Acquisition includes more than 6,600 ornaments dating from 1973-2009
DEARBORN, MI. (November 12, 2019) — 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, banners, a small collection of the store’s documents and point-of-purchase displays.
“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. Selected items from the collection 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.
NOTE: The Hallmark Ornament Museum was created when Hallmark collector, Jess Prudencio donated his collection to the Party Shop in 1996. It included every Hallmark Keepsake Ornament produced since 1973-more than 4,000-when the company started manufacturing them.