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Saving Ida Kohlmeyer

After the wholesale failure of federally designed and built floodwalls and the massive flooding that followed, officials from the Ogden Museum helped the family of the late Ida Kohlmeyer save items from her estate from a flooded facility. In a city where archival storage spaces were mostly out of commission, these items, including her own artworks as well as antiques and curiosities, ended up on the museum's fifth floor for safekeeping. Realizing that they represented a window into the psyche of one of the South's most acclaimed artists, they opened the collection to the public. The result suggests the conceptual installation -- or maybe the garage sale (conceptual installations and garage sales are often indistinguishable) -- that Ida never got around to, showcasing her own work while revealing what she and her family had collected over a lifetime. -- D. Eric Bookhardt

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