A few short years ago I had the pleasure of devoting a small amount of time to on a unique and fascinating project. Hundreds of dolls and artifacts from around the world waited for me to tag and identify them for their grand purpose of educating children and the community. The dolls were part of the Seifert-Short collection and the Folk Art and Doll Museum and Learning Center was still a vision. Last year the museum opened its doors to the community as Margaret Seifert-Russell and her husband the Rev. Greg Russell welcomed visitors as the hospitality site for Madison’s Nights Before Christmas Tour of Homes. It was amazing to see the vision come to fruition with the hard work and dedication of many.
The vision had always been to educate the community, especially children, about world cultures. Dolls are a familiar and accessible way for children to think about diversity in way of life, dress and occupation.
In addition to this astounding world tour, the second floor of the museum is dedicated Christmas traditions from around the world. This exhibit features over 800 crèches and nativities from around the world, over 800 Santa figures, and a smaller collection of snow people and Christmas trees. A twelve-foot Christmas tree with over 500 ornaments representing the Seiferts and their world travels has also made it to the second floor.
I am excited to take my daughter once again to experience the richness and diversity of this collection. The museum is open to the public, free of charge as a gift to the community and its visitors. Children are especially welcome.
The museum has a new site this year at 113 E. 3rd Street in a 1830s Greek Revival structure, which has a fascinating history all its own.
There will also be samples of displays yet to come-folk dolls and folk art from around the world and antique bisque and porcelain dolls.
Hours of Operation for December
December 5, 7, 8 – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
December 12, 14, 15 –1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
December 19, 21, 22 –1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
December 28, 29 –1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Hours of Operation for January 2013
(Open every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday)
Wednesday – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Friday – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Saturday – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm