Keeler Notes: Artifact ABCs

Have you tilted your niddy-noddy?

Put your hands in your snuffskin?

Buckled your spatterdashes?

Not sure what any of those are? A new exhibition in the Cass Gilbert Dining Room, Artifact ABCs, introduces museum visitors to these artifacts and many more.

An artifact is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “an object produced or shaped by human workmanship; especially a simple tool, weapon or ornament of archaeological or historical interest.” For historians, and others who study them, artifacts provide insight into the technology, economy and social structure of the people and communities who made and used them.

Spoons and redware bowls can suggest to us how and what people ate. Vests and gloves show us how they dressed, and the materials used suggest the social status of the wearer. Artifacts are the remnants of lives lived and are lasting reminders of our forebears, even long after the people themselves are gone.

The objects in the Artifacts ABCs exhibition come from the museum’s collection and represent artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibition can be seen during the museum’s open hours, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Stop by the museum to discover niddy-noddies, snuffskins, spatterdashes, and more.