Kentucky Museum receives $10,000 NEH grant

The Kentucky Museum opened back to the public in February, and the staff has been working on several new exhibits to interest visitors, Brent Bjorkman, director of the Kentucky Museum said. “We’re excited to have people come in, we’re excited to be able to share these upcoming exhibits that connect with lessons and colleagues that are teaching around campus and being a service,” Bjorkman

Kelley Holland

The Kentucky Museum will be receiving a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Preservation Assistance Grants program.

The museum is one of three successful applications from Kentucky to receive the grant and one of 238 humanities projects across the country to receive funding, according to a press release.

Sandy Staebell, Kentucky Museum registrar and collections curator, said that the grant will be used to purchase a museum-quality textiles storage cabinet and preservation supplies to rehouse 19 articles of clothing designed and made by Mrs. A. H. Taylor.

The press release stated that Taylor was the owner of a Bowling Green clothing factory that made garments from 1880 to 1917, primarily for the South and Southwest.

Historic textiles conservator Harold Mailand will also prepare a report on the textiles collection and recommend ideas for future improvements in its care and housing.

Staebell said the grant is another step toward the museum’s goal of improving the general care and housing of its collections.

Taylor’s historic clothing collection was chosen because it is one of the “jewels” of the overall textile collection at the museum, according to Staebell, so it was on her mind when she applied for the grant.

“The maximum award amount for this particular grant is $10,000, so we structured a project that would meet budgetary guidelines,” Staebell said.

The collection highlights female entrepreneurship at the turn of the twentieth century. Along with Carrie Cox, Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising at WKU, the museum has turned the collection into a research, conservation and exhibition project, according to the press release.

The plan is to ultimately create a 2021 exhibition specifically about Taylor and her significance to Bowling Green, fashion and overall entrepreneurship.

Staebell said there are few makers of museum quality storage cabinets, but the museum was able to select one based on advice of conservator Shelley Paine.

The Kentucky Museum remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Kelley Holland can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @kelleyaholland.