Museum Musings

Everyone looks forward to Fridays, right? This summer the staff in the Museum sure does, but not for typical reasons. Lately, Fridays bring us a day full of new friends. This past Friday the Flat Lander Good Sam’s Camping Club from Burlington, Colorado and a dear couple from Switzerland brightened our day by visiting the Museum. International visitors come to the Dane G. Hansen Museum every so often, but to the best of my knowledge, the Flat Lander Good Sam’s Camping Club was our first camping club to visit the Museum.

Dane G. Hansen Museum

Mr. & Mrs. Bohi, Switzerland and Staci Hartman

Never having heard of a camping club, I was quite intrigued. Member, Rosie Palkwitsh, was happy to fill me in on the details. April through October, the club meets once a month for a 4 day excursion at a campground chosen and arranged by their Wagon Mistress.

The Flat Landers Good Sam's Camping Club at the Dane G. Hansen Museum

The Flat Landers Good Sam’s Camping Club at the Dane G. Hansen Museum

While camping, the club eats breakfast and supper as a group and spends their days exploring the area and communities around the campground. This time, they were camping at Prairie Dog State Park in Norton, Kansas. Many members of the club winter in Arizona where they met Loganites, Leo and Lana Balingit. The club will be camp in Alma, Nebraska in September so I invited them back to see our next exhibit.

The Friday before, the Dane G. Hansen Museum was honored with a visit from Milwaukee artist, Marc Sijan, creator of our security guard “Syl”. Mr. Sijan had planned to come the week of July 17th to deliver our next exhibit, but due to another engagement in Denmark, delivery had to be pushed up. This was a full day at the Museum. The Vollbracht Oil Painting Workshop was taking place in the Community Room and we were to receive delivery of our next exhibit. These two things usually take place in the Community Room, but ideally not on the same day. Thankfully, the instructor agreed to take the class outdoors for some plein air work so we could stow away Mr. Sijan’s cargo.

David Vollbracht & Marc Sijan visiting at the Dane G. Hansen Museum

David Vollbracht & Marc Sijan visiting at the Dane G. Hansen Museum

We were not quite fast enough and the Vollbracht workshop participants received a double blessing…they met a world-renowned artist and got a sneak peek at our next exhibition. Finding places to store Mr. Sijan’s sculptures was a bit challenging, but we managed to get them all safely hidden from public view until their installation.

That particular Friday was a chock-full from start to finish. Mr. Sijan and crew came in the morning and left before noon. The afternoon was filled with workshop attendees, more Museum visitors, phone calls, and paper work. Therefore, the thrill of Mr. Sijan’s visit had been pushed to the back of my mind, as other duties demanded my attention. At the end of the day, only thinking about going home, I went to close down the Museum. Attending to the business of locking up, I stepped into what we call the chair closet to turn off spotlights and was quite startled to find a woman lying on a table.  Mercy me, I am happy to report that I did not scream nor did I have need to change clothing, but my heart leapt and hairs instantly grayed. As I stood frightfully frozen, my mind racing, almost an eternity (about 30 seconds) later it dawned on me that she was one of Marc Sijan’s sculptures. Trust me, the title Ultra Realistic Sculptures is not an exaggeration!

Marc Sijan’s Ultra Realistic Sculpture exhibition opens July 21, 2017. The Museum is open Mon. through Fri. 9-12 and 1-4; Sat. 9-12 & 1-5; Sun. and holidays 1-5. We are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. We are handicapped accessible and admission is always free thanks to the generous support of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. For more information or if you have questions, please contact us at 785-689-4846. We hope to see you at the Museum!

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