Current Exhibition: Textiles

If you haven’t visited the Aurora Historical Society recently, then you’ll want to stop in soon.  Our current exhibition is on textiles—hand-made doilies, table clothes, quilts, towels, pillow cases, and cloth. The examples come from the AHS’s artifacts’ collection and represent the work of local women, pieces handed down from generation to generation, and anonymous donors.   The hand-made items showcase the beauty and talent possessed by people in the past and enabled them to have beautiful embellishments in utilitarian, everyday items.

There are several items of key interest.  One such beautiful item is a bedspread brought from China by Betty Lower.  This bedcover is beige fabric with embroidered dragons and flowers in blues, oranges, beiges, and browns.  Ric and Donna Mattmuller loaned many lovely family heirlooms such as Red Work Squares made by Donna’s Mother and Aunt in 1917 and a 100 year old Crazy Quilt, originally owned by Ric’s Mother.  Other items that you won’t want to miss are Red Work pillow cases, a table cloth with pink daisies, blue links, & white roses embroidered on it, a variety of quilts, and many hand-made doilies.

A prized part of the exhibit is the hand-made stair runner that Lois Harmon made and installed in her home at 619 Bartlett Road.  Mrs. Harmon made this rug in six weeks.  She designed and hand-hooked the runner herself in the fall of 1962, in time for its viewing at a Christmas party for friends and family.  Inspiration for the runner came from a magazine, “I happened to see a picture of stair treads in a Woman’s Day magazine….[the rug in the article had] cups and saucers, things like that.  I got thinking about it and decided to design my own pictures, about the family.  Instead of treads with no pattern at all, just different colors of materials…” (Read entire newspaper article for more information -linked below-.)

The panels read from bottom of the stairs to the top:

      • The Harmon Name
      • Brief history of the Harmon family, with a family tree stretching from Connecticut to Ohio.
      • Traveling from the Harmon homestead by wagon to Aurora Village in Ohio.
      • Lois and Ray Harmon and their home at 619 Bartlett Road, prior to its restoration.
      • 1935 Ray and Lois marry at the Church in Aurora.
      • Ray Harmon farming his property with horse and plow.
      • The restored Harmon home at 619 Bartlett Road.
      • Christmas at the Harmon home.
      • Daughters Nancy and Carol await the school bus.
      • The sugar house.
      • The last three panels show the Harmon girls at their hobbies, horseback riding over the fields and hiking; Mr. and Mrs. Harmon sitting in rocking chairs in retirement, and in the Harmon homestead completely restored.

The Textiles Exhibition will be up until the middle of May, 2010.  The museum is open to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2-4 pm or by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Group tours are always welcome.