Monday, August 9, 2010

Giant Postcard Exhibition opens at the Boyer Museum


NORTH WILDWOOD – Remember when vacationing in the Wildwoods invariably included spinning a rack of postcards, finding the perfect one to send friends back home, and writing the fib “Wish you were here?”

Today we’re more likely to click our cell phone and e-mail the image to friends on Facebook.

But anyone who’s nostalgic about that simpler era will thoroughly enjoy the Giant Postcard Exhibition currently being installed at the Wildwood Historical Society/George F. Boyer Museum, 3907 Pacific Ave. in Wildwood.

The exhibition features the “Designer Series Postcards” with scenic views of the beach and boardwalk (including things that aren’t there anymore, like the rides on the attached photo of Morey’s Pier, circa 1983); sightseer boats like “The Flamingo”; local girls posing as pin-up girls; and even a beefcake photo of local bodybuilder and gym owner Mike Wuko (currently in another line of work).

According to Hunsberger, “People who have strong, happy memories of visiting the Wildwoods 20-30 years ago, hone right in on these images, because they tie in to their experiences. They relate to their lives.”

The postcards were originally produced by photographer and entrepreneur Douglas Hunsberger in the 1980s. From 1981 through 1988, you could choose from extensive selections on racks in gift shops, motel lobbies, and stores all over the island.

The exhibit goes beyond merely displaying the postcards.

Hunsberger has transformed them into giant 3-foot by 2-foot giclee prints, which means they begin as high resolution digital scans. Then they’re printed with archival quality inks and laminated. When finished and mounted, they have the appearance of a three-dimensional photograph.

The unique and imaginative images were stored years ago by Hunsberger who, in the process of moving last June, examined his extensive collection of transparencies.

Hunsberger began preparing the giant postcards for the exhibit at the urging of Robert Scully, Curator of the Wildwood Historical Society Museum, and Wildwood Historical Society President Anne Vinci.

The exhibit will be housed in the museum’s fairly new addition, built in 2008. One postcard at a time will be hung, the first one going up Thursday, Aug. 5. Hanging the rest, a total of 20, will be an ongoing process through the summer. The public is welcome to come in now, and then visit often as the project progresses.

When completed, the exhibit will remain in the Boyer Museum through the summer, but in winter months, will be available to travel. Other museums, schools, community centers, and so forth would be ideal places to bring this historic and artistic creation.

Limited edition prints will be available for the public to buy.

North Wildwood Mayor Bill Henfey said, “This exhibit will be lots of fun for everyone who lives in or visits the Wildwoods. The older generation will feel they’ve stepped back in time, and the young ones will have the chance to understand something of their parents’ history.”

As you can imagine, the exhibit is quite costly. It is made possible by sponsors and many have already committed to the project. But more are needed.

Those interested in being a sponsor, or finding out more about the exhibit, should call the museum at 609-523-0277.

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