Art; Not for the Faint of Heart
Famous costumes and dresses, priceless gems, works of art. These are what you might imagine when you hear the word museum—old and pretty things.
These days you may even think of dead human bodies, though those are neither necessarily old nor pretty. But anyone in Columbus, Ohio will soon have the chance to see something that might seem even less appropriate for a museum exhibit. And that would be the point.
Controversy 2: Pieces We Don't Normally Talk About is not, as the name implies, the first one at the Ohio Historical Society to try and stir something deep within visitors. It is the first, however, to deal strictly in items with a racially charged history of which depict we -- at least nowadays -- would deem racially insensitive or offensive.
The items run the gamut from things a creepy grandpa might collect, like a Nazi flag, to far more unsettling pieces like a child's bowling ball set depicting ethnic caricatures (pictured above). And it is pieces like the bowling set that make the collection so interesting and disturbing.
They were, like a 1946 Cleveland Indians jacket or Paul Laurance poem, not given a second thought not so long ago. The exhibit shows people just what was not only accepted but common just one or two generations ago and that proximity is what will put people on edge.
Running from February 29 through the rest of 2012, Controversy 2: Pieces We Don't Normally Talk About is sure to be a fascinating exhibit that begs the question, "Are we so different?"
Check it out at the Ohio History Center, 800 East 17th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43211.