Objects have power. They illustrate the ingenuity and skill of the people who made them, and remind us that we too can create beautiful and useful things. They connect us across time and space and demonstrate how our basic human needs, to eat and drink, to be safe and sheltered, and to communicate with each other, really aren't any different than those of our ancestors who may have lived a long time ago and far away. Objects tell stories. They are an anchor that keeps our collective memory from drifting too far from the truth. Objects are fragile and rarely speak for themselves. Museums like ours preserve and interpret objects to give them meaning for our time and place, and to ensure that future generations can do the same.
During a time of great uncertainty, these objects from the Grand Rapids Public Museum's collection, and the stories they tell, inspire me, make me smile, and give me hope.
- Alex Forist