The members of Dr. Teri Abstein’s spring 2013 Museum Object class have been working with Florida State University Special Collections to design the exhibit entitled Farms, Fields, and Florida: Lois Lenski Illustrating the South. Through materials that have not been on display since Lenski presented them herself, the exhibition highlights the children’s author’s connection with the rural south, focusing on the state of Florida. Showcasing tales such as Bayou Suzette (recounting the life of a young Cajun girl in Louisiana), Strawberry Girl (the Newbery Award winning novel depicting the life of a young Cracker girl in Florida), and Judy’s Journey (tracking a young migrant girl’s travels through the south and eastern coast), the exhibition displays the rustic yet realistic tapestry of Southern life woven by Lenski. In addition, with featured photo albums, handwritten manuscripts, fan letters, original illustrations, and her published books, visitors receive a glimpse into Lenski’s own life and process.
The course, a requirement of the Museum Studies Minor, gives students a hands-on experience within the museum field. Divided into four groups, the class gained familiarity in curation, education, design, and online exhibition. Groups worked cohesively to select objects and design layout and educational materials while staying within budgetary constraints. The class was guided by Dr. Abstein throughout the design and execution, with considerable help from FSU Special Collections. The goal: to provide an educational yet enjoyable experience for the audience, while presenting seldom-seen materials owned by Florida State.
The exhibit will run from April to September of 2013 on the first floor of Strozier Library.
The Museum Studies Spring 2013 class would like to thank the Florida State University Special Collections for all their help in making this exhibition possible.
When the Lois Lenski Collection was donated to Florida State University, illustrations, manuscripts and sketches were displayed in Strozier Library.