Late yesterday afternoon I drove over to Dearborn, MI to attend the exhibit featuring J.L. Hudson's department store window displays. As with any event pertaining to Hudson's, it was packed out, and the director of the Padzieski Art Gallery said it was one of its most popular events to date.
I left home early because I didn't know what kind of traffic or road construction I'd encounter, but traffic was uneventful and I arrived at Ford Community and Performing Arts Center almost an hour early. The program didn't begin until 6:00 p.m.
Hudson's foremost historian, Mike Hauser [pictured below], was there early too so we got to chat a bit before the crowd arrived. A lot of the photos, and all of the display memorabilia on the tables are from his personal collection.
~ Items from Hudson's restaurants. ~
Mike has a large collection of Hudson's restaurant menus and other things pertaining to its eateries and food service.
Photos of window displays were all categorized by years.
A 1920's store window featuring the stove below caught my eye.
1930's store window featuring ladies' hats.
[To enlarge click on the photo.]
~ 1930's Women's Fashions ~
~ Hudson's celebrated their 55th Anniversary in 1946 ~
~ 1940's Bridal Window Display ~
~ 1941 Women's Fashions ~
Of all the photos this one attracted my attention the most because it was of one of the 13th floor dining rooms.
One of the speakers was Paul Balog [pictured below]. He began as one of Hudson's window dressers in 1957. He said Hudson's had 52 display windows with 20 of them being large windows. They were changed weekly and some daily. No expense was spared in creating a beautiful window display. If they wanted a display with a car, they'd remove the glass to insert the car, and put the glass back in.
Mike Hauser followed Mr. Balog on the program. Mike, a former Hudson employee, said his interest in the iconic store began in 1956, and continues to this day. He's a walking encyclopedia about Hudson's [and other department stores] and very interesting to listen to. His collection of Hudson's memorabilia is incredible and always expanding.
I took a few photos of people who came to the program, but it isn't inclusive. The photo below wasn't originally set up for attendees. They're sitting and standing in an 'overflow' area.
The best person [from my perspective] who came to the program was Amy [pictured below with me]. She follows my blog and sat next to me during the program. It's always fun to meet blog followers in person, and I'm so glad she made her presence known to me.
It was a wonderful evening, and I got to meet two new contacts for my Hudson's book, so the project continues. For local readers who might be interested, the window display photos will remain available for viewing at the Padzieski Art Gallery located in the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center until August 4th.