Our online Object Groups highlight different aspects of the Museum's collection. Currently-featured groups include a large apothecary collection, items relating to Japanese American internment during WWII, and California mission postcards.
The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a cultural icon that heralds the Christmas season, was first introduced to the American public in December 1939. The familiar plot: a young reindeer named Rudolph (a name that won out over Romeo, Rodney, and Reginald) endures teasing for his bright red shiny nose and exclusion from "reindeer games" and ultimately saves the day.
Heather Paisley-Jones is an education specialist and a member of the exhibition team for the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project. Like one of Santa's elves, part of her role on the Object Project team is finding just the right objects for the exhibition's teaching collection, which aims to give visitors an up-close experience with authentic objects.
For me, it's almost hard to imagine a holiday season without Coca-Cola. The adorable polar bear commercials, the penguins romantically sharing a bottle atop a snowy Antarctic drift... New wintry soda advertisements have grown into their own kind of holiday tradition, something Americans watch out for and talk about.