A Central New York Mother’s Day Celebration: Two very special exhibits at EOH and OCMH

At the Earlville Opera House:  Celebrating 100 Years of Mothers

Sample photo: Hattie Mae Smith circa 1920's by the house on the Red River, Colfax Louisiana. Granddaughter: Patti Lockwood-Blais lives in Eaton, NY.

Sample photo: Hattie Mae Smith circa 1920’s by the house on the Red River, Colfax Louisiana. Granddaughter: Patti Lockwood-Blais lives in Eaton, NY.

In celebration of the mothers of this Chenango River valley community and the 100th Anniversary of Mother’s Day, EOH will present a special Mother’s Day Exhibit from May 10-June 7 of historic photographs of the mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers of Central New York’s families.

The remarkable women from our past, without whom none of us would be here today, will come to life on Saturday, May 10Enjoy a public reception with refreshments from 11 am to 1pm for the Mothers on display, with the exhibit remaining open through 3 pm.

The new exhibit features historical photographs from families who currently reside in the towns and villages of Central New York.  Each photo is accompanied by stories written by their descendants that tell us what made these women unique.  Although the original submission deadline of April 18 has passed, if you have a photograph and a story you’d like to share, call the Opera House (315-691-3550), as we may be able to accommodate a few more.

Additionally on May 10, the Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter’s Tea Party will take place from 1-3 pm, in the Arts Café.  With antique china, beautiful linens, and an array of fantastic homemade desserts, this is a wonderful way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend.  The tea party is by reservation only, tickets are $18 for the general public and $16 for EOH members and $8 for students.  Proceeds go to support EOH programs for youth.

Celebrating 100 Years of Mothers is on display through June 7th. The Earlville Opera House is located at 18 East Main Street in Earlville.  For more information, visit www.earlvilleoperahouse.com or call 315-691-3550 during office hours:  10-5 Tues-Friday, 12-3 Saturday.

At the Oneida Community Mansion House:  Children and Mothers in the Oneida Community

ocmhAlso opening on Saturday, May 10th is a new exhibit “Children and Mothers in the Oneida Community” at the Oneida Community Mansion House!  Their hours on May 10th will be 9am to 5pm.  The exhibit will run for a year, but after the opening date, the exhibit will be available during guided tours only, at 10 am and 2 pm Wed-Sat, and at 2 pm on Sundays.

This exhibit explores ideas about childhood and motherhood that were very different from those found elsewhere in the 1800s.  The Oneida Community Mansion House was the home of the 19th century utopian Oneida Community (1848-1880).  Its members believed a woman was made for God, for the Community, and for herself, and therefore should be more than a mother.  To make that possible, they lightened household drudgery by centralizing and sharing all work. Then, they collectivized childcare. Oneida children were not raised by their biological parents, but rather kept together in a children’s department under the guidance of a few care-providers.

The exhibit evokes the fascinating lives of Community mothers and children in numerous photographs and many items of their clothing. The children’s department is remembered in its clock and an instructional lithograph that once graced its walls. On view is a range of material used in teaching the youngsters:  books, maps, a globe. Other artifacts illustrating an Oneida Community childhood include awards, drawings, stereoview cards, a child’s wagon, and, of course, toys.

Today, the Mansion House is home to a museum with permanent and changing exhibitions, residential apartments, overnight lodging, a gift shop, the Kenwood and Vine restaurant, and banquet and meeting space.  The Oneida Community Mansion House is located at 170 Kenwood Ave., Oneida.  For information call 315-363-0745 or visit www.oneidacommunity.org.


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