As part of an initiative to get community members involved with local culture and history, people of the Chippewa Valley were invited to scrutinize newspapers, memoirs, oral histories, and artifacts related to health in the Chippewa Valley. This research brought many accounts of dealing with sickness and health to light. Some stories were wild, many humorous, and many heartbreaking.
From the research, specific events were highlighted developing a health timeline to reveal what a “Picture of Health” has looked like to people in the region over time. Participants helped choose artifacts, write exhibit text, and design the gallery installations. This Community Historian program was open to the public, and included training in public history and museum research.
The Picture of Health Exhibition was developed by community historians Amy Alpine, Kate Edenborg, Emma Felty, Gretchen Seidling, and Angela Zeil with assistance from Joe Orser and Chippewa Valley Museum staff.
Major funding for Picture of Health: A Going Deeper Exhibit came from the Wisconsin Humanities Council which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.