I find this picture riveting. It’s like I’m peering into the past; into what appears to be a young teen party sometime in the 1960s. I see a young girl in profile, nearest the camera. And on the wall in the distance, a clock face is lit up by the flash of the camera.
This picture draws me deeper into the museum I’m visiting. It’s a museum of stories. Stories attached to unique clocks, created by Mennonite artisans in the 1700s and 1800s, passed down from generation to generation over the centuries.
Clocks that bore witness to grand homes in the bustling medieval seaport city of Danzig… and teenage parties in North American basements in the era of Beatlemania.
It’s also a museum of internet rabbit holes.
I’m visiting the Virtual Museum of Mennonite Clocks, hosted online (and made possible) by the Kroeger Clocks Heritage Foundation.
The photograph that has arrested my attention is of Liza Kroeger, and the Foundation is currently posting her essay on the clock in that picture, in installments. Every time I read another installment, I’m eager for the next. Currently there are two installments posted. I can’t wait for the next!
This museum “houses” memories connected to each exquisite photograph of a clock face. Each one is different, and tells a unique story.
The fascinating thing about this museum is that they’re not looking for people to donate their treasured family heirlooms (though if you wanted to, they’d likely be overjoyed). Rather, they’re hoping to borrow your clock for a short time as they professionally photograph the clock, and then return it to you. They key part here is to obtain the story of the clock, your family’s story, so we can all follow the clock on its journey, from its inception in the 1700s or 1800s, right up until today.
This is a lovely time to settle in with a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, my iPad, and immerse myself in the stories this online museum holds. I invite you to join me!
The Kroeger Clocks Heritage Foundation & Virtual Museum of Mennonite Clocks is always open (and admission is always free!) at https://www.kroegerclocks.com/
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