Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Eiteljorg Insider | Katherine Sergi, Social Media Intern

    by Katherine Sergi, Eiteljorg social media intern | May 07, 2015


    This past February I began my journey as the Social Media Intern under the direction of Hyacinth Rucker, New Media and Web Coordinator. As a 22 year old I was very familiar with social media and the many platforms offered to people today. I had no idea when I started how to exactly use social media to market an organization, especially a nonprofit. I learned quickly how important social media is for an organization and what does and doesn’t work. I never expected how much work was really put into getting every post out there, whether it be for an event, an exhibit opening, or just promoting the museum itself. 

    When I helped out with the opening party for Gold! Riches and Ruin I learned firsthand how to post an event as its happening. I never expected it to be so exhausting because I had to constantly run around getting the best shots while connecting to the people at the event. By the end of the night it was amazing to see my hard work on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and the reaction people had to it. It was worth it knowing that even people who couldn’t make it to the event feel like they were there just by my social media posts.
    wantedposterejgold2As a history major working in a museum was something I strived for and after working at the Eiteljorg I began knowing the inner workings of a museum. Not really sure what I wanted to do in museums, my time here has made me realize how much I love being able to use social media to market a little piece of history for everyone to enjoy as much as I enjoy the Eiteljorg. I am very thankful for the opportunity I have been given here and I have learned so much. I can’t wait to be able to use all I have learned for my journey after college and into the real world.

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  • Community in Peril | Life in the gold camps

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg chief curatorial officer | May 06, 2015
     Every alternate house was a gambling saloon, and each of them was carrying on a brisk business. In the middle of the street a little knot of men had gathered, and were holding a prayer meeting, which showed in sharp contrast to the bustling activity of wickedness surrounding it.

    —Leander P. Richardson, “A Trip to the Black Hills,” in Scribner’s Monthly, April 1877

    Life in the gold camps, and in the towns and cities that developed around them, attracted those who sought to separate the miners from their gold through crime, gambling, alcohol, drugs, prostitution, and other temptations. Saloons provided a place to socialize and relax, usually on Sundays, from the labors of mining and prospecting. Whiskey and beer were commonly served, but so were fruity mixed drinks. The food served ranged from basic fare to the finest cuisine, including fresh oysters from the East.

    Although conflicts ran through Deadwood because of crime and violence, many communities within the town formed and prospered. Strong populations of Chinese, Jewish, and other groups were an important part of daily life.  They could even band together in the event of fire, which could threaten them all.

    The Burnt District
    , Deadwood, 1879
    Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Adams Museum Collection; 0070.233.001

    Interior Deadwood Saloon. Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Adams Museum Collection; 0001.044.001
    Chinese fire department - SMALLER

    Chinese Fire Department—July 4, 1888
    Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Adams Museum Collection; 56-6-1924



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  • FANTASTIC, AMAZING, MARVELOUS | What visitors are saying about GOLD

    by Eiteljorg Gold! Riches and Ruin Visitors | May 05, 2015

    2001.142.12.14-gold media
    Scene of Hydraulic Mining in Alaska, ca. 1899
    Image courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society; 2001.142.12.14

    The Eiteljorg's Gold! Riches and Ruin exhibit explores stories of greed, innovation, success and failure in the quest for gold and the world’s continuing fascination with this rare and valuable mineral. Here's what some of our visitors have shared after experiencing the show:

    "This is a most educational and fantastic exhibition. Very well presented. Thank you."

    "Marvelous exhibit — rich detail, displayed beautifully. I live in the DC area and this is on par with anything in the Smithsonian!"

    DSC_8968"The neatness of the area and variety of exhibits was not only impressive, but so well explained and exhibited."

    "It was absolutely amazing. I loved the show by Belinda Mulrooney (pictured - Local actress Jamison Fisher*). The artifacts were unbelievable. It was the most fascinating museum experience ever!!"

    "Wonderful exhibit of history and the westward exploration. Sad to see it cost so many cultures and people their lives."

    "I was really impressed. Nice diversity of religion, race, gender and socioeconomic class. Really well done."

    "Great gold exhibit — very complete time-wise, culturally. The large photos added greatly to sense of being there. Exhibit much more than I anticipated. Excellent! Thanks, congrats to the curator of the exhibit."

    "Very interesting. A lot of things you heard about in history class didn’t provide all these details. Learned a lot."

    Visit this show to witness captivating accounts from gold rush experiences, spanningEiteljorg gold hair comb cup ring nuggets the 1840s to the 1910s, told through art and artifacts. The show comes alive through comprehensive programs, interactive media and hands-on S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering and Math) activities. Gold! closes Aug. 9.

    Pictured: Gold hair comb, cup, ring, and nuggets, Loan: Courtesy of Greg and Petra Martin, Photography by Hadley Fruits

    Storytelling every Saturday and Sunday

    Meet Storyteller Belinda Mulrooney! 
    Saturdays & Sundays through AUG 9
    12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

    Meet Belinda Mulrooney, one of the richest women in the Klondike at the turn of the 20th century, and hear about her adventures during the Yukon Klondike Gold Rush. Local actress Jamison Fisher, will portray Mulrooney in the Gold! Riches and Ruin gallery throughout the run of the exhibition.

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  • Deadwood | Cooperation and Conflict

    by Johanna M. Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator | May 04, 2015

     P_38839- deadwood south dakota
    Deadwood, South Dakota, ca. 1876
    Photographer: Howard
    Image courtesy of Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; P.38839
    Chinamen had no rights in the Hills that the whites were bound to respect, but it is different now. The celestials receive the same protection in our courts of law that white men are favored with.
    Black Hills Daily Times, October 23, 1877

    The white man is in the Black Hills like maggots, and I want you to get them out as quick as you can. The chief of all thieves (General Custer) made a road into the Black Hills last summer, and I want the Great Father to pay the damages for what Custer has done.
    —Baptiste Good, 1875

    Like many gold rush communities, Deadwood was a hub of human activity. Its population was diverse, composed of immigrants drawn by the gold discovery from far and wide to a region that had already been home to the Lakota for generations.

    In some cases, people from different backgrounds found ways to cooperate with one another. For example, the Chinese population of Deadwood found an ally in Jewish businessman Solomon Star. During his twenty-two years as mayor, Star did much to protect the interests and traditions of the Chinese community. In other cases, people could not surmount their differences and conflict ensued. Deadwood was illegally located on Lakota land, and hostilities between the town’s new residents and the Lakota persisted for many years.02678u- the race

      The Race. The Great Hub-and-Hub Race at Deadwood, Dak., July 4, 1888, Between the Only Two Chinese Hose Teams in the United States, 1888
    Photgrapher: John C. H. Grabill
    Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division; LC-DIG-ppmsc-02678

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  • Eiteljorg Insider | Meet Curatorial Intern Lyndsey Blair

    by Lyndsey Blair, Eiteljorg curatorial intern | Apr 22, 2015

    Lyndsey Blair
    Howdy! My name is Lyndsey Blair, and I am a second-year graduate student in the Public History Master’s program at IUPUI.  For the past nine months, I have served as the Eiteljorg’s curatorial intern.  Much of this time has been spent researching information related to the museum’s latest exhibit, Gold! Riches and Ruin.

    For this exhibit, I read numerous articles and books by respected historians, examinedlyndsey blair - WP_20150225_003 first-hand accounts in newspapers, letters, and journals, and viewed thousands of historic photographs.  These resources have given me a greater understanding of the California, Black Hills, and Yukon-Klondike gold rushes.  The most important point I learned was that these rushes not only affected the miners (who were from a variety of backgrounds) but American society as a whole. Some of these changes were beneficial, while others were not.   For example, this phenomenon turned fledging western towns like San Francisco into bustling cities, led to advances in railroad transportation and mail delivery, and inspired new works of art, music, literature, and fashion.  But this event also exposed racial and ethnic tensions in mining camps and nearby cities with diverse populations and resulted in the genocide of thousands of Native Americans. 

    Lyndsey blair 2 - WP_20150225_007Beyond the academic knowledge I have gained from this internship, I have also learned a lot about the museum world.  Much of the work that occurs in museums is a collaborative process, and the same can be said for the Eiteljorg.  With this latest exhibit, staff members spent hundreds (and possibly thousands) of hours planning, researching, and installing the show.  Of course there are the curators, whose work has already been addressed.  But it is also important to recognize the contributions of the designers, the education department, the marketing team, and the maintenance and security staff.  All of these people played important roles in this exhibit.  In the end, I am very grateful to have been part of Gold! and hope visitors enjoy seeing all our hard work!

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