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'Memories' Of Bygone Days At Brea Gallery


Marie Sofi isn't likely to mind if visitors find the latest exhibit at Brea Gallery a bit old-fashioned. That's exactly the way the gallery director planned it.

Sofi said she created "Memories" to bring a sense of nostalgia to older patrons and to give younger visitors a sense of what life was like in times gone by. The exhibition of antique furniture, toys and household items runs through Aug. 22 at the gallery, which is part of the Brea Civic Cultural Center, 1 Civic Center Drive.

Sofi began planning "Memories" when a survey of gallery visitors turned up a "big request for antiques and collectibles." At first, she hoped to concentrate on the years 1800-1850. But items from that time proved scarce and expensive to transport, so Sofi broadened her search to include the period up to the 1930s.

Sofi first concentrated on historical societies and antique dealers. But soon she began receiving calls from private parties willing to lend antiques to the gallery. Most of the items in the exhibit came from personal collections. "It's always nice when you work on an exhibit and get this much community participation," Sofi said.

Much of the exhibit is organized into dioramas recreating typical period settings: a Victorian-era parlor, a dining room, a children's room, a sewing room, a bathroom and a kitchen. Other displays feature collections of antique costumes, cameras, bicycles, glassware, dolls, toy trains and toy trucks.

The exhibit also includes an area where visitors can create squares for a community quilt, which will be raffled off on the last day of the exhibit, Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. Quilt and spinning-wheel demonstrations are also planned in conjunction with "Memories."

Exhibits at the Brea Gallery change every six weeks. Most shows feature art, but the gallery displays one historical and one scientific exhibit each year; after "Memories" comes an oceanography exhibition.

Brea Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday to 8 p.m. Admission is free. Guided tours of the exhibit can be arranged by calling the gallery at 990-7730.

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