posted June 8, 2005

Museum Exhibit Will Feature Student Documentary

The exhibit "Doughboys & Polar Bears: Holland, Michigan, and World War I" at the Holland Museum will feature a documentary prepared by a Hope College student.

The exhibit's opening reception on Saturday, June 11, will feature showings at 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. of the 30-minute film "Michigan's Own: The Polar Bear Expedition," by senior Emily K. Irvine of Rochester, N.Y. After the initial showings, the video will also be available to all visitors as part of the exhibit.

The exhibit examines the involvement of Holland-area citizens in World War I, which ranged from the "Doughboy" soldiers who fought in Western Europe to the "Polar Bears" who aided the White Russians against the Bolsheviks in Siberia during the Russian Revolution, serving even past the November 1918 end of World War I. Some 5,500 U.S. soldiers, most from Michigan, fought in the North Russian Expeditionary Force under British command, including about 70 from the Holland area.

The film is based on an oral history project supervised by Dr. G. Larry Penrose of the Hope history faculty during the 1970s. Irvine brought together interviews conducted through the project with surviving Polar Bears with photographs from the Holland Historical Trust collection to tell their story. She developed the documentary for the fall 2004 "Media IV" class taught by Dr. David Schock of the communication faculty.

The reception on Saturday, June 11, will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and in addition to the showings of the film will include a gallery tour at 1:45 p.m.

Located across from Centennial Park at 31 W. 10th St. in the former Holland Post Office, the museum is open daily year-round except Tuesdays and major holidays. The museum is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

General admission to the museum is $3. Admission for families (two adults and children) is $7. Admission for museum members is free.

The exhibition will continue through Saturday, Dec. 31.