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Posted on: February 22, 2021

Explore the lessons of past ingenuity during museum’s free virtual History on Tap program on March 2

Exhibit display with dresses from recycled materials

If “necessity is the mother of invention,” as the well-worn saying goes, then hard times might just be the catalyst of ingenuity. This is a topic to be explored when the Johnson County Museum presents its next virtual History on Tap session early March.

This one-hour virtual presentation, called Thrift Style: Ingenuity in Hard Times, is for all ages. Join Kansas State University Historic Costume & Textile Museum Curator Marla Day as she explores how we can use our past to improve our present through thrifting.  When you look around your home, what could you repurpose and restyle to meet a need? ‘Making something from nothing’ is a saying that can spark ingenuity. The museum’s current temporary exhibition, Thrift Style, explores the reuse of a simple piece of leftover fabric and how homemakers used what was available to them to meet the needs of their families, a message that resonates with consumers during our current economic climate.

To find this program online at, browse first under adult and then under heritage & history. When using the website’s advanced search, look for the keyword “museum.”

This program will take place beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2. This one-hour program is free, but registration is required. All registered participants will receive an email with a Zoom link and instructions on how to proceed.  For more information or to register by phone, call (913) 831-3359. To register online at, click on “Activity Search,” and look for activity number 8334. 

The Thrift Style exhibit will remain on display through May 1 at the Johnson County Museum, located inside the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park. This traveling exhibit explores the reuse of feed sacks to make clothing and other household objects and illuminates how the “upcycling” of these bags mutually benefitted twentieth-century consumers and businesses. With forty-one works from patterns to garments, Thrift Style serves as an example of past ingenuity that can inform today’s efforts towards sustainability. This exhibition offers a snapshot of domestic life during a time when recycling was as critical as it is today. Thrift Style is a traveling exhibit from Mid-America Arts Alliance, a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance with The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Exhibit admission is included with regular museum admission rates of $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for children ages one to 18, and free for children under one. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and is closed on Sundays. 

The Johnson County Museum is a department of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.