The first part of the museum that I saw was the Carved and Whittled Sculpture: American Folk Art Walking Sticks from the Hill Collection. It was interesting to see how something that is usually seen as purely functional could be turned into a work of art. It became obvious that something practical can be turned into art. The sticks were so detailed and it was obvious that a lot of work was put into each of them. Some sticks were personalized with symbols or initials. Others sticks even had color added to them, which made them more unique.
In the section “Moments of Discovery and Transformation,” I was intrigued by the walking stick called Catlinite Horse Head With Willow Pods. Its maker is unknown, although it is possibly Native American, and it was made in Minnesota in 1890 out of catlinite. The emphasis of this walking stick is the horse head on the handle. The face is detailed and it has some patterns on it while the rest of the stick is relatively bare. There was some information next to this walking stick that mentioned that it is possible that an unknown Native American from the Cheyenne tribe made it. This is because the carving and patterns on this walking stick are similar to the carving found on some ceremonial pipes from this tribe.
In the section “Intimate Observations: Animals, Birds, and Reptiles,” I liked the walking stick called Rooster and Snake With Vines. This stick also had an unknown maker, and it is from Pennsylvania, c. 1918. The rooster on the handle had the visu...
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...e or donkey, and it seemed like the person was talking and listening to it. I identified with this character because I am an animal lover, and I was reminded of how when I was a kid I wished I could talk to animals.
The Doll and Toy Gallery also reminded me of when I was a young kid. I loved looking at the toys from all over the world. As a kid, I probably would have chosen one the piggy banks from Mexico, just because I was already familiar with them. They remind me of my trips to Mexico to visit my family and how I would save my money in them for the next time I went. I also would probably choose the Horse and Cart from Sicily, Italy from the 20th century. It was so colorful, and the details on it are beautiful.
I am glad I was able to make it to the Mingei International Museum. I enjoyed looking at all the crafts and learning about the cultures they came from.
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