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From a Private Living Room to a Public Exhibit, 100-Year old Totem Pole from Ketchikan, Alaska and 125 Native Objects on Display in Ohio

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From a private collection to a free public exhibit, Jim and Vanita Oelschlager are giving the University of Akron, and those in northeast Ohio a chance to see some incredible pieces of American Indian culture.

The University of Akron's Center for the History of Psychology are housing the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Collection, a Native American Ethnographic Exhibition entitled "Connecting Objects to their People: From the Arctic to Arizona." The exhibit runs through October 14, from Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

The Akron-area couple has held these items in their home, summer retreat and offices, and those that will be displayed are but a fraction of their entire collection. The free exhibition displays cultural objects from the 1800 and 1900s. There will be four different regions represented: the Arctic/subarctic, the Northwest Coast, the Great Basin and the Southwest. The exhibit is being co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and Classical Studies, the Myers School of Art, and the Center for the History of Psychology.

The Oelschlagers fascination with American Indian culture led them to building their private collection with everything from tools, blankets and baskets to famed photographer Edward Curtis books and prints and western bronzes. The totem pole, 6-feet tall, more than 100-years old and hailing from Ketchikan, Alaska, took the couple years to obtain. They had to convince the Alaskan woman who owned it to part ways with the iconic carved artwork. Called 'Totem Pole with Frog, Eagle and Fish" has a striking eagle's head on its top, its white and red wings fully spread.

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