Do these items speak to you? Personal responses sought for exhibit

Jan 15, 2022

MARION _ Sippican Historical Society executive director and archivist Leslie Thayer Piper hopes items selected for the winter exhibit will make people sing.

Or dance. Or write a poem. Or otherwise elicit a creative response. 

“We Gather Together,’’ the society’s winter exhibit, encourages the public not only to view items chosen for the display but to respond to them in a creative way. These responses will then be displayed alongside the items for the exhibit. 

The personal responses, in fact, will be even more crucial to the exhibit than the artifacts themselves, she said. 

“We’re really looking to see what people come up with.’’ Some people may be inspired to share a song or memory of the item, while others may want to write a poem or create a piece of art inspired by the design or the history. The key is “how does it make them feel.’’ 

The items that people can view represent a variety of historical periods, from 1960s era Boy Scout kit to a photo from the 1940s to a piece of window glass from the Congregational Church of Marion.

Piper hopes people will “let the artifact speak to them and draw some kind of response.’’

The responses can be “free form and wide open’’ with no restrictions.

“The thing I love about this is, it’s not a juried exhibit,’’ she said. “Everything will be accepted.’’

She hopes this unusual concept will further inspire people to check out the items at the society headquarters at 141 Front St. “I love the idea of having people really interact with what we have and really think about what we have because the history behind them is so interesting.’’ 

Her goal is for this unusual approach to open people’s eyes and hearts and view the items in a multi-dimensional way. “Unless you shake things up a little bit sometimes things can get conventional. We have to give people different ways to engage with the historical society. Once they actually come in and find out how rich our collections are, it really changes how they see us.’’

Piper was happy to report that local art and cultural groups and art students have expressed interest in participating. 

Young people, she said, are especially important since they carry history forward. 

“This history is their history, as well as their parents’ and grandparents’.’’

 The collection can be viewed online at or in person at the society at 141 Front St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday,.