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step back in time Collinsvillers ...

the year? 1941 ...

“a great day of celebration”~

Does anyone recognize the letter? If you are a graduate of the “old” Collinsville High School located on Vandalia Street, you should. It’s the letter from the stage curtain in the gymnasium. I’ll tell you how I framed it, then you can read the story that accompanies it.

I just completed this framing project for the Collinsville Historical Museum. You must stop in to see it. I guarantee it will bring back memories as well as stories to share with friends and family.

My framing tale begins with the fact that the curtain was not only shedding it’s velvety texture, it was dry rotting and had to be handled with great care.

I took the usual steps of wrapping the fabric around acidfree foamcore and lacing the back, as I have often shown in photos of my framing techniques.

Full details of lacing techniques can be found on this page of our gallery website; check it out. The photo shows the curtain after it has been laced and floated onto the matboard.

The tricky part at fitting time is preventing the fringe from tangling.

Once the lacing was completed, I built the frame, added the conservation glass, and fit the frame with a foamcore spacer, which I cut to the depth that I needed to prevent the curtain from touching the glass. The photo shows a closeup of the spacer once it was attached to the inside of the frame.

Also, if you look closely, you can see the v-nails that I used to join the frame.

Underpinning to join a frame prevents nail holes from showing on the exterior sides of the frame.

a little research ...

With a bit of research, I was able to write the following story to accompany the framed curtain. Be sure to visit the Collinsville Historical Museum, a treasure chest filled with our town’s heritage.

Enjoy the read...

On February 27, 1941, the new gymnasium of the Collinsville Township High School, located on Vandalia Street, was dedicated to the “youth and the great American System of Free Schools in a Democracy… It was a great day of celebration as the band played, the chorus sang, the team won, and the crowd cheered.”

The gymnasium was created under the leadership of Principal J. F. Snodgrass and Board of Education members: President Wm. E. Jokerst, Secretary Arthur J. Opp, Elmer McDonald, J. P. Weber, J. A. Renfro, H. H. Esterlein, and Edward J. Mueller. Kennedy and Goedde were the architects; Norman Dieu the builder.

Not only did the gymnasium have a playing floor made of rock maple, but the 30 by 60 foot stage was flanked by two classrooms, which were innovatively used for both physical education classes as well as stage dressing rooms.

This piece of theatrical curtain was the center section (depicted in the photo above) of the original stage curtain that was installed when the construction of the gymnasium was completed, and the dedication took place. It was later salvaged after the school campus was sold, and the gymnasium was converted into the Son Life Church sanctuary.

Donated by Robert Claus ~ Class of 1957


I would love to feature photos of things that I have framed for you. Just email the image to me along with a little story, and I will publish it in the “archives” section of the website. It really is a lot of fun to share your projects with others; and others love to see what’s been done.

My email address remains:​

The Art Loft Gallery, LTD., a locally owned and operated business in Collinsville, Illinois, has been open since 1984. In addition to offering custom picture framing services, The Art Loft Gallery, LTD. is an authorized dealer for renowned artist, Patricia Buckley Moss, and also has a wide variety of antiques and giftware for sale. Come in for a unique shopping experience and enjoy a cup of Starbucks and a cookie while you shop. Contact Us

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