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Appleton Museum to Display Tablecloth with 700 Famous Autographs

Nov. 8, 2013

A piece of Americana with ties to historical figures such as Joe Louis, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson and President Ronald Reagan will be on display at the Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, Jan. 25 through May 4.

The “Gathering of Legends” exhibit will feature an Irish linen tablecloth with nearly 700 autographs embroidered on it, alongside photographs of the politicians, athletes and celebrities who signed it over the past 84 years.

The tablecloth and photos belong to Silver Springs resident Walter Light Jr., a retired musician, whose mother, Joy, started the collection in 1929.

Light’s father, Walter Sr., was a successful motion picture film salesman on “Film Row” in St. Louis, and Joy collected autographs of performers who visited the city. She collected 77 autographs before her death in 1944. Light resurrected the tablecloth in 1983 and has been collecting ever since.

The museum will host a reception Saturday, Jan. 25, from 2-4 p.m.

Daily admission to the Appleton Museum is $6 for adults; $4 for seniors 55 or better and students 19 and over; $3 for youths ages 10-18; and free for members, CF students, children age 9 and under, and active military personnel and their immediate families.

In addition, the Appleton Museum of Art offers a permanent collection of European, American and Contemporary art, plus Asian, African, Islamic and pre-Columbian artifacts and antiquities. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays and closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. A 12-month membership is available for $25 for seniors 55 and over, $30 for adults 18 and over, $40 for two seniors over age 55, $50 for a family of two adults and any children under age 18, and $15 for all college students and current or retired educators. Owned and operated by College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). For more information call the Appleton Museum of Art at 352-291-4455 or visit www.AppletonMuseum.org.

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