Friday, July 08, 2016

Hey DeeDee What’s Up with you and Museums?

My Law Man part of The Slip in Time series

Since I started working on the Slip in Time series and creating the fictional Cowboy and Western Museum of Idaho Falls, I’ve thought a lot about museums and the important place they’ve had in my life. Though I’ve never been to a museum that slips women back into the Old West to meet or re-meet their true love, I have had some pretty wonderful museum experiences. My visit to the Denver Art Museum - stands out because it inspired the interactive nature for the “Lawmen of the West” exhibit in MY LAW MAN.

My whole visit to Denver back in September 2012 was fairly magical; I found the best deli in Denver (by accident), a woman found me in line to buy a ticket for the musical Peter and the Star Catcher and gave me her husband’s unused ticket, (added bonus she was a wonderful seat companion) I saw the newest Cirque show, and one sunny afternoon took a long walk culminating in one of the best museum outings I’ve ever experienced.

The main exhibit at the Denver Art Museum that fall was “Spun, Adventures in Textiles.”
Opportunities abounded in interactive exhibits including a quilt block making corner where people like me, who love quilts, but have never learned to quilt could glue together our own quilt blocks. I used black and white fabric, red triangles, buttons, ribbon, and made my very first quilt block. It sits on my writing desk, a decorative splash of color and design. Another area welcomed us to make handmade stamped postcards with outlines of cactus, cowboy hats, spurs, a barbed wire fence, a cattle brand etc. They even had postcard stamps to purchase and a mini US post office box for mailing immediately.

Their current exhibit sounds amazing and makes me want to plan a trip to Denver, Why We Dance, American Indian Art in Motion. This will highlight the museum’s annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration. What I love about this museum and the fictitious museum I’ve created is the exhibits are not only visually stunning. Oftentimes the works of art or artifacts have a listening, smelling, feeling, and even tasting component that makes them not art pieces, beautifully lit and roped off on a wall but instead an interactive event.

I used two real life museums to inspire my writing; National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and in Idaho Falls, The Museum of Idaho both are on my “Can’t hardly wait to get there” list.

And if you still don’t think museums are you’re thing, I totally understand. In fact it was fun creating Phebe the heroine for MY LAW MAN who started off hating museums and eventually learned to love museums as much as I do - From MY LAW MAN - "The museum wasn’t like school where she had to sit still and memorize, but like life where she experienced living right alongside people in another time period."

Wherever you’re summer travels take you, I wish you happy reading!

DeeDee Lane


stanalei said...

I love museums too, DeeDee. Great post of your experiences. Wishing you the best with the new book!

DeeDee Lane said...

Thanks Stanalei, It's funny how these museum outings stick in my mind so long after I've had the actual experience. Best to you! Happy Writing!