Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rand House Museum Exhibits Announced for the 2010 National Championship Shoot

Rand House Museum Exhibits Announced for the 2010 National Championship Shoot
The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s Rand House Museum will host an outstanding exhibit of 38 long guns and 15 pistols, many antique and some more modern, from the large collection of well known master engraver and gunsmith, John Schippers. 
Mr. Schippers has had a long and illustrious career as a museum specialist, a craftsman, and a restoration specialist.  He worked at Conner Prairie for over twenty years, where he was in charge of the crafts program.  During his tenure at Conner Prairie, he established the apprentice craftsman program, designed to teach new museum interpreters how to produce the craft items utilized by the museum.  Since original artifacts could not be used at the facility, Mr. Schippers’ program helped teach the interpreters how to make cooking tools, hardware for over 30 buildings, pottery and dishes, farming tools, wagons, animal related tools, leather goods, clothing, and linens.  He was also responsible for the construction and maintenance of all of the historic grounds.  Besides his time at Conner Prairie, Mr. Schippers has worked or consulted for a number of other facilities, including the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the Henry Ford Museum and Village, the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Indiana State Museum, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and many more.
He built his first muzzleloading rifle in 1954 and has been building and engraving them for 56 years. Mr. Schippers just completed a book entitled Engrave Historic Firearms.  The 416 page book has information on how to engrave in the historic style, and contains over 1,500 photographs and illustrations showing how to engrave, or, more importantly, what to engrave.  Track of the Wolf is publishing the book, and it is expected to be available before Christmas 2010.    
Mr. Schippers has garnered great expertise in building and engraving guns over a fifty six year career, and will bring much knowledge and enthusiasm for his life’s work to the NMLRA Rand House Museum.  The NMLRA is honored to host an exhibit by such a fine educator and craftsman. The Rand House Museum thanks guest curator John Schippers for the loan of his collection pieces!
A number of photos from the NMLRA archives that have not previously been exhibited are scheduled to be on display, and a special area will be set up with activities and museum handling materials for children. 
Museum hours for the National Championship Shoot will be 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. September 11th – 18th.  For more information on the Rand House Museum, or if you are interested in exhibiting at the museum in the future, please contact Leslie Martin Conwell, NMLRA American History Events Coordinator, 765.563.6792,