Two new exhibits on display at Ethnic Heritage Museum May 1
Rockford’s Ethnic Heritage Museum invites the public to visit its two newest exhibits—“Made in Africa” and “Garibaldi Guards!”—from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 1
“Made in Africa” is the newest exhibit in the African-American Gallery. The Italian Gallery showcases a salute to the “Garibaldi Guards!” in honor of the Italian-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
The “Made in Africa” exhibit features the photographic works of Brian Hampton. Hampton, a Rockford native, gained his roots in nature photography as a boy spending summers at his grandfather’s farm near the Mississippi River. Hampton is now CEO of Cleo Communications, which produces communications software. Many of his images are glimpses of landscape and wildlife from various unique regions of the world. His goal in photo art is to capture images rarely seen by most people.
This exhibit showcases the Carl and Vivian Edstrom Collection. The Edstroms began their missionary work in the early 1950s in the Congo region of Africa and later retired in 1989. The collection includes ebony and African oak carvings, ceremonial masks, pottery, straw and ebony pieces and cloth made from cotton raised in the regions. Also on display is a ceremonial mask donated by Gordon Eggers, CEO/president of Crusader Community Health. Eggers spent several years medically treating natives in small African communities.
The “Made in Africa” exhibit will be on display every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. until the end of July.
The Garibaldi Guard was the nickname of the 39th New York Infantry, a regiment of Italian-American men who had fought under Giuseppe Garibaldi, the freedom fighter. The Garibaldi Guards wore a distinctively-styled red shirt as part of their uniform to show their connection to their countryman who had worn such a shirt in Italy.
This display features Civil War uniforms from various Rockford families, an original Civil War flag from the 1860s, original photos, artifacts and documents of one soldier’s capture and four quilts where the fabric lends itself to the war era. In addition, there is a Camp Fuller display showing the Rockford Civil War Camp area and a 3-foot-by-4-foot, 36-star flag from the 1862 period.
From 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, May 1, the museum welcomes Terry Dyer, who will give a presentation about Camp Fuller. Call (815) 962-7402 for reservations. Entry fee is $3 for individuals and $5 for a family. A discussion about how Abraham Lincoln and Garibaldi met in America is scheduled for 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 26.
Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St., is unique in its blend of ethnic groups: African-American, Italian, Lithuanian, Irish, Polish and Hispanic. A visit to each of the six galleries will enlighten visitors of the cultural history of each of these groups.
“Garibaldi Guards!” exhibit will be on display every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. until the end of November. Admission is free to the public, but donations are appreciated. Student and group tours can be arranged by contacting the museum at (815) 962-7402 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.ethnicheritagemuseum.org. The museum is handicap accessible.
From the April 27-May 3, 2011 issue
Print This Article