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Feature Story

An On-going Series of Articles Written for Maywood Chamber Members by Dan Perkins.

 

A P R I L   2 0 1 9

 

Board Meeting Highlights

 

Stan Huntington, Executive Director of the Maywood Public Library, (left), entrusted MCC Board Member, Dan Perkins, (right), to restore two of the Library's historic photographs dating back to World War I.  Both men hold one of the reframed photographs in front of a composite photograph of Maywoodians who served at Bataan, in The Philippines, during World War 2.

 

A Great Oak Park-Maywood Connection

Paul Hamer, owner of The Frame Warehouse in Oak Park, is "The Treasure Behind the Frames," according to Dan Perkins

Shown above: Paul Hamer, (left), proprietor of the Frame Warehouse, in Oak Park, holds a rare color portrait of a Black American 'Doughboy,' from World War 1. Doughboy is a nickname given to American soldiers during the war.  The portrait sits behind a bubble glass pane, set in a tiger wood frame, popular in the 1910s.  The portrait is one of the items in Dan Perkins' WW1 collection.  As a cultural historian, Perkins is interested in collecting items that document the contributions of ordinary Americans, particularly African Americans, in major events, such as the war that was suppose to end all wars. 

The experts at the Frame Warehouse restored both the portrait and the frame to pristine condition.  "It's great working with Paul.  He values the art almost as much as its owner, and his team really knows how to frame precious objects and images," said Perkins.

 

 

MCC Board Honors Photos Showing Maywood's Participation in World War I

 

 

 

Maywood is a community rich in history; and it's history is what draws a growing number of visitors to the community.  One of the great cultural and historical institutions in Maywood is its Public Library.  Each month, members of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce (MCC) Board gather in the Board Room of the Maywood Public Library to attend to the business of the Chamber.  The Library's Board Room is stately; and serves as a repository for rare photographs, portraits, artifacts and documents that speak to Maywood's rich history. 

At the March 2019 MCC Board Meeting, two historic photographs, that belong to the Library, were presented to Stan Huntington, Executive Director of the Maywood Public Library and a MCC Board Member.  The presentations were made by fellow Board Member, Dan Perkins. 

The two photographs offer book-end images of America's involvement in the First World War.  The oldest of the two photographs was taken in 1917, the year the United States declared war on the German Empire.  The photograph shows men dressed in winter uniforms.  Many, if not all, of the soldiers are from Maywood.  The second photograph is slightly younger.  It captures a homecoming celebration held on October 11, 1919, honoring Maywood's returning servicemen.  The celebration was held in the park adjacent to Maywood Public Library.  Both photographs are over three feet long.

Dan Perkins first noticed the 1917 photograph in 2016, while facilitating  a strategic planning session for the MCC Board.  The photograph, which hung in the Library's Board Room, was fully exposed to the room's ceiling lights and to natural light from the room's north- and west-facing windows.

Light is harsh on photographs because it accelerates the fading process.  When Mr. Perkins mentioned his concern to Mr. Huntington, the Library's Director agreed to allow Mr. Perkins to have the 1917 photograph reframed with UV-blocking glass.  Mr. Perkins noticed that the photograph needed to be separated from the frame's glass, and Mr. Huntington agreed to have a mat added to the framing.  The addition of the mat meant the final presentation would have to go into a new, larger frame.

During the meeting, Mr. Huntington mentioned that in recent years, the Library had another photograph reframed.  Upon inspecting the second photograph, Mr. Perkins noted that it too was resting on glass.  Changes in temperature and humidity can cause a photograph to adhere to a glass surface; so, Mr. Huntington agreed to allow both sets of problems to be corrected.

Dan Perkins had only one place in mind for the reframing: Frame Warehouse, in Oak Park, Illinois, which is located a few miles east of Maywood.  The frame shop happens to be located on the western end of Oak Park's art district, which runs along Harrison Boulevard. Paul Hamer is the owner of the framing establishment, and he has overseen several framing projects for Mr. Perkins.

When presented with Maywood's two historic photographs, Mr. Hamer and his team, immediately understood the significance of the pieces, and promised to do an expert job addressing the problems associated with both frames.

Today, the photographs now sit in new frames, behind museum-quality protective glass.  The photographs offer Maywoodians and visitors to the Library, an opportunity to gaze upon the faces of Maywoodians who heeded their nation's call to serve, a century ago. 

The presentation of the photos was especially meaningful for Mr. Perkins, who has endeavored to raise awareness of the centennial of America's involvement in World War I since in 2017, which marked the beginning of the centennial.  The centennial ends with the close of the current year.  Mr. Perkins has conducted numerous presentations showcasing items from his collection.  Two of the presentations were held in Maywood.  The first was conducted at the Maywood Public Library, and the second made possible through the cooperation of the Maywood Bataan Day Organization, which hosts an annual commemoration in Maywood Memorial Veterans Park the second Sunday in September.

For Mr. Perkins, it's all a labor of love.  It's about remembering the past, and honoring the people who made our present possible.

Show below: Cultural Historian, Dan Perkins (right), presents a re-framed 1917 photograph of Maywoodians in uniform to Stan Huntington, Maywood Public Library's Executive Director.

 

 

 

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