As the year comes to an end, the Lake Placid Olympic Museum remains busy trying to pull the last of our new projects together before 2014. This week we are installing a new permanent exhibit, "Sonja Henie: Perfection on Ice." To say staff is excited to see all our hard work and preparation for this exhibit finally being implemented might be the understatement of the year for us.
Transitioning from an assemblage of artifacts and displays, the new permanent exhibit was designed with assistance from the Exhibition Alliance of Hamilton, N.Y. and is our first professionally designed exhibit. It will recount the story of Olympic figure skater Sonja Henie using artifacts from our collection featuring fine arts, costume design and cultural artifacts from the world of figure skating.
Through the use of graphic text panels, display cases and mounts for artifacts, the tale of this extraordinary female athlete will tell visitors how Henie changed figure skating into an entertainment sport making it one of the most popular televised winter sports today.
Sonja Henie passionately prances on ice during the 1936 Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (Photo provided)
Henie first glided onto the ice as an Olympic figure skater at the age of 11 in the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924. Her last-place finish there played a pivotal role in inspiring this young girl to go on to win three gold medals for Norway in the next three Olympics, making her one of the greatest figure skaters of all time. Driving for greatness, she was the first to captivate an audience with her beauty, costumes and athleticism. She created a standard for excellence that has been passed on through generations of "ice princesses." In addition to artifacts from Henie's career, visitors will also be able to view objects and images of the figure skaters who followed after her.
The "Perfection on Ice" exhibit will provide an anchor around which the other permanent exhibitions at the Olympic museum will be redesigned and interpreted. Future plans for the exhibit in 2014 include hands-on activities that will teach and encourage visitors to explore the sport of figure skating.
To celebrate the exhibit with us, a reception will be held at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum on Friday, Dec. 27 from 8 to 10 p.m. and scheduled to appear are the "Holiday Festival on Ice" skaters. We will have cocktails and desserts available along with a silent auction to help raise funds for future exhibits. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance. A $10 donation is encouraged to benefit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Space is limited and the deadline to request a ticket is Monday, Dec. 23. To reserve your ticket, please call 518-302-5326.
Our younger visitors can help celebrate the new exhibit by participating in our Lake Placid Olympic Museum coloring contest. Make sure to look at Page 10 of the Lake Placid News for a skating picture of Sonja Henie to color, and you could become our first coloring champion and win one hour of ice time for you and your friends along with a poster of your choice from our museum store.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Ironman Sunday.
For more information about the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, see our Facebook page.