Wornall/Majors Institute

Object Lessons – learning through objects

Wornall/Majors Institute is back for another session! This summer, we will be exploring the unusual history of the nineteenth century through objects in the Wornall/Majors collection using online videos and activities. Each month, we will have an optional companion program and an in-person opportunity to handle and view historic artifacts. New videos and materials will drop on June 1, July 1, and August 1.

Participants who register for all three sessions receive two tickets for the John Wornall House and Alexander Majors House, a $5 gift shop credit for the Wornall House gift shop, and discount admission to our July trivia event! Participation is a suggested donation of $5 per session, but access is also available for FREE (registration required). Register at https://WMInstitute2023.eventbrite.com.

Read on for full session details.

Session 1: Snake Oil & SurgeriesJune 1

Modern medicine as we know it was just emerging in the nineteenth century, spurred in America by the diseases and injuries of the Civil War. But the era was rife with snake oil, placebos, and well-meaning but ineffective treatments. We’ll look at some of these dubious treatments, and maybe even a handful that actually worked.

Drop-in artifact handling days: Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Wornall House)

Companion program: Wornall/Majors Book Club: Destiny of the Republic with author Candice Millard (June 8 – online).

Session 2: Manners & Courtesies – July 1

Victorian society had many onerous rules and guidelines for how to behave in “polite society” – especially for women. This session will be an amusing and fascinating look at tableware with very specific purposes, how to flirt with a nineteenth-century American, and more.

Drop-in artifact handling days: Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Wornall House)

Companion program: Cautionary Tales & Fables Trivia Night (July 22 – Majors House)

Session 3: Myths & Secrets – August 1

From common historical myths to unseen objects in the museums, uncover the past with us. Discover some of Wornall/Majors’ secrets, alongside other historic mysteries and common misconceptions.

Drop-in artifact handling days: Friday, August 25, and Saturday, August 26, 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Wornall House)

Companion program: Wornall/Majors Book Club: Death by Petticoat (August 17, online)