Saturday, September 1, 2012

Welcome back students!

Although summer officially ends on September 21st, it has unofficially come to a close for many students and for those who work in the education field. At JWU, this time of year is always an exciting one; last weekend many international students moved back to campus, this weekend is Wildcat Welcome Weekend (when the remainder of incoming and returning students move into their residence halls), and classes begin on Tuesday (classes in the Doctoral program started last Friday). We here at the museum would like to extend a warm welcome to all students, and an especially warm welcome to our own Student Assistants and Work Study students who are so very integral to the operation of this museum. Also, thank you to the Student Assistants who worked with us over the summer and who will remain on staff for the upcoming school year.

Museum staff and Student Assistants have been working very hard over the last few months on various projects (as always), and three new exhibits were installed this summer. We truly hope you have time to come on over to see them! 

We have revamped the Biltmore exhibit, which tells the story of the hotel, focusing largely on the stories of two employees - former Executive Chef Adolf Schrott, who started as a Sous Chef in 1959, and Jim McDonnell, whose hotel food service career of fifty-five years started in 1948 as a busboy, and ended with his retirement in 2003 as the Biltmore's Director of Catering. As many hotels do, the Providence hotel hosted many celebrities over the years and Mr. McDonnell was kind enough to donate a collection of photos which provide a sample of the visitors he hosted over the years. We've turned this portion of the exhibit into a game - how many of the local and national figures can you identify?

In the area by the Ever Ready Diner is a photo essay about diner manufacturing with a sequence of images of Tierney Dining Cars, their factory and the Tierney Training School. This was an operating lunch wagon adjacent to the Tierney plant at New Rochelle, NY, where the Tierney Brothers would teach fledgling proprietors how to operate a diner in the 1920s.

Our largest exhibit to open this summer was conceived, developed and curated by a Johnson & Wales student. "Roughing It: Fare of the Wilderness" was the brainchild of Emmalee Santioni, a former museum Student Assistant who graduated in May 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. Along with a team of her peers and professional museum staff, she put together an exciting and engaging exhibit about safety and survival in the wilderness - with a focus on cooking, of course!

There is much more in store for students in the coming academic year, so stay tuned, and we hope to see you all very soon!