Exhibit News

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Doc Ricketts Quilt

At the beginning of 2018, the Center sent out a request for proposals to quilting groups and guilds throughout Monterey and our neighboring counties. We were looking for a commission.

In our exhibit, there are 4 display beds all belonging to a Steinbeck character. As our 20th anniversary drew nigh, we knew we wanted to spruce up those beds.

We turned our attention to dear old Doc’s Room. Drawing inspiration from Dora’s girls’ contribution to Ed Ricketts’s birthday party in Cannery Row

“Take the girls at Dora’s. All of them had at one time or another gone over to the laboratory for advice or medicine or simply unprofessional company. And they had seen Doc’s bed. It was covered with an old faded red blanket full of fox tails and burrs and sand, for he took it on all his collecting trips. If money came in he bought laboratory equipment. It never occurred to him to buy a new blanket for himself. Dora’s girls were making him a patchwork quilt, a beautiful thing of silk. And since most of the silk available came from underclothing and evening dresses, the quilt was glorious in strips of flesh pink and orchid and pale yellow and cerise. They worked on it late mornings and in the afternoon before the boys from the sardine fleet came in…”

“They were just seated formally, sipping delicately at the whiskey, when Dora and the girls came in. They presented the quilt. Doc laid is over his bed and it was beautiful.”

And the guilds answered our call. After reviewing proposals, we chose the Monterey Peninsula Quilters Guild and their idea! The Center pledged a stipend for supplies and labor to commission a Dora’s Girls-esque quilt for Doc’s bed. Each member of the guild has been working on their own square and will be following a 1930’s vintage quilt in a log cabin pattern in silk and bordello colors much like the ones mentioned in the passage.

The quilt is complete and adorns Doc’s bed in our exhibit. Be sure to check it out next time you visit!


Leather You’re Ready or Not

Our cherished model Model T has been upgraded! So many visitors had jostled into the Model T’s backseat over the years that springs and stuffing had begun to mutiny and escape. Thanks to local upholstery shop, Burkes Upholstery, the back seat is back and better than ever! Which, according to John, is important,

“Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and esthetic effect of the Model T Form on the American Nation… Most of the babies of the period were conceived in Model T Fords and not a few were born in them. The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped that it never quite recovered.” –Cannery Row, Ch. 11

Stop by to test out the back seat’s mettle.

Updates and Upgrades

Since hiring our Museum Program Developer Natalia Luna, the exhibit has been undergoing changes.

The exhibit was looking cluttered, tired, and dated. Ms. Luna is actively fixing broken fixtures, removing outdated texts, and incorporating new features throughout the exhibit.

Major projects include renovating John’s childhood bedroom, creating a short-story corner, and updating audio/visual capabilities throughout the exhibit.

We can always use assistance in these project. Don’t hesitate to contact us to donate time, resources, ideas, or funding! Thank you!