White Christmas in November

Cassidy Kennedy, Staff Writer

UW Oshkosh students are getting excited for the upcoming holiday season and winter break, so what better way to get ready for it than by checking out “White Christmas: The Exhibition” at the Oshkosh Public Museum?

The Oshkosh Public Museum, is located at 1331 Algoma Blvd., The debut of this exhibit makes Oshkosh the third U.S. city to host the 2,000-square-foot “White Christmas” exhibit that features memorabilia from the 1954 American musical that starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

Courtesy of Oshkosh Public Museum
Oshkosh Public Museum debuted the White Christmas exhibit.

The exhibit is open through Jan. 23, 2022.

Visitors will get to experience the musical of Irving Berlin first-hand, as well as the making of this holiday film. “White Christmas” is about two World War II veterans who team up with a singing sister duo to save the failing Vermont Lodge owned by the veterans’ former commanding officer.

The costumes in the film were created by the legendary designer Edith Head, and will be featured in the museum, as well as film props, sheet music, cast members’ memorabilia, archival materials, replica backdrops and much more.

Museum Register Emily Rock said it took a lot of hard work and dedication to bring the “White Christmas” exhibit to Oshkosh.

“Oshkosh Public Museum’s Assistant Director Anna Cannizzo discovered the ‘White Christmas’ collection in 2020, and reached out to the Rosemary Clooney House to see if it was available,” said Rock.

Once she discovered it was, Cannizzo negotiated a contract with Stephen Henry and Heather French Henry and the Rosemary Clooney House to borrow the collection and bring it to Oshkosh.

The museum staff is excited to have the “White Christmas” exhibit for the 2021 holiday season and will offer merchandise in the Museum Store featuring holiday ornaments, books and other items related to the exhibit.

There will also be an Elf Scavenger Hunt, a long-time family tradition to enjoy with family and friends during the holiday season.

As part of the “White Christmas” exhibit, the museum is launching “Operation Waverly,” collecting items for the Day By Day Warming Shelter in Oshkosh and homeless veterans. Needed items include hair brushes and combs, deodorant, facial tissues, insulated hats and gloves, long underwear, sleeping bags and more.

Rock said she thought the “White Christmas” exhibit would be a good fit for the Oshkosh Public Museum, believing the nostalgia and holiday spirit of the film would be a hit with the community.

“Last Christmas during the pandemic was difficult for lots of folks, so we hope that this exhibit will provide another opportunity for people to do something special with their families for the holidays,” Rock said.

“White Christmas” is a classic and favorite film of many, notable for being the first to be released in VistaVision, a widescreen format that uses twice the surface area of standard 35mm film. Claire Armstrong, academic department associate for the Radio/TV/Film department, said the reason she loves this movie is because she watched it as a child every year on TV.

“My daughter fell in love with it too and now it’s a tradition for us,” Armstrong said. “We love the sweetness of the movie. It has beautiful costumes, and we, of course, love the music. Bing Crosby singing ‘White Christmas’ is Christmas.”

For more information check out http://www.oshkoshmuseum.org/oshkoshpublicmuseum/.

The museum is open 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.