The H. Earl Clack Museum Board discussed a wide variety of topics at its monthly meeting Monday, including introducing a new member of the Hill County musuem’s displays to the public with an old-fashioned party.
The museum board and manager have added Lady Grace, a locally made 4-and-a-half-foot porcelain-faced doll in period costume, to its displays, and plans to hold a tea-and-crumpet party in honor of the addition and its maker, dollmaker Bernice Pyette of Havre.
Her family donated the doll to the museum, now on display sitting in an antique rocking chair next to a display in the museum of smaller dolls made by Pyette depicting famous Havre women.
Board member Gary Wilson said the doll, in velvet dress and high-top button shoes, depicts the epitome of the social network of early Havre.
“We wanted to have a really neat way to introduce it to the community, and I said, ‘Let’s have a tea and crumpet party,’” he said during the meeting.
Pyette, who died in her Havre home May 2, 1999, at age 87, taught herself ceramics and then porcelain doll-making. Museum manager John Bruington said after the meeting that she would make dolls by request depicting anyone, using photographs or other information about the subject to make the doll.
The board agreed to set a Saturday to hold the introductory tea-and-crumpet party, but did not at the meeting this month set a firm date for the event.
After the meeting, board members went to the museum to look at the display of Lady Grace, as well as covers installed on some displays by GlassWorks to prevent people from touching the delicate artifacts.
Museum foundation chair Elaine Morse said the funding organization will pay for those covers. She also said the foundation set April 23 as the date for its annual Hands on History fundraising event.
The board also discussed two major meetings slated for the area this coming spring.
The Museums Association of Montana is holding its 2013 conference, titled “High-Hopes for the Hi-Line: Preparing for a Brighter Future.” in Havre March 21-23.
Another major event is the annual meeting of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, hosted this year by the Rudyard Depot Museum and the Clack Museum April 27.
Board Chair Judi Dritshulas said the board members have been working on the meeting with Don and Lila Redding of the Depot Museum, one of the 15 facilities in 12 communities in Montana on the trail. The Depot Museum managers and staff want the meeting events to be held in Havre, Dritshulas said, although the meeting likely will include tours of the Rudyard museum as well as the Clack Museum and Wahkpa Chu’gn bison kill archaeological site just north of the Holiday Village Mall that houses the Clack Museum.
Other Dinosaur Trail members include the Clack Museum, the Blaine County Museum in Chinook, and Malta’s Phillips County Museum and the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and Field Station.
People can purchase a Dinosaur Trail Passport Book and receive a gold seal of completion for the book, a certificate and a Dinosaur Trail T-shirt once the book is stamped at all locations.
Wahkpa Chu’gn manager Anna Brumley told the board that two sessions will be held at the archaeological site during the museum conference in April. Her husband, archaeologist John Brumley, will be in charge of setting up those presentations, she said.
Brumley added that she should know in March whether the site has been approved for grant funding for which it has applied, to continue work to improve the site.
The Brumleys are being honored in Helena Thursday, Feb. 21, with a Governor’s Humanity Award for their work at the site.
The museum board and funding foundation have organized a reception to honor the couple in Havre, in the Great Northern Best Western Inn in Havre Feb. 23.
The board also discussed updating and upgrading its paperwork, displays and procedures, including board member Raela Hulett telling the board that the bylaw committee which she chairs is continuing its work. That includes updating paperwork and procedures on issues like inventory, consignment sales and acquisition of artifacts for the museum.
Dritshulas said the board also needs to work on some planning issues including regular cleaning rotations of different parts of the museum and updating and improving signage of the displays in the museum.