Updated: Mar 26, 2019
What would happen if objects could talk? What would they say about their history?
This was the question Jaclyn Laman used to create her exhibit “If Objects Could Talk: The History Behind Eastern Shore Artifacts.”
Held in the Nabb Center, objects that connect to the Delmarva area, especially Salisbury, are featured in glass cases or stand close enough to touch.
Over fifteen pieces on display include a baby carriage from the early 1920s, a coffee table built from parts of a pier and skipjack, an umbrella stand made in 1919 at a woodshop class at Snow Hill High School, and a lamp purchased in 1906 that became the first electric lamp bought and used in Salisbury.
“I work in the Nabb Center, for a year and a half I’ve been the curatorial assistant ... I help Janie Kernes [the Nabb Center artifacts and exhibits curator] research exhibits, process artifacts and donations and keep and update records," Kernes said.
Laman continued, “[Kreines] came to be at the beginning of the school year in September 2018 and said, ‘I have an idea for an exhibit, I want you to curate it.’ She already had the idea for the objects, taking different ones from our collection from the Eastern Shore and putting them altogether. Once we had a set list, I did all the research.”
The junior was interested by “all the stories behind the objects,” because while the stand-alone exhibit not only brings out fascinating objects for public view, the artifacts are also important to Salisbury itself.
Laman said, “A lot of the artifacts are from Salisbury. We were in touch with some of the people who donated objects and family members who were connected to the objects.”
Laman highlighted a peanut roaster from 1920 that stood outside Cinno’s Confectionery from 1910 to1949. “Not quite as many residents today would remember it, but their grandparents and parents of their grandparents probably remember the roaster, so it’s nice to have it out where people can see it.”
She feels that the exhibit lets “people see the objects, realize their history and connect them to their own personal history such as recognizing a name. We are taking things that don’t go together and showcasing them ... and other, broader topics.”
The exhibit is on display at the Thompson Gallery in the Nabb Center until July 26. The Nabb Center is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.
By SAMANTHA STELZER
Featured photo: Samantha Stelzer image.