Monday, June 27, 2011

Foss Ski Country decanters, last chance to view at GHC

If you haven’t seen the highlights of Richard Gardner’s Foss Ski Country decanters, you’ll have your last chance this summer. This temporary exhibit at the Golden History Center will be on view until Sunday, Aug. 14 when we’ll begin making room for a new exhibit celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Golden Fortnightly Club.
In the early 1970s Foss Drug introduced a house-bourbon called Ski Country that came in a choice of three porcelain art decanters sculpted in the form of skiers.

Over the next quarter century, Foss produced 195 decanter designs, ranging from waterfowl and wildlife to Indians and rodeos. Ski Country decanters were made in limited editions of 120 to 12,000, usually in miniature and 750ml sizes.

The "barrel racer" decanter from the Foss Ski Country series.

Richard Gardner shows off a favorite.

For a while the Foss Ski Country decanters were extremely popular, with their own national
collector club, catalog, newsletter, and yearly auction. By the 1990s the decanter craze was over.

Today, the Golden History Center at 923 10th Street is one of the only places to see such an array of the various designs.

The decanters are on loan from Golden resident and historian Richard Gardner.

Finally, one of GHM’s primary goals is to collect artifacts that document Golden history. They include objects which were actually made or used in Golden and have a clear and specific association with some significant aspect of Golden history.

Do you have a Foss Ski Country decanter in your own private “collection” that you wish to donate to the museum? If so, please contact Mark Dodge at 303.278.3557 x204.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spying on the dress rehearsal for “Turn it Up: Golden’s Musical Memories”

Most musicians will tell you that every instrument has its own unique “voice.” Having watched the new exhibit “Turn it Up: Golden’s Musical Memories” come together, I can say that is absolutely true. In the process of creating the exhibit, we’ve had the privilege of restoring a handful of instruments from our remarkable collection. If you read our blog often, you might already know that we’ve restored our 1860 square grand piano (thanks to Dan Holstein of Dan’s Piano Service and a generous contribution from Mr. Gene Child). But, you might not know that Dan also tuned a recently donated 1893 Regal upright piano that was showcased at Chicago’s Columbian International Exposition. He also restored a charming 1873 melodeon. Not widely used or even recognized today, melodeons—a foot-pumped reed organ—were once commonplace in American homes. Turn it Up features two such melodeons, one of which is a WWII-era field organ carried by chaplains onto the battlefield.
On Thursday, June 2nd, musicians Peggy Lyon and Kathy Turnbull of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra will perform a series of short concerts on the newly restored instruments. Both will play a selection of pieces that were composed during the era in which each instrument was manufactured. I got a chance to spy on their dress rehearsal today and I am excited to share this glimpse of their remarkable music. (P.S. There are still a handful of tickets available for the event, so call 303.278.3557 to make a reservation).