The Mac-A-Cheek Foundation for the Humanities, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides educational experiences at Piatt Castle Mac-A-Cheek, has recently received a Ohio Humanities grant to help the public explore the Cabinet of Curiosities in the castle’s drawing room.
The grant will provide funding to produce a free public talk and three visitors guides relating to the massive walnut cabinet.
In preparation, staff and volunteers have shared research from the Piatt family archive with museum consultants in material culture, anthropology and archaeology, and interpretive strategies.
One interpretive guide will be located inside Mac-A-Cheek Castle for use by all visitors. Youth guides will be created and given away for free.
A third guide containing essays by some of the consultants, along with historical images and photographs of artifacts and natural history specimens, will be available for sale by summer.
Throughout the project, Piatt Castle staff and volunteers are continuing to research the collection and to seek ideas from individuals for future strategies and programs intended to engage visitors’ curiosities about the history of the objects in the cabinet.
Toward that end, Margaret Piatt is inviting teachers, youth leaders, club members, staff from area attractions and historical societies and anyone interested offering ideas for future programs and interpretive methods, including technology, to meet with her by appointment.
A free talk was presented in November by material culture expert Andrew Richmond called, A Case for Collecting: The Cabinet of Curiosities at Mac-A-Cheek.
A second presentation, “Using the Cabinet to Engage Curiosities,” is planned for late May. Brad Lepper from the Ohio History Connection, Alex Heckman from Dayton History, and Mike Follin, a living history specialist recently retired from Ohio History Connection will focus on how to view the Cabinet of Curiosity as an avenue into the past and a tool for expanding critical thinking.
Anyone interested in seeing a video of the November talk or participating in a conversation about the cabinet and its collection is invited to contact [email protected] for the link or to make an appointment.
If you prefer calling, leave a clear message including your name and phone number at (937) 465-2821.