Roswell Exhibit Arts Center

City Archivist Elaine DeNiro stands near the new exhibit, “An American Childhood,” now on display at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. 

ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell Cultural Arts Center has opened a new exhibit to complement the world premiere of its latest show.

From June 24-29, the Arts Center will debut “Rucker, Go Home” as part of its Summer Puppet Series. It will be presented by Lee Bryan, “That Puppet Guy,” and was funded by a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The puppet show is based on the children’s book “Rucker, the Lost Country Dog,” by Roswell Historical Society City Archivist Elaine DeNiro. 

“The Research Library and Archives has over 4,000 historic photographs, many of which include local pets,” DeNiro said. “I wanted to get children interested in the history of Roswell. Writing a children’s book using some of these photographs seemed to be a good idea to introduce them to Roswell as it would have looked around 1900.”

The show and play follow dog Rucker and his boy, Sam, as they explore friendship and Roswell at the turn of the century. 

“This tale weaves shadow and rod puppets into a tapestry of community where teamwork saves the day,” DeNiro said.

In the book, Rucker gets lost in Historic Roswell. He encounters Roswell residents and farm animals while he makes his way home. Photos of Historic Roswell from the city’s archives decorate the pages of Rucker’s travels.

The exhibit “An American Childhood: Favorite Things from the Past” complements the show and book with toys, books and clothing from the 1900s. 

“Vintage toys, unlike today’s electronic toys, require a lot of imagination on the part of the child to make them ‘come alive,’” DeNiro said. “Thanks to their engaging features and high quality, these timeless toys will continue to be fun to play with for years to come. They will not become obsolete.”

The highlight of the exhibit, she added, is the children’s clothing display that dates from the early 1990s through the 1960s.

The exhibit has already been on display for a few days, and DeNiro said the best part of it is hearing adults and grandparents recognize toys and share stories with their children and grandchildren.

It’s a way to bridge the intergenerational gap, she said.

The exhibit items are part of the larger artifact and textile collections housed at the Roswell Historical Society and City of Roswell Research Library and Archives. Items in the archives are donated by local residents. Some of the earliest toys in the exhibit are part of the King collection from Barrington Hall. 

The exhibit will continue to be on display at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center through July.

For more information about the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, visit roswellgov.com/cac.

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