7,000-piece collection is new permanent exhibit
By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – Whether you own a few or are a serious collector of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, the new 7,000-piece permanent collection at The Henry Ford will trigger a trip down memory lane.
“Miniature Moments – A Journey Through Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments,” which features a collection assembled from 1973 to 2009, celebrate holidays, pop culture and important milestones.
The Henry Ford acquired the collection in 2019 from The Party Shop, a Warsaw, Ind., Hallmark retailer. The collection, assembled by owners Norm and Dorothy Snyder, was displayed in a museum format within their Hallmark Gold Crown store. THF acquired the collection in 2019 upon the Snyders’ retirement.
The Hallmark ornaments were first offered in 1973 with six glass ball ornaments and 12 yarn figures. Since then, it has exploded, with more than 8,500 unique ornaments and more than 100 themed series.
The ornaments appealed to collectors, and clubs sprung up throughout the United States and Canada.
For those browsing the collection, seeing the displays stir memories of family holidays, gifts given and exchanged and the stories the ornaments evoke.
Some of the ornaments in the display mirror museum collection pieces, including the 1952 Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, a 1941 John Deere Model B tractor and replicas of the Spirit of St. Louis and Wright Flyer airplanes.
The series on display include sports figures, classic books, pets, music, hobbies, Crayola, occupations, classic cars and trucks, food, buildings, and toys and games.
Other series include Barbie, clothing, travel, animal in nature, angels, animated shorts and series, Santa, Peanuts, classic movies and holiday specials, family, Disney, milestones and corporate partnerships.
In the mid-1980s, lights, motion and sound effects were added to ornaments, adding another sensory dimension to the memory-makers.
Pixar characters and superheroes have been immortalized in ornaments, as have the Star Trek and Harry Potter franchises.
World events, like the Olympics and the space race, have been captured as well.
Whether you are sentimental or not, the collection will stir one’s memories, trigger smiles and create conversations as it provides a feast for the eyes and wraps one in comfortable nostalgia.
The collection is available for viewing with museum admission. For more information, go to thf.org.