Museum hands MVRHS the reins with ‘Kids in the Archives’

High school students learn from the archives at the Martha's Vineyard Museum. —Photo Courtesy MV Museum

Ninety-six freshman from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School had the chance to curate the most recent Spotlight exhibit at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. “Kids in the Archives — A Modern Perspective” includes photos of children from the museum’s archives selected by freshmen. The students then composed creative writing pieces inspired by the photos. Twenty of those writings, selected by MVRHS English teachers Kate Hennigan and Amy Reece, will be on display alongside the original photos. The works include short stories, letters, plays, and poems.

The idea for the project sprang from the mind of the museum’s education assistant, Beth Seabourne, who worked with the teachers and students on the exhibition. “‘Kids in the Archives’ came about one day while I was digging in the museum’s photo archives for lesson supplements,” Ms. Seabourne said. “I came across a picture of a rooster pulling a small child in a wagon. There were quite a few of these oddly unexplainable pictures of Vineyard children, and together with education director Ann DuCharme, we decided we wanted to have fun with them.”

Ms. DuCharme said, “Kate Hennigan and Amy Reece were the perfect fit to help make the vision for the exhibit come to life. They brought all of the students to the museum to tour the archives and the gallery where their work would be displayed. The students were excited when they saw what they would be working with and that the white walls were theirs to fill. There have been so many creative submissions, and we can’t wait to share them with the community.”

“Kids in the Archives – A Modern Perspective” will open at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum on Tuesday, March 1, with a reception from 4-6pm. Admission is free, and the reception is open to all. The exhibit will be on display through April 30.

Off-season hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free to members; admission for nonmembers is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children 6 to 12, and free for children under the age of 6. For more information, visit mvmuseum.org.