Today celebrated the installation of a Tiny Treasure Memorial in (MM) Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, a permanent exhibit at (CCM) Chicago Children's Museum, located on Navy Pier on the lakefront, since May 2011.
When the team of museum staff who were involved in the original planning, execution, and installation of MM at CCM heard about Gregory's passing, they got together to think about how they might create a memorial to his memory.
They contacted me and along with their love and condolences, they suggested their plan. Needless to say, I was quite moved by their idea.
CCM obtained the collection in 2007 when it was moved into storage to wait until the recovery from the economic downturn of 2008 could take place. Planning for the permanent exhibit began in October of 2010 and MM opened to great fanfare on Friday, May 13th 2011.
During that time Gregory would join me at the museum while I attended meetings and he got to know CCM staff. As you would expect, he endeared himself to everyone he met there.
During the actual unpacking and installation, Gregory and other friends joined me at the museum to help. It gave Gregory great joy helping to unwrap each tiny treasure and he got much credit for and attention to his role in helping MM come to be in its new home at CCM.
Once the exhibit was open, I would "appear" as guest artist in residence to tell stories about the collection, interact with visitors to the museum, and talk about collecting. Gregory would join me and loved watching people, young and old, interact with the collections. His favorite, which he would point out to visitors, were the drawers filled with "stuff."
The Drawers Collection
Which Gregory loved to talk about
In the collection of collections, included were Gregory's 1) Marble Collection, 2) Circus Collection, 3) My One Cabinet (the joke being that I had 105 cabinets but he was only allowed one,) 4) and 40th Birthday Cake Topper Collection (featuring the items the Ames/Gurner family put on the cake they created for him.) All are pictured below.
Gregory's Marble Collection
The Circus Collection
(A gift to young Gregory from his parents
on their return from a trip to Germany)
Gregory's 40th Birthday Cake Toppers by the Ames/Gurner Family
Gregory's "My One Cabinet" before new additions
Gregory's Miniature Memorial at home before installation at MM@CCM
Gregory's Miniature Memorial installed in his "My One Cabinet."
A close-up of the installation in his cabinet.
I also placed his photograph in the "Curator's Collection" along with the new addition of a drawing made by our God Son Isaac when he was just a small lad!
Curator's Collection (Before new additions)
With new addition - G's photo on left middle - Isaac's drawing (with little people) on the right
Close-up of Gregory's photo in the Curator's Collection with a photo of his mom and dad and my mom and dad.
Even more close-up of Gregory's photo in the Curator's Collection
Close up of God Son Isaac's drawing now in Curator's Collection
Even more close-up of Isaac's drawing
Copy of my comments at the ceremony
People who attended the ceremony: Katie, Michele, Mark, Peter, Stephanie, Natalie, Jon, Amy, Jennifer, Jenny, Michael and Rick. Louise called in her regrets but was with us in spirit (as I am sure was Gregory.)
Afterwards, everyone joined (at Gregory and my treat) for lunch at DMK Burger and Fish Bar, a new restaurant on Navy Pier.
P.S. If you have been following the "Miracles," last night I woke up at 3:33 and then again at 5:55!