April 3, 2011
As I reached to pull the folder titled, “Victorian Questionnaire” out of the box and opened the front flap to transfer the contents, to my surprise, there were no loosely assembled papers or correspondence, research, or exhibit checklists (as per usual), but rather a stiff and tightly packed manila envelope.
A peak inside the envelope revealed a stack of ¼ sheet questionnaires, completed by those that attended the campus-wide festival, “The Art & Mind of Victorian England” held September 28-November 8, 1974, and included public balloon ascensions, Victorian music performances, production of the operetta, ‘Patience,’ library display of 19th century boys magazines, and a lecture series. A University Gallery exhibition titled, “The Art and Mind of Victorian: England: Paintings from the Forbes Magazine Collection,” was also part of the festival. From an August 20, 1974 U of M News Release (Digital Conservancy):
“Included are 47 paintings, spanning the reign of Queen Victoria, and furniture and decorative objects from the period. This will be the first time the paintings, assembled by Christopher Forbes as part of the Forbes Magazine Collection, have been publicly displayed.”
I wonder who was tasked with tallying all of the submitted answers?
Rebecca Wilson is a graduate student in the Master of Liberal Studies program at the University of Minnesota, completing a minor in Museum Studies. She also serves as a Visitor Services Assistant at the Weisman Art Museum.