a presentation on underwear…Victorian era underwear to be exact.  The Victorian period ranges from 1837-1901, beginning at the time of Queen Victoria’s reign and lasting until her death.   When we think about this time period we often think about the big dresses but what we overlook is how much is going on underneath.  

As the staff was thinking about this unique topic, our director decided this would be a great opportunity to display some artifacts from our collection that aren’t usually exhibited.  So we pulled these four pieces from storage for the program and our blog readers will get to view a special bonus artifact not featured in the program!

BustlesBustle

Object #375/248:  This bustle is a great example of a “man” made bustle from ca. 1880.  During the late 1800s men realized that there was money to be made in the ladies undergarment business and thought they could create a better bustle.  This spring bustle is made of the same springs that would be found in a bed or other furniture.  

Object #7220/3075: This bustle was meant to create the “swan” shape that was popular towards the end of the Victorian era ca. 1890.  It is padded with horsehair which you can actually see poking out in the image.  These types of bustles were mass produced.   Bustle

 

 

 

 

 

Drawers

Object #4192/1928: These drawers date to ca. 1850 and are handmade.  They are typical of the time in that the crotch is open but unique with the use of suspenders on the garment (drawstrings are more typical).  

 

Drawers

Chemise

 

 

Chemise 

Object #11,838/1984.82:  These undergarments were worn next to the skin to protect the outer garments from body oils and sweat.  The frills and decorative nature of this garment was most popular during the 1870s.  

Skirt Supporting Corset

 

Bonus: Skirt Supporting Corset

Object #4194/1928: Later in the Victorian era pieces of undergarments were combined into one piece, like this one.  This particular garment from ca. 1870 acted as a corset and a bustle to add lift to the skirt.  

 

The Neville would like to thank Leslie Bellais, curator of social history at the Wisconsin Historical Society for her entertaining presentation and her help in spotlighting the special history of these artifacts.

 

 

 

Leslie Bellais speaking at the Neville Public Museum

152nd Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Burial

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Abraham Lincoln was laid to rest 152 years ago on April 28, 1865 in Springfield, Illinois.  Following his assassination two weeks earlier, his body was laid in state in the nation's Capital and was transported to Springfield by train.  

Lincoln spent time in Wisconsin during his brief military career, serving in the Black Hawk War, and last visited the state in 1859 as a potential presidential candidate.  The Neville Public Museum is proud to hold in our collection a signed photograph of the president and his son Tad, taken in 1864.  Lincoln rarely signed photographs, but two signed copies were gifted to the president's secretary Gustav Matile about one year before Lincoln's death.  

After Lincoln was assassinated, Matile worked as a lawyer in Minnesota and then served as U.S. Court Commissioner for Wisconsin's Eastern District in Green Bay.  When Matile died in 1908, he gave the photograph to the Kellogg Public Library where it was kept until sold to the Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society in 2007.

The image was used on popular commemorative cards and prints after Lincoln's death, but the Neville Public Museum holds one of the only two known original prints, and the president's signature makes this photograph exceptionally uncommon.

Abraham Lincoln and Son


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive