Collections Corner: Why are some objects not on display anymore?

By Kimberly Totten, Collections Manager

Exhibits are not stagnant. During an exhibit, collections are sometimes taken off display and replaced with others from the collection’s storage. There are several reasons why museums rotate objects in exhibits, but removing an object from display can feel like the museum is taking away the public’s access, especially for long-running exhibits where it is accepted that you could come back any time to see the same exhibit. But the Heurich House Museum has important reasons why we have rotated objects off display.

We care for collections so that the public may access them, now and in the future. One way that we make the collections more accessible is to have more collections on display. Sometimes exhibits are on display for several years, and to keep things fresh, we will select new objects that have not been on display for years, or that have never been on display before. Rotation is a great opportunity for the public to see more of our collections.

Another reason that objects are rotated off display is for preservation. Some objects are extremely delicate or susceptible to damage, and can only be on display for a short period of time. For example, some materials are sensitive to light, such as textiles or paper. If you have ever taken a tour of the Heurich House Museum, you may have noticed that some of the rooms are dim, which helps the wood and fabric from fading overtime. Museum best practice recommends some materials, like textiles, to be in bright light for only six months to prevent long term fading and damage.

In the HOME/BREWED exhibit, we are lucky to have a variety of breweriana thanks to our collections from Jack Blush. The advertisements, ephemera, and other brewery products are a great way to showcase the story of the Chr. Heurich Brewing company. Because the brewery's archives were burnt down in 1938, finding Heurich breweriana can be difficult, which means prior to this collection, we had a limited collection to showcase.. Thankfully, we now have several advertisements, giving us the opportunity to rotate out the breweriana collection.

Did you notice that two advertisements have been changed in the HOME/BREWED exhibit this month.  Do you know which advertisements have been recently put on display on our gallery wall (see photos below)?  On the right side of the gallery wall, both advertisements are for Senate beer: the first a blue bus sign reading "it fits your taste" and the second a 1937 Calendar, featuring a young woman in a maroon dress. We replaced the green bus sign reading "Nice work…when you get it" and a 1939 Calendar, featuring a woman in a white jumpsuit.



Advertisements for the Chr. Heurich Brewing Company on display in the HOME/BREWED exhibit

P.S. If you have an opportunity to take a tour of the Heurich House Museum, you might find two more advertisements recently put on display.

New advertisements for the Chr. Heurich Brewing Company on display outside the bierstube in the historic house

View the HOME/BREWED exhibit during our regular biergarten hours Thursday - Saturday. Find the new advertisements near the bierstube on a public tour.

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