Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

The Columbus Dispatch: Kentucky museum, Ordinary stuff had extraordinary uses

The Columbus Dispatch: Kentucky museum, Ordinary stuff had extraordinary uses

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — At first glance, a new museum exhibit in Kentucky seems to be an assortment of ordinary stuff: a hammer, shoes, scientific instruments. On closer inspection, these unassuming items achieved the extraordinary.

The collection at Western Kentucky University’s Bowling Green campus features more than 140 common items used by luminaries in entertainment, politics, art, literature, sports and science.

There’s equipment used by explorer Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the Titanic; a film splicer from documentarian Ken Burns’ editing room; and dance shoes worn by Liza Minnelli in a Tony award-winning performance.

Also included is a hammer used by former President Jimmy Carter to build Habitat for Humanity houses.

The permanent exhibit — called the “Instruments of American Excellence Collection” — opened Sept. 21 at the Kentucky Museum.

The collection is the brainchild of Dan Murph, a country songwriter who lives near the campus.

Murph hopes the exhibit inspires visitors to pursue their own ambitions.

“If the collection causes just one person to re-evaluate their career path or dream bigger or come up with a new idea or dare to try something they always wanted to try, then the collection is a total success.”

About three-quarters of those contacted have contributed, university President Gary Ransdell said.

There’s a studio microphone used by Sam Phillips to record the early hits of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tenn. There’s a fiddle from Charlie Daniels, a customized baton from Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart and ballet shoes worn by acclaimed ballerina Sara Mearns.

The items signify the hard work that went into their endeavors, Ransdell said.

“Sometimes greatness can be achieved with the simplest of instruments or tools, if you’ve got the mind, the heart and the spirit to put those tools to work.”

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
CEBS
Media Relations
Academic Affairs
Augenstein Alumni Center
Instruments of American Excellence
Transportation
Emergency Preparedness
Police
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Library News
Office of Sustainability
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Ogden News
PCAL
WKU Greeks News
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Parent's Association
Student Activities and Organizations
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Government Association News
Van Meter Auditorium
Teaching News
Study Abroad
Student Research Council
Student Employment
WKU Joint Admissions
International Student Office
Human Resources News
Cultural Enhancement Series
CHHS News
The Confucius Institute
Campus Activities Board
GFCB
WellU
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Student Union
Health Services
Hardin Planetarium
News from The Center for Gifted Studies
Student Financial Assistance
Downing Museum
Etown & Fort Knox
Facilities
Employee Wellness
Latest Headlines
PTS Closed Wednesday July 23

Call 270-745-2361 or assistance.

Sixty Campers Attend 3rd Year of The Summer Camp

The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University recently hosted 60 campers who attended The Summer Camp from July 14 to July 18.

Housing Premium Permits SOLD OUT

Add Your Name to the Wait List

Featured Articles
Sixty Campers Attend 3rd Year of The Summer Camp

The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University recently hosted 60 campers who attended The Summer Camp from July 14 to July 18.

31st Year of VAMPY at WKU Hosts 217 Students

The Summer Program for Verbally and Mathematically Precocious Youth (VAMPY) hosted 217 students for the three-week program from June 22 to July 12.

165 Students Come to the 32nd Year of SCATS at WKU

The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU hosted 166 campers for the 32nd annual Summer Camp for Academically Talented Middle School Students (SCATS) from June 8 to 20.

 Last Modified 7/23/13