Museum director speaks at 20th Century Club’s final meeting for the year

The final meeting of the 20th Century Club for year 2012-2013 was held at Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Center. There were 13 members present with three visitors — Ruby Poteet, Emilee Davis and Elizabeth Gaines.

After blessing of the food, a delicious meal was served by Zelda Hoaglan and the Jenkins Food Service. Linda Eifling introduced Poteet, who gave a short biography of the speaker for the meeting, Kristi Alexander.

Alexander has been executive director of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum for the last 2 1/2 years. As she explained her love for her work, she said, “I love telling the story of the objects we care for and bringing them to life once again. Young or old, we often forget those we came before us, leaving us mementos. My job is to breathe life into those objects left, to teach us about life in the past-not so very different than ours today.”

She has worked for more than 35 years in art and history museums and sat on boards of directors of history museums and living history centers. She has taught 18th century hearth cooking for 30 years in various living history centers and private homes. Alexander holds a bachelor of fine arts in art history and a master in business administration, with post graduate work in art conservation and non-profit museum administration. She is also an accredited appraiser with the International Society of Appraisers.

She gave a talk on women, past and present, who have inspired her life and in some ways, others. Her greatest inspiration was her mother and grandmother. She then touched on the following:

• Marie Maralo — attorney and former legal adviser to the Smithsonian Institution.

• Georgia O’Keefee (1887-1986) — American artist-painter of nature and the Southwestern landscapes.

• Henna Glosse (1708-1770) — Art of Cookery made plain and easy represents one of the important references for culinary practice England and the American colonies.

• Amelia Simmons — author of first cookbook written in 1796, “American Cookery”.

• Fannie Famer (1896)

• Julia Childs (1912-2004)

She also spoke of Mary Alice Weaver who was instrumental in the establishment of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum.

The museum is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned until September.