The beginning of History Bones all started as a rebellion against “Elf on the Shelf”, said Lee Harper who will speak at Museum Moments Thursday, April 21, at noon.
“I thought I would make skeletons do something cool,” she said. “I am such a history nerd. I like cool obscure history – not something that everybody knows.. Like Typhoid Mary. In this diorama made by Harper, Mary was a motherly figure, making food but she didn’t wash her hands. Yuck . And that was before the germ theory.” And that was how she spread the typhoid germ, thus her name.
Skeleton obscura continues in the dioramas with a scene of Mary and Abraham Lincoln with John Wilkes booth before the fatal shot. “That second, that pivotal second – playing with that is interesting,” she said.
Some are gruesome and some are hilarious. One is a skeleton with a gold tooth and totally decked out with a pink ring on his finger. It is an exact replica of an old advertisement Antikanmia, a medicine and they used skeletons in their advertising, she said.
And there is more, lots more. Big Wig tells the story of the how large, tall wigs were a status symbol in the 1700’s and how they would be targets of theft. “I use wire frames to position the skeletons and carve their faces – everything is hand made. I research the time period. I use collage and hand tinting,” she said.
But wait, there’s more. To find out more about these interesting ‘History Bones” come to Museum Moments this Thursday at the museum and hear Lee Harper talk about these story telling skeletons. A light lunch is available courtesy the Junta Club. Museum Moments is made possible by the Museum’s Community Partners.
The museum is located at 114 Cleveland Street, New Albany. For more information call 662-538-0014
Jill Smith, Director
Union County Heritage Museum
114 Cleveland Street
New Albany, MS 38652