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  • Gold Quartz Jewelry

    by James H. Nottage, Eiteljorg chief curatorial officer | May 13, 2015
    _MG_5865
    Brooch, 1860s

    Loan courtesy of Greg and Petra Martin
    Photography by Hadley Fruits

    Fine jewelers, along with gold- and silversmiths, were among the citizens who made up the new populations of gold rush California. Many of those who found wealth showed it off with watch chains, brooches, and other jewelry made with sections of gold-rich quartz. A number of firms rose to prominence by making this unique form of jewelry in San Francisco. They included J. W. Tucker & Co.; George Shreve & Co.; Barrett & Sherwood; and Braverman & Levy. Supposedly, even President Abraham Lincoln had an example of gold quartz jewelry. An elegant purse made of panels of gold and gold quartz, remarkable boxes, and even a model of the Parthenon were created for the wealthiest of clients. Watch fobs and brooches were often designed to hold loved ones’ pictures or locks of hair.

    _MG_5896

    Watch and Chain, 1860s
    Watch by American Waltham
    Gold quartz, gold, enameled face
    Loan courtesy of Greg and Petra Martin
    Photography by Hadley Fruits

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  • On the Banks of the Yukon Far Away

    by Johanna M. Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator | May 11, 2015


    On my log cabin home beside the Yukon / Old aurora throws her bright and brilliant ray. / Thro’ her beams I see the snow clad mountains gleaming, / On the banks of the Yukon far away.

    —Lyrics from On the Banks of the Yukon Far Away, 1910, words and music by Martin T. Chester

    To Klondyke we’ve paid our fare / Our golden slippers we soon will wear / We’ll live on pig and polar bear /  And gather the nuggets we know are there.

    —Lyrics from To Klondyke We’ve Paid Our Fare, 1897, words and music by H. J. Dunham

    The allure of gold has captured the imagination of dreamers and adventurers throughout time. Gold rushes like the Klondike not only drew prospectors and speculators to the goldfields, they also inspired many creative works that influenced popular culture at the time, including novels, plays, songs, and even board games. Some of these works were created by people with firsthand knowledge of the gold rush, others by people who had never set foot in the Klondike region. The gold fields of the Far North figured prominently in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the 1909 World’s Fair held in Seattle, Washington. These creative endeavors allowed people from all over the world to vicariously experience the excitement and adventure of life in the Klondike.
    Klondike March of the Gold MinersThe Chilkoot March
     











    Sheet Music Covers
    Loan courtesy of Greg and Petra Martin.

    The Klondike Gold Rush inspired many composers. Alfred Roncovieri, who wrote The Chilkoot March, actually spent time in the Klondike gold camps.

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    _MG_6022

    The Klondike Game, 1896–1902
    Parker Bros.
    Loan courtesy of the University of Alaska Museum of the North
    Photography by Hadley Fruits

    The famous game company Parker Brothers created and marketed this board game during the peak years of the Yukon-Klondike gold rush. The game play mimicked the actual journey to and from Dawson City, and the player who collected the most gold nuggets by the end of the game won.

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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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