Thursday, August 26, 2004

Enchanted World of Dolls

Lacy bonnet
Lacy bonnet, originally uploaded by mharrsch.
As an avid historical doll collector, I could not pass up the opportunity to visit the "Enchanted World of Dolls" museum in Mitchell, South Dakota when we passed through there on our way back to Oregon. I was not disappointed. Even though I photographed over 100 of their exhibits, I didn't even scratch the surface of the hundreds of dolls on display. I only wish I had had more time and my husband wasn't waiting impatiently for me out in the car. I even found a Ruben Tejada Native American doll that I did not have yet in my collection available for sale in their gift shop. For lovers of history, costume, and dolls, I highly recommend this museum for a fascinating couple of hours!

Check out my other images of dolls on display at this excellent museum!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Splendid China closing a tragedy

Chinese temple scene5
Chinese temple scene5, originally uploaded by mharrsch.
Splendid China was a family theme park featuring more than 60 incredibly detailed replicas of China's most historic landmarks, including a half-mile long Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the modern archeological site of the Terra Cotta Warriors and dozens of other sites and scenes. Sadly, I read on its web site that it closed on December 31, 2003 because of the post 9/11 downturn in tourism.

I found the park fascinating despite the fact that it was 105 degrees the day I visited. I thought the opportunity to see so many beautiful historic places, even in scaled-down versions was truly wonderful, especially since I may never have the chance to see China in person. This type of educational experience is so much more memorable in the long run than a traditional amusement park full of rollercoasters although younger visitors need to have interactivity to stimulate them. When I was there, visitors had already dwindled so many of the scheduled events were scaled back or no longer offered. I love architectural models so I was enthralled anyway but other visitors would probably need additional activities to heighten their interest. I did attend a performance of Chinese acrobats but I think it would have been more intriguing if the acrobats had chosen people from the audience and tried to teach them how to balance the jars and other objects they used in their act. I think having audience participation is critical now days in themed venues since everyone is becoming so used to interactivity with the internet and with modern video games.

I especially enjoyed walking through the 1/3 scale model of the excavation of the terracotta warriors. I had seen the original warriors when the "Tombs of China" traveling exhibit was displayed at the museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. However, seeing even a scaled down version of them still in their trenches was very unique since I doubt that I will ever be able to see the real ones in situ.

To see my other photos check out Splendid China

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Cahokian flintknapper

Cahokian flintknapper
Cahokian flintknapper, originally uploaded by mharrsch.
When I was a young girl in the 1950s, I was fascinated by the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan cultures that we studied in the fourth and fifth grades. But, there was no mention whatsoever about the advanced mound-building cultures of North America. I actually did not ever hear of them until I studied archaeology in college. When I finally got a chance to see the beautifully crafted artifacts that had been recovered from mounds in the American Midwest I was truly astounded.

Check out the rest of my photographs of the fascinating exhibits at the Cahokia Mounds Interpretative Center

Monk's mound

Monks mound
Monks mound, originally uploaded by mharrsch.

Eleven years ago I climbed a Hopewell mound in Tennessee and would have liked to have added Monk's mound to my conquests but there were groups of school children waiting to climb the mound and my husband was getting impatient so I just admired it from afar.

Photographed at Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Williamsburg Assembly Hall

Here's another view of the Williamsburg Assembly Hall.
Uploaded by Hello!

I am testing Blogger's new photo hosting service Hello. The previous images were posted with Flickr I notice that Hello provides larger thumbnails than Flickr. However, I like Flickr's format much better with the post message aligned to the right of the image, title and caption.

Check out the rest of my Williamsburg images!