Ephemera/31 Conference Schedule
9 a.m.-5 p.m. - Board of Directors' meeting, Belle Haven conference room.
6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. - Board reception for early arrivals. Join old and new friends, and be fresh for the conference that begins Friday morning.
Four morning conference sessions:
8:30 a.m. Friday
A Child's View: 19th-Century Paper Theaters
Enchanting paper theaters for children emerged during the second decade of the 19th century. These theaters—constructed of printed paper adhered to cardboard and mounted on a wooden frame--introduced a unique visual entertainment into homes. Nearly every major European country, as well as the U.S., developed its own tradition of paper theater.
Today, these small theaters and their vast repertoire of plays remain invaluable records of contemporary professional stage performances and theater design of the 19th century.
Eric Bernard has collected antique paper theaters for 30 years. He holds a master's degree in Arts. Eric's career in arts management has included Lincoln Center Theater, the Museum of Modern Art, and, currently, the Metropolitan Opera.
9:30 a.m. - The Ephemera of Magic
Robert A. Olson
Magicians, as performers, leave a great paper trail. Ephemera from the 18th and 19th centuries can show what they did, where they did it, how they did it, what they wore, and what their stage settings looked like. This brief look at the ephemera of magicians illustrates why it is so important to keep a collection together.
Robert Olson's interest in magic began as a child when he received a Mysto Magic set as a gift. Forty years ago he linked magic with his love of history and recreated the show of Richard Potter, America's first magician, for Old Sturbridge Village, leading to a 25-year stint with the museum. His special interest is Victorian magic-theme trade cards.
Quick Break: 10:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. - Pleasures of London
When we think of London, many things come to mind, but perhaps some of the most interesting are the city's pleasures. Material from the Peter Jackson Collection offers a glimpse of London's many attractions, from the Great Exhibition, to Vauxhall Gardens, to street entertainers and sports.
Valerie Jackson-Harris has been an ephemera dealer for more than 35 years. Her expertise has enabled museums, libraries, and private collectors around the world to acquire items to complement their collections. She is Chairman of The Ephemera Society (U.K.), custodian of the Peter Jackson Collection, and with her late husband received ESA's Maurice Rickards Award in 2003.
11:15 a.m. - "Parker's Seal of Cleanliness:" A Look at the Parker Shows Carnival Midway
Barbara Fahs Charles
C.W. Parker was a Kansas-based manufacturer of amusements and showman extraordinaire. After building carousels and shooting galleries for others, he built and operated several carnival units from about 1902 to 1908, claiming to have rescued "the carnival business from the low plane to which it had fallen." See how original ephemera and photographs promoted and reported the Parker shows.
Barbara Fahs Charles is a partner in the firm Staples & Charles, specializing in design and interpretive planning for museums. Recent projects include exhibitions in the new visitor center at Monticello and reinstallation of virtually all of the galleries at Detroit Institute of Arts. Barbara helped to found the National Carousel Association, and is the editor of the journal Merry-Go-Roundup.
Lunch Break - Noon - 1:30
Four afternoon conference sessions:
1:30 p.m. - P. T. Barnum - The Man, The Myth, The Legend
P.T. Barnum's story begins long before his circus enterprise was created, although the Barnum name lives on today as part of the American circus legacy. It was, in fact, his life-long love of the American Museum in New York City that drove Barnum's marketing machine and revealed a genius beyond the ideals of 19th century society.
Kathy Maher, Executive Director and Curator at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, CT, has 21 years of museum experience. She has envisioned and created numerous social history exhibitions and programs exploring themes from the transformation of family structure and the role of women during the American Civil War, to the struggles and triumphs of an emerging 19th-century industrial America.
2:15 p.m. - The Magic Lantern: 200 years in the Limelight of Popular Culture
"Magic Lantern." What better name for a device that mysteriously projects images on a wall or screen? Beginning in the 17th century as a scientific instrument, it soon was taken over by showmen and conjurers to frighten and amuse people in public squares, homes, and theaters. It became a common image in everything from porcelain to prints.
Richard Balzer is interested in early visual entertainment and is a major collector of magic lanterns, optical toys, and related ephemera. His career has included time as a photographer, writer, lawyer, and strategy consultant. He is the author of five books, and runs an organizational consulting firm.
3-3:15 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. - The Playbill, from Greece and Rome to Broadway
Don B. Wilmeth
Theater and related stage presentation offer a rich variety of ephemera. Yet none is as typical or as ephemeral as the traditional playbill, especially those of the 18th and 19th centuries. Playbills serve as significant memory banks and appealing objects, yet many were produced for one performance only (or a handful at best) and then tossed away. This presentation will emphasize the playbill's history with examples from Dr. Wilmeth's collection.
After nearly four decades as theater historian and stage director at Brown University, Don Wilmeth retired in 2003 as the Asa Messer distinguished professor. Author, editor, co-editor or series editor of some four dozen books, he has collected theatrical memorabilia for 50 years. Since retiring he has curated three major exhibits drawn from his collection.
4:15 p.m. - American Theatrical Photographs, 1860-1930
Michael A. Morrison
Mass-produced celebrity photography was a post-1860 phenomenon, an outgrowth of new technology that made it possible to create multiple copies of an image for commercial and promotional purposes. Between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the early years of the 20th century, no one was photographed more than stage actors. This presentation examines the evolution of American theatrical photography focusing on the culture of theatrical celebrity and the emerging photographic formats.
Michael A. Morrison is a New York-based writer and teacher. He has been a collector and dealer of early theater memorabilia for more than 20 years. He received his Ph.D. in theater and has contributed theater-related articles and reviews to a number of publications. He is the author of John Barrymore, Shakespearean Actor.
* 2:30 p.m. -- Dealer Set-up
* 6 p.m. -- National Valentine Collectors Assn. dinner/show & tell. Meet outside Roundhill Room. Non-members are welcome; please reserve with NancyRosin@aol.com by March 1.
* 7 p.m. -- Poster Stamp Collector Club (PSCC) dinner and swap fest. Meet outside Winthrop (Exhibits Room).
* 7-8 p.m. -- Silent Auction Preview in Roundhill.
* 8 a.m.-6 p.m. -- Silent Bid Auction in Roundhill. 150 Lots. Bid early and often!
* 8 a.m.-5 p.m. -- Exhibits open in Winthrop.
* 8:15 a.m. -- Memberships will be sold at the Ephemera Society desk at the entrance to the show in the Grand Ballroom.
* 9 a.m. -- Members-only show preview ($10) for the Society's 31st Annual Paper Show in Grand Ballroom. Please have your membership card available.
* 10 a.m. -- General public entry admission is $12. ($1 off with any Ephemera/31 ad.)
* 12:30-2 p.m. -- Ephemera appraisals ($5 each) by John Bruno to benefit ESA.
* 4 p.m. -- Poster Stamp Collector Club business meeting in Winthrop.
* 5 p.m. -- Show closes; reopens 11 a.m. Sunday.
* 5:30-6:30 p.m. -- Cash Bar outside Mead ABC.
* 6 p.m. -- Silent Bid Auction closes.
* 6:45 p.m. -- Dinner & Ephemera Jeopardy! Mead ABC. Reservations required.
A conference registration and dinner reservation form is attached. Please detach at the dotted line and return with your check to ESA Conference, PO Box 95, Cazenovia, NY 13035. Refer to registration form regarding PayPal payment.
8:30 a.m. - Members annual meeting, Pemberwick Room (facing hotel check-in desk, turn left, walk past front door, room on right)
Two morning conference sessions:
9 a.m. - Collectors Roundtable: A View of My Collection
Art Groten, Steve Miller, Diane Olin, Nancy Rosin, Tamar Zimmerman
Five inveterate ephemerists collecting five vastly different genres--from valentines to poster stamps to toys and games to surreal imagery to the lives of the Shakers--will share their insights into how they developed their collections, why they chose the paths they've taken, and how they have used their collections to achieve a variety of different goals.
10:30 a.m. - The Other 362 Days: Ephemera Enthusiasts and Social Networking
Participants will discuss ways of sharing ephemera resources, staying in touch with The Ephemera Society of America, and connecting with others through social media.
Lauren Sodano is social media coordinator for The Ephemera Society of America, as well as collections manager at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY, a collections-based educational institution with paper holdings relating to the study of play.
* 11 a.m-4 p.m. -- Paper Show in the Grand Ballroom.
* 11 a.m.-4 p.m. -- Exhibits open, Winthrop
* 4 p.m. - Ephemera/31 closes.
Thanks to our Corporate Supporter
Swann Galleries, Inc.
Please download the Ephemera/31 brochure to register!
Ephemera/31 conference registration includes free admission to a Board Reception on Thursday evening, eight seminars on Friday and Sunday, Exhibits, and two Collectors' Forums. A separate admission fee applies to Saturday's and Sunday's paper show. See 9 a.m. Saturday listing for details.