Comprehensive Collection of Hallmark Ornaments Finds New Home at The Henry Ford

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Acquisition includes more than 6,600 ornaments dating from 1973-2009

Wizard of Oz Hallmark Keepsake Ornament now a part of The Henry Ford's collection

Over the years Hallmark has transformed the way we decorate for the holidays by taking risks and rethinking the design, technology and marketing of its products—all while remaining true to their vision and core values

The Henry Ford is now home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments ever assembled after acquiring more than 6,600 ornaments from Indiana Hallmark retailer, The Party Shop. Dating from 1973 to 2009, the collection includes Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Collectors Club, miniatures and lighted ornaments, along with Dream Books, promotional banners. point-of-purchase displays and a small collection of the store’s documents.

“Hallmark’s Keepsake ornaments have become an essential part of Americans’ holiday traditions,” said Patricia Mooradian, president & CEO, The Henry Ford. “Over the years Hallmark has transformed the way we decorate for the holidays by taking risks and rethinking the design, technology and marketing of its products—all while remaining true to their vision and core values.”

In 1973, Hallmark introduced its first collection of Keepsake Ornaments, a small line of six glass ball ornaments and 12 yarn figures. Since its inception, the company has introduced more than 8,500 ornaments and more than 100 ornament series. New ornaments are offered from July to December each year, with each premiere event throughout this six-month period creating a buzz for its loyal customers. Over the years, the company sparked a phenomenon in ornament collecting through the creation of a collectors’ club, which now includes more than 500 active local chapters across the United States and Canada.

Hallmark revolutionized Christmas decorating through the development of an increasing variety of ornaments geared to a wide range of distinctly different customer bases. Their use of sound, light, unique materials and other special effects continues to be groundbreaking along with their unique translations of pop culture and design trends to fit both the traditional ball and non-traditional figural holiday ornaments. Many consumers view the ornaments as more than just a holiday decoration, but a chance to relive special memories and remember special people and events.

The Party Shop was a family-owned Hallmark Gold Crown store located in Warsaw, Indiana. Started in 1978 by Norm & Dorothy Snyder, the shop was also home to the Hallmark Ornament Museum. For many Hallmark Keepsake Ornament collectors, The Party Shop was a destination. Upon the owners’ decision to retire, The Henry Ford was contacted to acquire the collection. Selected items are scheduled to be put out on special display for the 2019 holiday season. The collection is currently at The Henry Ford with plans to exhibit it in its entirety in 2020.

About The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally-recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at thehenryford.org, its national television programs, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation and Did I Mention Invention? and other resources, The Henry Ford helps individuals of all kinds to unlock their potential and help shape a better future. The Henry Ford advanced its role as a catalyst for change in education with the acquisition of The STEMIE Coalition, a growing affiliation of organizations dedicated to fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in students, K-12. With STEMIE, The Henry Ford hosts the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) and makes innovation learning curriculum accessible to educators and students worldwide.

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Melissa Foster
@thehenryford
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