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Trip to the Beloit Angel Museum is a heavenly experience

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
December 9, 2011
— If you’re searching for peace and solitude during the hectic holiday season, a short trip to the Angel Museum might be just the heavenly experience you’re looking for.

The volunteer-operated museum at 656 S. Pleasant St. opened in 1998 and is housed in a downtown historic church. For the holiday season, it’s showcasing an exhibit of angel Christmas tree toppers never displayed before.


Those who visit the museum, the largest of its kind in the world, can get a close-up view of these angel tree toppers that are among more than three dozen featured in the Christmas display:


1. Oprah Winfrey Black angels. Five pieces were selected from more than 600 black angels donated by Winfrey. Among them is a black angel holding a harp and wearing a green gown with gold overlay and burgundy scarf made from paper instead of the typical cloth.


2. Joyce and Lowell Berg angels. Four angels were pulled from the couple’s extensive 14,000-piece angel collection that is on permanent loan to the Angel Museum, which they helped establish. Among them is an angel holding a herald trumpet and wearing a gold metallic gown accented by gold beadwork and gold-composition wings. A gold halo adorns the angel’s head.


3. Sandra Long angel. Life-like curly hair—instead of the usual porcelain or resin hair—adorns the head of this angel that belongs to Long, past museum board president and current volunteer. The 16-inch angel with a more mature angelic face is showcased in one of the museum’s two grottos. She holds a candle and is dressed in a lavish ivory gown with gold stripes, accented with satin wings.


4. Katie Hansen angel. Among two of this volunteer’s angels in the display is an angel robed in a rich red velvet dress trimmed with white fur, highlighted by a garland of berries and roses and white-feathered wings.


Berg, Hansen and other volunteers pulled the exhibit together with mirrored accent pieces including swags, wreaths and centerpieces, handcrafted by Hansen.


The women are thrilled for the public to see the angel tree toppers.


“We’re happy to get them out of storage and on display,’’ Hansen said.


Berg agreed: “They’re just so beautiful.”


IF YOU GO

What: Angel Museum holiday showcase of angel Christmas tree toppers


When: The museum is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The display continues through Dec. 31.


Where: Angel Museum, 656 Pleasant St., Beloit.


Admission: Free with donation of nonperishable food items Dec. 1-15. Otherwise, admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors 62 and older, $4 for teens and $3 for children 5 to 12. Group rates are available.


For more information: Call (608) 362-9099 or e-mail angelmuseum@gmail.com.

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