Columbus Dispatch  (March 5, 1993):  p. 2 B.

“Grants Benefit Documents, Artist’s Work.”
By Steve Stephens.


A federal agency has given money to preserve old books and papers in Ohio and to share the vision of a Columbus folk artist.

The Ohio Historical Society and the State Library of Ohio, and the Columbus Museum of Art have received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The art museum received $30,000 from the endowment, said Jim Weidman, associate director of the museum. That grant is part of a $4.77 million federal program to support 34 museum exhibits around the country.

The Columbus grant will help fund the exhibit Elijah Pierce, Woodcarver, currently on display here. The exhibit will travel to New York City, Dallas, Philadelphia and Santa Fe, N.M.

''The NEH is very interested in the educational aspect of the exhibition,'' Weidman said. ''We do have a lot of didactic material on the walls, that talks about the artist and interprets the various aspects of the work.''

The grant money also was used to print a color brochure for visitors, he said.

''People are being given a lot more information about the work'' than they would otherwise get, Weidman said. ''Without the grant, it probably would not have been possible for us to do the things we have done.''

The endowment grant is the museum's first in at least eight years, Weidman said, and another grant is pending. The museum has worked hard to obtain national endowment money, Weidman said. ''The application probably runs to 150 pages. There is an incredible amount of time represented there.''

The $49,279 granted to the historical society and library is part of a $7.3 million endowment program to preserve documents in 22 states.

The grant will be used to develop a statewide plan to preserve historical books, manuscripts and photographs, said Maggie Sanese, communications manager at the historical society.

''It is a big problem in the library world,'' Sanese said. ''What do we do with the tons of documents we have?''

Putting together the preservation plan will take about two years, Sanese said. Five public hearings will be conducted around the state while the plan is assembled, she said.

Caption: Tom Dodge/ Dispatch

Fifth Avenue Elementary School students visit the Elijah Pierce exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art.

Copyright 1993 The Columbus Dispatch