What’s the oldest object in your collection? Who was the first Miss Frontier? Who was the very first Saddle Bronc champion at Cheyenne Frontier Days? What Makes it the Daddy?
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We curatorial types can be rather sensitive… about light! In the world of conservation, it can make the difference between an attractive display and an object ending barrage of UV radiation that dooms a rare and unique piece of precious history to the flat files forever. We curators speak often of light in lux; lux is a measure of illumination of a small surface from a small distance away (1-meter square surface to 1 meter away to be more specific). The Department of the Interior, within their museum display guidelines, advises never to allow more than a 50-lux max for sensitive objects like tapestries, textiles, furs and leathers, with a maximum of 300 lux per gallery space with regard to reducing eye strain for guests. So yes, you might say we are a sensitive lot.
These are two ribbons in the Museum’s collection that have had different levels of light exposure before becoming part of the Museum’s collection.
Well, no. In early September of 1897, just before the first Cheyenne Frontier Day, the CFD Committee asked the City for $250.00 in support of a new event to celebrate the frontier history of the town. The city council thought about the measure and rejected it on September 7. Apparently, some hasty discussions took place and the measure was approved on September 13, ten days before the first CFD! After this little hiccup, the relationship has lasted 122 years. If only the 1897 City Council could see the event now!