Looking for fun things to do with family during the holiday season?
You’ll fine great ideas in this interview…. including our own Angel Museum.
(watch the interview)
Beloit Daily News – Community Weekend Saturday, November 24, 2012
Wonderful Article in the daily news written by Debra Jensen-De Hart
You can also read it here
20 Nov 2012
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012
Truly, To Believe is to Know! You can seek all your life and never find what has always been there because you did not believe it was right there inside you all the time. When you practice the Miracle of Mindfulness you follow your breath as you breathe in deeply and breathe out gently. Teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh…..
17 Aug 2012
By Steven Jackson’12
I stepped into The Angel Museum one sunny afternoon last week, joined by Tim Lawrence’12. Volunteer Deanne Frick was nice enough to show us around the collection, which was no small task. With approximately 12,000 angels on display, there’s a lot to see.
Deanne bustled through the collection, pointing out the especially interesting pieces. “Oh, I have to tell you another story,” she would say, leading us to another display case of curios. The museum is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the single largest angel collection, she said, pointing out a copy of the book on display.
It’s hard to describe the size of the angel collection. The entire second story of the museum is packed wall to wall with glass display cases, each with a different theme. It’s a short walk from the Hallmark case—angels manufactured by the greeting card company—to the Japanese angel case, or the Zodiac angel case.
The collection runs the gamut from standard antique to oddity. The smallest angel is the size of a housefly, capped under a thimble-sized glass case. An angel made of meringue sits surreptitiously among ceramic cherubs. It’s hard to see that it’s made of frosting—Deanne has to point it out to us.
Near the entry, a couple display cases are devoted to Oprah’s Angels, an exhibit of about 600 black angels donated to the museum by Oprah Winfrey in 2001. Oprah mentioned in a 1998 interview with Cher that black angels were hard to find. Her fans responded by sending her hundreds of figurines—more than she knew what to do with—and she gave them to The Angel Museum.
The Angel Museum is housed in an old Catholic church, built in 1914 to serve Italian immigrants in Beloit; the round stained-glass windows have remained in the building are originals. In 1988, the parish was closed after its pastor died. Beloit College bought the building and used it for storage. In the mid-’90s, the city began renovations on the riverfront, and called for the church to be demolished. Former parishioners urged that the building be spared, and the Beloit Historic Preservation Commission agreed to save the church if parishioners could find a suitable use for it.
Enter the Bergs.
Joyce and Lowell Berg had been collecting angel figurines since the ’70s, and had amassed about 10,000 pieces at that point. Word spread, and people would often visit their house requesting to view the collection. The Bergs were looking for a venue to share their massive collection, and the church seemed like the perfect place.
After extensive planning, it was decided that the building would become the Angel Museum. The Bergs and former parishioners formed a non-profit to run the museum, and the city took ownership of the building and registered it as an historical landmark. After renovations, The Angel Museum opened in 1998. The museum rents the church from the city for one dollar a year.
The Bergs first started collecting angels in 1976, when they came across a small porcelain figurine of two angels on a see-saw. They bought the piece, and began a lifelong passion for angel collecting. But even before the see-saw, it seems like angels were in the cards for the Bergs. A display case in the museum features three Berg family heirlooms: a buckle, a button, and a medal—all with cherub designs on them.
Lowell Berg passed away several years ago, but Joyce continues to collect angels. With the collection growing all the time, it’s difficult to know exactly how large it is. At last count in 2008, the Berg angels numbered over 13,600. Joyce keeps almost 2,000 of them in her home.
The museum is run by volunteers from the community. Deanne, our tour guide for the day, started volunteering around the city after her husband passed away. She was looking for activities to stay busy and active. “You get into your shell, you know,” she said. “I volunteered at a few places and finally ended up here.”
The Angel Museum is unique, to say the least. With admission for students only $4, it’s hard to come up with an excuse not to make a visit.
16 Aug 2011
06 Sep 2009
“They make you feel good,” says Joyce Berg of her 11,161 angel artifacts – a figure that doesn’t include her angel books, soaps and napkins.
Overflowing her Beloit, Wis., home, the collection will form the nucleus of an angel museum to be housed in a local church. Which will free up space for Berg and her husband to collect more: “It amazes us that we can still find new things.” Like Elvis and cowboy theme stores, angel boutiques are hot. These days, I discover, I could outfit myself completely in angel clothes, from an angel vest and suspenders to angel boxer shorts. I could flush my toilet with a brass cherub flusher.
I could fill my shelves with angels made of rubber, porcelain, gold, wood, terra-cotta, iron, feathers, plastic, sterling silver, papier-mache’, Chrystal, pasta and bone. I could outfit my computer with an angel mouse pad and angel screen savers. I could wah my hands with pink angel soap, wipe my hands on angel towels, then spray the bathroom with Cherub air freshener.
I could turn on an angel night-light, slip between angel sheets and lay my head on an angel pillow.
If I’m feeling frisky, I could open up Angelic Ecstasy a gift box containing “heavenly music for passionate encounters,” massage oil and “an erotic feather-and-angel ornament.”
06 Sep 2009
Wings in Wisconsin
When she was 8, her family moved to central Illinois to a tiny town called Cropsey. Her father was a school principal, her mother, a teacher. Berg later attended Illinois State and earned a degree in education.
At her first teaching job in Elgin, she became roommates with another young teacher named Janet Berg from Belvidere, who had a brother named Lowell.
Today, The Angel Museum’s eclectic and massive collection of angel artifacts has origins in more than 60 countries and includes everything from a tiny angel that is smaller then a thimble to one that is taller then 5 feet.
The angels also are made with inventive materials — porcelain, acrylic, copper, glass, leather, corn husks, tree roots, lamb skin, even spaghetti. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. During June, July and August, it is also open Sundays, 1-4 p.m. It is closed holidays and the months of January and February. Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for seniors 62 and older; $4 for teens 13-17; and $3 for children under 5.
The museum is at 656 Pleasant St., U.S. Highway 51, in Beloit, Wis. For more information, call 608-362-9099 or visit the museum’s web site at www.angelmuseum.com.
06 Sep 2009
Halfway through her two-hour tour, Joyce Berg – resplendent in halo, gold lame’ robe and rip-away wings (is there Velcro in heaven?) – stands in the guest bedroom of her home in Beloit, Wisconsin.
“And when you run out of space…,” she says, opening the drapes with a flourish, “… you take out a window.” And lo; instead of an end view of the neighbor’s house, there appear another 200 angels – part of 8,366 amassed since 1976, when Joyce and her husband, Lowell, started “picking up souvenirs” on car trips.
Pointing out her favorite “angel of the month” series, Joyce recalls one of their great collecting moments – “Lowell, remember when we found February?” He sure does. Joyce, he says, has catalogued every angel. “She writes down where she bought it, when, what she paid, whether the clerk was bald; you know, all the important stuff.”
06 Sep 2009
— Joyce Berg’s angels salvage a doomed Wisconsin church Joyce Berg didn’t mind when the occasional tourist dropped by her Beloit, Wis., home to see her angel collection. But when a bus-tour company phoned four years ago, she know she had a problem. “
That pushed us over the edge,” says the 67-year-old grandmother. Clearly her cherubs (figurines, music boxes, even an angel smoke alarm), which number more then 12,000 and inhabited every corner of her four-bedroom ranch style house, needed a larger, more public place to spread their wing.
Miraculously, only months later, Berg heard about a movement to save the local St. Paul’s Catholic Church from the wrecker’s ball. Convinced her obsession “was all part of a larger plan,” Berg offered to lend her collection to the church to establish a tourist attraction. Now, with 6,000 of her flock – plus 570 donated by Oprah Winfrey, who received hundreds last year after wondering on air if there were angel dolls of color – St. Paul’s has been reborn as the Angel Museum.
Although her collection is a full time fixation (her license plate reads (N ANGEL), Berg insists it’s a purely secular endeavor, a hobby she and her husband of 43 years, Lowell, a retired 69-year-old grain-elevator operator, started in 1976 while traveling. “It has meaning for us because we did it together,” she says. But 12,037 angels? “One was enough teases Lowell.
“But it kept her out of the taverns.” [pic caption 1] I come here every few days to check on them and make sure they’re happy. ” says Berg (at the museum) of her angels. [pic caption 2] St. Paul’s faced demolition after the local diocese decided it couldn’t afford to staff it.