Monday, February 8, 2010

Atlanta museum curator networks at show

It seems everybody loves Gordon.

The affable curator at the Atlanta History Center draws a lot of handshakes and conversations at Civil War collectible events. After all, he’s known many vendors for years.

Saturday, at the Chickamauga Civil War Show in Dalton, Ga., Jones was making the rounds, photographing rare items and getting some history on them.

“I’m here to get knowledge and exchange it,” says Jones, who uses events like these to network.

Jones seldom makes on-the-spot purchases for the AHC. He cites finances. “At the moment we don’t have any money.”

Of course, there’s a chance that the AHC might make a deal with a collector after the show. Often, Jones is there to find out about items that may have a link to something in the vast AHC Civil War collection. It’s a good time for all parties to share information on a soldier, military unit or collectible.

For example, the AHC has a Morse 1858 Confederate bullet. Jones learned Saturday about some weapons he had not known were made by Morse. He also was impressed by a Confederate cavalry uniform trimmed in red, a color usually reserved for artillery soldiers.

Jones pointed to a display of artifacts manufactured during the war by Leech and Rigdon. Among the items (above) was a sword and scabbard belonging to Col. Calvin Harvey Walker of the 3rd Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. Harvey was killed in Powder Springs, Ga., during the Kennesaw Mountain battles in 1864.

The Atlanta History Center has the belt Walker was wearing in battle. Jones says the linking of the items helps in books and exhibitions.

Jones, wearing a ballcap and toting a backpack, continued working his way around the vast Northwest Trade and Convention Center.

“I enjoy making contacts and renewing contacts with the collecting community,” he said.

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