Through the Mail: Tall Tale Postcards
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see our on-line exhibition.
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see installation photographs of the exhibition.
to see additional installation views.
Click here to see exhibit merchandise.
"I did not realize this was such an extensive
'art form.' It was great to learn about this tall tale 'art'
of the past."
"Love that Jackalope!"
"Nice exhibit! I really enjoyed the cut-outs and banners to
go along with the cards."
"Very nice... Viewer/audience friendly... An exhibition you
want to hang out in."
"Tall tales are such a big part of U.S. history and to see
them documented in postcards is wonderful."
"Thanks for the laughs (loved it)!"
—Visitor comments, Michigan State University Museum
"The cards make me laugh. A very enjoyable exhibit."
Thank you. This was a great experience."
—Visitor comments, Rogers Historical Museum, Rogers, AR
Imagine a land... where corn grows to the size of tree trunks;
where the lakes are so cold that the trout have fur coats;
where deer have become hunters and men are their prey. These
assorted oddities come vividly to life in "Storytelling through
the Mail: Tall Tale Postcards." Tall tales are humorous stories
of exaggeration, fictional accounts that are presented as
the truth. Tall tale postcards, a popular visual form of telling
these stories, are created often through photographic trickery.
The exhibit features over 80 examples of postcards from around
the United States, plus artifacts like taxidermy specimens,
newspaper cartoons and magazine covers that also help to tell
the story of the tall tale postcard.
Museum of the Gulf Coast
Port Arthur, Texas
August 24 - November 6, 2014
Silver City Museum
Silver City, New Mexico
January 20 - April 20, 2015
Lakeshore Museum Center
November 14, 2015 - May 23, 2016
This exhibition has been displayed at the following sites:
Art League of Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs, FL; Hartwick
Pines State Park, Grayling, MI; Michigan State University
Museum, East Lansing, MI; Port Huron Museum, Port Huron, MI;
Rogers Historical Museum, Rogers, AR; South Dakota State Historical
Society, Pierre, SD; Southwestern Michigan College Museum,
Dowagiac, MI; Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, MI, Arlington Heights Historical Society and Museum, Arlington Heights, IL; and Museum of Culture and Environment, Ellensburg, WA.
fee (8-week period):
||Number of pieces:
||Running feet required:
|| 150 linear feet
||Lockable, limited access display area; experienced or museum-trained persons supervising exhibition during hours open to the public; exhibition area locked during closed hours; experienced object handlers; temperature and light controls; fire protection according to local ordinances
||Additional materials available:
||Press materials; related merchandise available for resale
Tall tale postcard mugs, magnets,
and other merchandise is available from the Michigan
Traditional Arts Program Store.
This traveling exhibition is a Michigan State University Museum,
Michigan Traditional Arts Program activity supported by the
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the ANR Week
Program Committee, and the Elizabeth Halsted Lifelong Education
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