Some of the most interesting historical facts are tied to the every day lives of working Americans. Unfortunately, these people have often been historically marginalized. A recent development at FSCC has brought Fort Scott’s working history (past and present) to center stage with its new exhibit “A Day in the Life of Fort Scott’s Working World,” which is a part of the larger Smithsonian Institute project entitled “The Way We Worked: The remarkable story of the American worker over the last 150 years.” The exhibit will run until June 24th, 2013.
The exhibit is part of the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, and was funded by a partnership grant of $2,000 awarded to the Gordon Parks Museum. Jill Warford, Gordon Parks Center for Culture & Diversity Director, originally wrote for the grant. Thirty-four grant proposals were submitted, but only 6 received the full grant. However, the Institute gave out partnership grants to several other institutions, and the Gordon Parks Museum was one of those recipients.
In order to garner photos of modern workers in Fort Scott, Warford said the museum hosted a “public amateur photo contest.” Warford also mentioned that the museum received 221 entries and chose 31 of those entries to be printed and displayed for the exhibit.
The photos contained in the exhibit represent a wide variety of walks of life, including that of factory workers, working ranch hands, surgeons and auto mechanics. Also shown are photos and historical facts from the early days of several of Fort Scott’s old industries, including the history of the Western Insurance Company and its impact on the city.
For a walk through the past and present, stop by the Ellis Fine Arts Center up until June 24th and enjoy visually stepping into someone else’s shoes.