The Red Skelton Museum house items from the Red Skelton estate donated by his widow, Lothian Skelton. In the collection are; original art work, awards from many organizations, autographs from notable people, letters to Georgia Skelton, letters to and from notable people, scrapbooks, photos (Family, film, television, military, vacations), sheet music, clothing, recordings, personal library books, personal appearance programs and other personal items.

The museum is always looking for good Red Skelton stories to document moments of his life. We will take donations of items. We are aware that his art work has been reproduced. The museum would be interested in original items.

Many bound volumes of Red Skelton’s scripts and letters are housed in the Indiana Historical Society.

The museum is working on making the collection open to the public on the internet or in person. Until then you can ask the Curator, Mark Kratzner questions (mkratzner@vinu.edu).

ACQUSITIONS

 

The Museum only accepts objects it is able to care for and use in a manner acceptable to professional museum practices. New acquisitions must upgrade the existing collection or fill a recognized deficiency in the existing collection. Gifts to the Museum are considered unrestricted donations to be used in the best interests of the Museum. Donors are required to declare in writing that they have full ownership of the item(s)donated and have complete authority to make the donation. Objects and works of art acquired by the Museum may be placed in one of two categories: permanent collection or education collection. Education collection items may be handled and used in the Museum’s educational programs or for research and study purposes. Either category of object may be used for exhibition, loan, or may eventually be deaccessioned. It is a conflict of interest for the Museum to appraise donations for tax purposes, nor may Museum staff appraise items as a service for visitors. For the protection of the donor, it is recommended that appraisals be made by a disinterested third party before the object is conveyed to the Museum.

 

Collection Policy

SCOPE OF COLLECTION

The Museum’s collection contains historical and artistic materials related to the life, career, and talents of radio, television, and film star Richard Bernard “Red” Skelton.  This collection primarily covers the time period of 1913-1997.   Items are accessioned into the collections based on their historic and educational significance to the Museum’s mission and vision.

The collection is managed by professional staff member(s) of the Collections Department who are responsible for all aspects of its curation and maintenance.

ORGANIZATION OF COLLECTION

The Permanent Collection

The Museum’s permanent collection is comprised of objects that are the most relevant to the Museum’s Mission and Scope of Collection statements.  Items selected for inclusion into the permanent collection will offer a direct and tangible link to Red Skelton.  Generally, these items will have been owned, used, or created by Red.  The permanent collection is divided into the following categories:

Artwork – Original paintings created by Red over the course of his life.  This  collection will generally not include reproductions of Red’s art unless the inclusion of a specific reproduction fills a gap due to the absence of the original.  Nor will this collection include original artwork created by others and gifted to Red.

Costumes and Props – These objects will have been used and or worn by Red during his many radio, stage, television, and film performances.  Costumes and props indirectly used by Red (i.e. used by guest-stars, extras, etc.) will also be considered for this category.

Awards – The many plaques, trophies, and certificates that were awarded to Red for his professional and private accomplishments will be maintained under this category.

Personal Effects – Everyday objects owned, used, or collected by Red that are not significant to the other collections categories

Gifts – As a celebrity, Red received many gifts and tokens from friends and admirers.  These objects can vary in significance and intrinsic value.  This collection will purposely be limited to only the most relevant pieces.

Photographs – All photographs in the collection are to be maintained under this category

Written Works – This category includes literary works authored by Red in addition to show scripts, jokes, skits, and correspondence sent and received.

Musical – This category contains musical scores composed by Red.  This includes handwritten and published works.  Musical instruments and other equipment used by Red in the composition of music are also included in this category.

Audio/Visual – The various radio, television, and film, recordings of Red’s performances are preserved in this category.

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