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McRitchie-Hollis Museum

Over the years we have sought to bring educational and interactive programming to the community and we ask that you join with us in supporting this endeavor. We believe that museums can be exciting places for persons of every age and background. In the next few years we will be embarking on a new and exciting journey as we build a children’s museum and continue developing exhibits at the new McRitchie-Hollis Museum. Stayed tuned for more changes and feel free to contact us!

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Male Academy Museum, Newnan to Re-Open, Seeking Quilts

Posted August 19, 2015 in “85 South”

Do you own a special quilt that tells a family or community story? A quilt that uses an unusual pattern or motif? Or even just a quilt that has been passed down through the generations of your family?

If so, the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is interested in talking to you!

Male Academy Museum

Male Academy Museum

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

“We are currently looking for more quilts to be shared for a fall exhibit at the re-opened Male Academy Museum,” said Jeff Bishop, NCHS executive director. “If you have a quilt you would be willing to loan to us or donate, please contact us at 770-251-0207, stop by our offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum or email our staff at jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com.”

The Male Academy will re-open on Labor Day Weekend, beginning Saturday, Sept. 5.

NCHS is also looking for folk art from the early days of the Powers Crossroads country fair and art festival for a special Labor Day Weekend display.

“We have three paintings by Tom Powers, and some other items we are going to display especially for the Male Academy re-opening,” said Bishop. “But we’re on the lookout for more.”

NCHS is actively seeking loans of art from the festival’s early days to include as part of the event. Pottery, metal craft, sculpture, painting, fabric craft, glass, woodwork, etching, and other crafts bought or produced at the Powers Crossroads festival, especially items from the festival’s early days, are sought.
As part of the quilt exhibit, the city of Newnan’s “Sesquicentennial Quilt” will be displayed for the first time in years. Other quilts will also be on display, including a quilt made by Coral Moses Hand, whose father founded the Male Academy school for boys in the 1800s.

“We found an oral history she did from the 1970s that really shines a light on her life and work,” said Bishop.

New exhibit panels are being developed for the new exhibit, and the museum has been repaired and re-worked.

“If you come to the Male Academy you’ll see things that haven’t been displayed for a couple of years now, and some that haven’t been displayed in quite some time, if ever,” Bishop said.

The NCHS is also prepping its first ever Quilt Expo this October. Applications should be sent by Sept. 1 with photos and descriptions of the quilts. Quilts must be received by Oct. 1 for the event, slated for Oct. 8-10. NCHS is seeking volunteers to help put up and take down the expo and to be “white gloved attendants.” Anyone interested in lecturing, demonstrating, or holding a class should also contact NCHS.

“We might be able to turn this into an annual fall event,” said Bishop.

10 x 10 and 10 x 20 booths will be available at the Historic Train Depot. Deposits of $50 are required to reserve the space.

The McRitchie-Hollis Museum, located at 74 Jackson St., is also open, showing the new “Golden Era of Hollywood” exhibit, featuring hand-painted movie posters from the Loew’s Grand theater in Atlanta from the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Both the McRitchie-Hollis Museum and the Male Academy Museum will be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10-12 and from 1-3. Admission is $5 / $2.

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Special NCHS “Reel Past” event at Dunaway Gardens in September

Charlotte Canning

Charlotte Canning

The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and Dunaway Gardens are pleased to welcome Dr. Charlotte Canning of the University of Texas at Austin as our guest speaker at a special event planned for Sunday, Sept. 13 at the Dunaway Gardens in Roscoe.

Dr. Canning will speak about the early days of theatre in the United States and the American Chautauqua Circuit, and especially the roles played by women such as Hetty Jane Dunaway, local founder of Dunaway Gardens and Chautauqua Circuit Performer, and Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, better known as “Minnie Pearl” of the Grand Ol’ Opry and “Hee Haw” fame, who first developed her character in Newnan while with the Sewell Production Company in Roscoe.

This event, slated for Sunday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Dunaway Gardens amphitheatre, is part of a series of events sponsored by the Georgia Humanities through a grant. The series, called “The Reel Past,” has focused on Newnan’s Hollywood connections. The Sept. 13 event will also feature an abridged reading of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s original play, “The Flapper Grandmother,” starring Jennifer Dorrell and the Newnan Theatre Company players. Artifacts and photos from the early days of Dunaway Gardens and the Sewell Production Company will also be on a “one day only” display.

For more see Programs/Events Upcoming

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Up Next At a Glance:

- Continuing is our current exhibition, “Herb Bridges’ Golden Era of Hollywood,” featuring original movie posters created in-house by artists at the Loew’s Grand in Atlanta during the 1930s and ‘40s. – At McRitchie-Hollis Museum.

We’re reopening the Male Academy Museum after recent repairs… with a quilt exhibition. The grand reopening is Sept. 5, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Hours that weekend will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 5 and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6. We will include a special weekend-only display recalling the Powers Crossroads Festival – including three original paintings done by Tom Powers and a variety of art and crafts purchases.

Our “Reel Past” series celebrating Georgia’s connection with the movie industry and supported by Georgia Humanities continues with a special program at Dunaway Gardens the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 13. At 1:30 p.m. Newnan Theatre Company will perform an adaptation of an original work by Hetty Jane Dunaway, “Flapper Grandmother.” That will be followed by a talk on theatre and the Chautauqua circuit from the days of Hetty Jane Dunaway’s stage fame. Speaking will be Charlotte M. Canning of the Department of Theatre and Dance, The University of Texas at Austin. She is the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Professor in Drama; senior editor, Theatre Research International; director, Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism; and heads the Performance as Public Practice MA/MFA/PhD programs.

Among other upcoming events:
- The first Artist in Residence at the newly renovated house behind McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Clark Street will give a talk here at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. He is Scottish artist Peter Tudhope.
- Harpist Ashley Collins will be performing at McRitchie-Hollis at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.

- NCHS plans a Quilt Expo at the Depot History Center on East Broad Street Oct. 8-10. There will be quilt displays and vendors. Applications should be sent by Sept. 1 with photos and descriptions of the quilts to NCHS, P.O. Box 1001, Newnan,GA 30264. Or stop by the NCHS offices at McRitchie-Hollis Museum.. Quilts must be received by Oct. 1 for the Oct. 8-10 event. NCHS is seeking volunteers to help put up and take down the expo and to be “white gloved attendants.” Anyone interested in lecturing, demonstrating, or holding a class should also contact NCHS. There will be 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 booths available at the Historic Train Depot for vendors. Deposits of $50 are required to reserve the space.

- Simple Pleasures photography competition returns to McRitchie-Hollis Museum with winners from the fall competition in November, with an opening reception planned for Saturday, Nov. 7 – time to be announced.
-We are planning the annual member Christmas party for early December, date and time to be announced.
-Artist Millie Gosch will be presenting an exhibition of her work opening in December, and of  the annual Palmette Ball returns on New Year’s Eve.

For more information stop by McRitchie-Hollis at 74 Jackson Street or call us at 770-251-0207. We keep our web site at www.newnancowetahistoricalsociety updated, as well as regular posts on our Facebook page.

Calling All Quilts!

Do you have some special quilts? The Male Academy Museum is reopening Labor Day weekend, and Newnan-Coweta Historical Society is looking for quilts to be shared for a fall exhibition at the Male Academy of quilts and their stories. If you have a quilt to share bring it by the office at McRitchie-Hollis Museum, call us at 770-251-0207 or email Jessie Merrell at jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com

NCHS is accepting quilts on loan for an exhibition opening September 2015 at the Male Academy.

NCHS is accepting quilts on loan for an exhibition opening September 2015 at the Male Academy.

Labor Day Weekend launches quilts, special Powers Crossroads exhibit at Male Academy

The Powers Crossroads festival may be gone, but this Labor Day Weekend the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will be remembering the popular event with “Powers Crossroads Revisited” at a newly re-opened Male Academy Museum, 30 Temple Avenue.
Three paintings by the founder of the festival, Tom Powers, will be on display, along with quilts, crafts, and folk art dating from the early days of the festival, which began in 1971.
“We received these paintings of Mr. Powers just before he passed away, and it seemed like a sign we should remember him and the festival he started in some way,” said Jeff Bishop, executive director of the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
NCHS is actively seeking loans of art from the festival’s early days to include as part of the event. Pottery, metal craft, sculpture, painting, fabric craft, glass, woodwork, etching, and other crafts bought or produced at the Powers Crossroads festival, especially items from the festival’s early days, are sought.
The two-day Powers event Sept. 5-6 will be part of a re-launch of the Male Academy Museum, which will be re-opened with a new long-term quilt exhibit. Quilts are needed to add to the exhibit, to complement the quilts already in the NCHS collection, which include the Newnan Sesquicentennial Quilt.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Newnan Sesquicentennial quilt from the NCHS collections.

Patchwork quilt from the NCHS collections, donated in 1986.

Patchwork quilt from the NCHS collections.

“We also would like for artists who quilt, weave, or paint to set up tables for this event,” he said. Please contact NCHS at 770-251-0207, stop by the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street (side entrance is at the parking area on Clark) or email Jessie@newnancowetahistoricalsociety.com for more information.
Around 1970, Powers and business leader Lindsey Barron launched the concept that became the Powers festival. There were few such events at Labor Day at the time, and Powers Crossroads became a highly touted, juried art venue that drew shoppers from all around. The festival continued for more than 40 years, but eventually went into decline. The last festival was held in 2013.
“If you have old quilts, especially, we would love to display them and share the stories of their creations and meanings,” said Jessie Merrell of the historical society. “We are looking for all shapes, sizes, patterns, and techniques. If you have some you would like to share, come by the McRitchie-Hollis Museum at 74 Jackson Street or contact the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and let us know.” The quilts do not have to have been associated with the Powers Crossroads festival, since the quilt display will continue after the Labor Day event.

 Mary Francis Morgenthaler presents her great-grandfather's quilt, donated on Nov 3, 1993.

Mary Francis Morgenthaler presents her great-grandfather’s quilt, donated on Nov 3, 1993.

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Golden Era of Hollywood exhibition at McRitchie-Hollis Museum extended through October

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The late Herb Bridges showing posters from the Golden Era of Hollywood.

A new interactive art exhibition, “Herb Bridges’ Golden Era of Hollywood,” opened June 27 at Newnan-Coweta Historical Society’s McRitchie-Hollis Museum, 74 Jackson St., Newnan. This popular summer exhibition is being extended through October.

The pastel and watercolor art, made by in-house artists hired by the Loew’s Grand Theater in cinema’s early days, are from the collection of the late Herb Bridges. The 50-some posters are from the 1930s and ’40s. “Gone With the Wind” famously debuted at the Loew’s Grand Dec. 15, 1939.

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Former Loew's Grand Theater in Atlanta.

Former Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta.

Visitors can navigate the original works of pulp art through a special interactive booklet made especially for this exhibit, featuring QR codes connected to each painting. The codes take visitors to movie trailers and clips from the classic films that are being featured. The book also features the last published interview with local collector Herb Bridges, known worldwide for his “Gone With the Wind” collection.

Special “fun buttons” are also spread throughout the museum with sound files, music, dialogue, and excerpts from an interview with collector Herb Bridges, who collected the posters. The exhibit is made by special arrangement with Mrs. Eleanor Bridges.
Visitors can also try their hand at making their own movie poster.
A small “mini-Grand” has been set up, as well, showcasing the classic black-and-white comedy, “Love Crazy,” starring Myna Loy and William Powell. Visitors can watch the entire film as part of the exhibit.

IMG_7554lovecrazy Those more interested in modern-day Hollywood can see dresses worn by Chelsea Handler and Heidi Klum, on loan from Underground Runway. The Klum dress was worn during the season finale of “America’s Next Top Model.”
Forty of the posters have never been displayed before, and this is the first time this collection has ever been displayed in Coweta County.

Tours of McRitchie-Hollis Museum are $5 adults / $2 for seniors and students. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10-12 and 1-3. The museum is located at 74 Jackson St., beside the new University of West Georgia campus.

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Join ‘Scraptacular’ Third Wednesdays

Join the fun with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society every third Wednesday of the month at McRitchie-Hollis Museum to preserve your family history in fun scrapbooks.

The next session of Scraptacular will be 10:30 a.m. Sept. 16
“Bring your unfinished pages, photos, and materials and create lasting memories for future generations,” said Jessie Merrell, curation specialist with the historical society, and a scrapbooking expert.
Don’t do paper scrapbooking? Bring your laptop to try digital scrapbooking while still enjoying the fun! Jessie Merrell who has over 10 years’ experience in scrapbooking both paper and digitally.
Bring your gear and let’s get cropping!” said Merrell.
Participants enjoy our first Scraptacular event at McRitchie-Hollis Museum today. Mark your calendars for the scrapbooking sessions each third Wednesday. The next is May 20. From left, Amy Mapel, Executive Director Jeff Bishop, Michele Wade and srapbooking session leader our Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell.

Participants enjoy our first Scraptacular event at McRitchie-Hollis Museum in spring 2014. From left, Amy Mapel, NCHS Executive Director Jeff Bishop, Michele Wade and srapbooking session leader our Curation Specialist Jessie Merrell.

Jessie Merrell is a soon-to-be graduate from the University of West Georgia with degrees in History and English Literature. She also has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Gordon College.
“I look forward to using my degree and love of history in my new position with the historical society,” she said, “working with the community, the board, and Jeff Bishop will be exciting and fun and I hope together we can create exciting exhibits and programs.” The scrapbooking venture is one of the first.
Her interest in history began with researching her family history and relating their events to the world around them. That led her to a greater appreciation for the letters, photographs, and other items that helped to tell their stories. She served last summer as the Research and Archives intern for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society.
“I hope to be able to preserve the important documents that will help tell the story of Newnan for future generations and to help give insight into what life was like for those before us!” she said.
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McRitchie Hollis Museum is a 1937 home restored to elegance of the era and has constantly-changing exhibitions telling stories related to the history of Newnan and Coweta County.
Entry is $5 general admission or $2 for students and senior citizens.
“We have a newly-paved parking lot in the rear of the museum,” said Bishop.