Some Background on the Clarke Museum Brouhaha

Board of Directors

President Jim Moranda

Vice President Lonnie Wellman

Secretary Charles Petty

Treasurer Wendy Wahlund

Board Members

Gary Albee

Paul Burns

Jeff Bowser

Gerry Hale

Don Hill

Rosemary Hunter

Shirley Laos

Anita Rest

Roy Sheppard

Lane Strope

Ann Sullivan

John Winzler

Advisory Board

John Burger

Mock Wahlund

Staff Director/Curator Pam Service

Registrar Art Barab

Assistant Registrar Lynn Wellman Ben Brown

Office Manager Nani Kalgren

Conservator Ellie Poitras

Docent Pat Carter Dorthy Johnsgard

Maintenance Jeff Roberts

Fall at the Clarke This autumn we had some fun times at the Clarke Museum. A popular exhibit highlighted past Presidential elections with magazines, ballots, bumper stickers and campaign buttons. Several museum visitors saw the exhibit and donated more buttons. Our collection is even bigger now, getting ready for future campaign years. Any political items you would like to donate–local,state or national–would be welcome. Halloween and Thanksgiving exhibits were followed by Christmasing the whole place. We added a special dimension to Arts Alive in Novemeber and December by having Native American artisans set-up their wares in Nealis Hall. But most fun was the Main Street Halloween where candy and gifts were given out to hundreds of costumed children. The staff dressed up too! Board Changes Larry Seeger and Roger Smith served admirably on the Clarke Board for the allotted six years, and at the January meeting a thank you reception was held to honor their service. Lonnie Wellman, after a break has returned to the board. Thanks to all. If service on the Clarke Museum board sounds like something that would interest you, let us know. The Mission of the Clarke Historical Museum – The acquisition, display and custodial care of objects representing the legacy of Northwestern California. Our pupose is to publicly inform, educate and celebrate the area’s rich cultural diversity. Above: Keilana Kalgren takes part in the Halloween festivities! New Hours The Clarke will now be open Wed-Sat, 11-4. We will now be closed Sun-Tues. New Exhibits for the New Year!! The Fabulous

via North Coast Journal:

A BREACH OF TRUST? by Rosemary Edmiston

IN THE EARLY 1980s, Lee Hover became somewhat of a local celebrity after donating a good portion of his family’s American Indian basket collection to the Clarke Memorial Museum in Eureka. He and his wife Helen nearly filled a photo album with clippings from the many publications that wrote about the 179-piece assemblage. More than one museum newsletter carried Lee Hover’s picture and story.

“The more I get into this, the better I feel about it,” he said of the basket sale and donation in the book The Hover Collection of Karuk Baskets published by the Clarke in 1985. “People have actually stopped me on the street to say how much they appreciate it that the collection is at the museum. This collection is a living memorial to the Karuk basketmakers. We feel confident now that it will be preserved for everyone to enjoy.”

But 15 years later the Hover’s relationship with the museum has so deteriorated that the president of the nonprofit institution’s board of directors felt compelled to summon a Eureka police officer on March 25 when he learned the Hovers had been allowed into a restricted area to view stored baskets.

Members of the board called the incident unfortunate. Critics say it stems, however, from deeper problems plaguing the 38-year-old museum, located in an historic Old Town building.

“Somebody’s falling down on the job,” Lee Hover says.

Some former museum employees and board members say difficulties with finances, management and deferred building maintenance stem from a board of trustees that refuses to accept change.

Opened by the late Eureka High history teacher Cecile Clarke in 1960, the museum was originally run by a traditional board, in which directors must be re-elected, until it was decided a group of dedicated volunteers should be appointed trustees for life. Non-trustees may serve up to six consecutive years before the bylaws require a one-year break. They may or may not be asked to return to the board.

Funding for the museum comes from earnings from a trust fund established by Cecile Clarke, as well as a $10,000 annual grant from the city of Eureka, member dues, donations and stock earnings. The Clarke closed 1997 with $222,000 in assets, according to tax documents. The board spent nearly $86,000 that same year, ending with a surplus of $16,500.

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