Two light-hearted exhibits opening Friday, November 24 at the Springfield Museums will help launch the holiday season.
The Middle Ages in Miniature at the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum will present ten vignettes depicting major events and ceremonial activities of medieval life. Hundreds of tiny figures from the private collections of members of the Connecticut Valley Miniature Figure Society will recreate such historical events as the 1420 Battle of Tannenburg, the Viking invasions of Europe, the Battle of Jerusalem during the Crusades, and other medieval milestones. Other scenes will show life in medieval Japan, the siege of a castle, and jousters competing in a tournament. 'Tis the Season at the Springfield Science Museum will display antique and collectible dolls from around the world, interspersed with other objects from the museum collection. Included will be 19th-century German and French fashion dolls, a variety of Madame Alexander international dolls, and eight-inch-tall Hummel dolls from Germany displayed with Eastern European accessories. Native American dolls and Chinese dolls will be shown with actual clothing from those cultures, and dolls from Africa will be displayed with African masks and other artifacts. In keeping with the international theme, the exhibit will also feature shoes from different countries, including Norwegian fur slippers and hobnail clogs, woven fiber footwear from Africa, and tiny "lotus" shoes once worn by Chinese women with bound feet. The dolls and accessories are displayed in "storefront" windows in a Victorian village setting, surrounded by a snow-covered forest scene filled with mounted woodland animals from the museum collection.