Museum compares depression, pandemic photos

Apr. 24—LIMA — Allen County Museum Director Christine Fowler-Shearer said the exhibition for "Chronicles: The Great Depression and the Pandemic" will show the two events side by side through photographs and show how they compare.

She said she hopes anyone who attends the reception at 5:30 p.m. Thursday night sees an important message in the work.

"They are both documentary photography of important moments in history," she said. "It shows how the Works Progress Administration started and continues today. So that's the premise behind it, as well as to take two types of national tragedy and compare and contrast."

Fowler-Shearer said the photos show a range of images.

"A lot of people have certain images that come to mind with the depression," she said. "I tried hard to choose pieces that weren't as well known but that will really give an idea of what people in the Midwest and Southern California have had to deal with. And then my co-curator was looking at five contemporary Ohio photographers who really use their skills, but in a different way, to tell that same story of what they experienced during the pandemic."

The museum will offer refreshments at the event, which is open to the public, and the exhibition will run until July 26.

"We have to pick up the pieces and unpack them," Fowler-Shearer said about preparing the reception. "You have to lay out how you want everything to be hanging. And you have to label it all and adjust the lighting so it takes a little bit of time."

The exhibition is a part of the museum's drive to add more galleries to the schedule and explore different types of programming.

"We will have three exhibits in our space each year," Fowler-Shearer said. "And some of them are going to be a combination of art history, some might be more about art and some might be completely historical. It depends, but it's an opportunity to get people in to see new things multiple times throughout the year to tell different stories and perspectives of events."

This will not be the last event for this exhibition either.

"We have three lectures scheduled to go along with it, which we're really excited about," Fowler-Shearer said. "The programming is exciting and appeals to different people."

The lectures will be May 18, June 13 and June 29.

There will also be crafts and activities connected to the exhibition for smaller histories in the Children's Discovery Center.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.