Clothing Our Hallowe’en Characters

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Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village has been delighting both visitors and members for more than 30 years. With each new Halloween season, the teams here at The Henry Ford like to blend crowd favorites with new experiences across the event. This year those changes include a revised path through Greenfield Village and new vignettes to enjoy. And for those who love interacting with our characters during the program, we’ve been excited to present nearly a dozen new costumed characters which were created in house by the talented staff of The Studio.

Joining guests in Greenfield Village for the first time in 2014 are the Good Fairy and Bad Fairy, Lady Pumpkin, Boatman, Plague Doctor, Singing Vampire Trio, two new witches and the one-and-only Igor at Menlo Lab. Many existing costumes are tweaked and improved each year. This year, the beloved dancing skeletons and the festive Pumpkin Witch were freshened up to be better than ever. Continue reading

It’s Time to DIY with Tinker.Hack.Invent.Saturday

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There’s a lot planned for the Oct. 25 installment of Tinker.Hack.Invent.Saturday inside Henry Ford Museum, from learning how to weave to making last-minute Halloween decorations. Not only will our Tinker Task Force be on hand to look at the science behind Halloween magic with another offering of “Grossology,” but we’ll be hosting two special groups, and past Maker Faire Detroit makers, that are sure to make for a busy Saturday of DIY inspiration. Continue reading

Create Your Own Greenfield Village Pumpkins

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Are you in need of some pumpkin carving inspiration? We’re here to help. You can create a set of Greenfield Village building pumpkins that are part carved, part painted, thanks to this year’s set of downloadable stencils, created by our own designers Caitlin Jewell and Marissa Hindman.  This year’s set of stencils features six buildings from Greenfield Village: Wright Cycle Shop, Ford Motor Company, Martha Mary Chapel, Scotch Settlement Schoolhouse, Cotswold Cottage and Firestone Farm.

Take a look below to learn how we made them.

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Free Printable: Eames-Inspired Heraldry Flags

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Did you see the Eames-inspired heraldry flags, paired with our Carousel Collection and After Five Collection, in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide? You can make a set for yourself with this printable.

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The flags were inspired by our 1964 Worlds Fair IBM Pavilion Kiosk, which was designed by the office of Ray and Charles Eames. Designed by our Creative Services Manager Cheryl Preston, these flags are simple to make. Simply print them out on card stock, cut out, crease on the dotted lines and secure to a bamboo skewer with tape.

Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: School Rewards of Merit

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Many modern students and parents have been the proud recipients of notices or awards sent home from school recognizing any number of positive behaviors. However, this tradition is not new. We’ve just digitized about 60 examples of school rewards of merit, mainly dating from the late 18th through late 19th centuries, designed to be handed out by teachers to exemplary students. The colorful papers rewarded students for conduct such as academic achievement, good behavior, diligence in study, punctual attendance, correct deportment, and attentiveness.  You can imagine how excited young Jared Long must have been to have received two honors from the “Bank of Industry” in this example from 1853. Visit our collections website to browse the rest of the rewards.

Ellice Engdahl is Digital Collections and Content Manager at The Henry Ford.

Yale University Art Gallery Visits The Henry Ford

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Patricia Kane investigates a piece during her visit to The Henry Ford.

Just weeks before Henry Ford Academy students returned to their school inside Henry Ford Museum, one of their classrooms was transformed into a small furniture study gallery as The Henry Ford hosted visitors on a mission, hoping to bring clarity to a very important time in American furniture making.

Patricia Kane, the Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts at Yale University Art Gallery, along with Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow, Jennifer Johnson, traveled to Michigan in August as part of an ongoing research project to identify pieces created by woodworkers from Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Furniture Archive seeks to document all furniture made in that small state from its beginnings into the early 19th century. To collectors and appreciators of 18th century furniture, the most important town in 18th century Rhode Island was Newport.  There, the craftsmen of the intermarried Goddard and Townsend families created furniture with a unique look and construction. Their work is not only sought after but tells us a lot about that fashionable Rhode Island town during the 18th century. Indeed, their distinctive style was emulated by craftsmen not only in Rhode Island, but also in neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Continue reading

“Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” Comes to The Henry Ford

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Dancing on sandy beaches, crooning together in harmony, swinging from tree to tree – it’s hard to believe the footage of the cartoonish creatures in Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is 100 percent real. The wacky quirks of Madagascar’s oldest inhabitants are captured on film and set to Morgan Freeman’s narration along with festive dance tunes like “I Will Survive” and “Be My Baby.” Continue reading

TV at The Henry Ford: Live Broadcasts from Greenfield Village

"Today" show commentator Dick McCutcheon and museum curator, H. S. Ablewhite, discuss Henry Ford's race car "999," while Ken Schwartz waits patiently in the driver's seat. (THF116080)

“Today” show commentator Dick McCutcheon and museum curator, H. S. Ablewhite, discuss Henry Ford’s race car “999,” while Ken Schwartz waits patiently in the driver’s seat. (THF116080)

As most of you who follow The Henry Ford know, television crews have begun filming the Saturday morning educational show, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation. Some visitors also may have actually seen the production crews in Henry Ford Museum or Greenfield Village several weeks ago as they shot footage for upcoming episodes. This has not been the first time The Henry Ford has played host to national television aspirations. Nearly 60 years ago in 1955, television crews invaded our campus on three separate occasions to broadcast live remotes. And like today The Henry Ford staff was there to help things run smoothly. Continue reading

Just Added to Our Digital Collections: Thomas Nast Material

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October may seem a bit soon to be thinking about Christmas, but if you’ve ever visited Holiday Nights, you know The Henry Ford starts thinking about the holiday season early.  Curator of Photographs and Prints Cynthia Miller got into the spirit earlier this fall by selecting some of our Thomas Nast material for digitization. Thomas Nast (1840–1902) was an editorial cartoonist who is well known for his work for Harper’s Weekly and for creating the modern image of Santa Claus.  We’ve just digitized Cynthia’s selections, including this etching of Santa visiting a Union camp during the Civil War.  Visit our collections website to view all our digitized Thomas Nast material, including additional Christmas images along with some depicting Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and no holiday at all.

Ellice Engdahl is Digital Collections & Content Manager at The Henry Ford.

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