From the Vault: Dumbo First Took Flight in Syracuse

The Onondaga Historical Association’s (OHA) collection includes millions of objects and documents that are delicate and can only be on display for short periods of time. Therefore, the “From the Vault” series of exhibits allows visitors to temporarily see objects that do not usually get exposure. In honor of Women’s History month, this “From the Vault” exhibit will feature the lovable and iconic elephant, Dumbo, created by two Syracuse women.

Located at the Onondaga Historical Museum and opening on March 29th, 2019, the same day as the release of Disney and Tim Burton’s reanimation of Dumbo, the exhibit will guide visitors through the long and humble beginnings of this adorable character. Learn about the two Helens, both Syracuse University graduates, who worked together to create the Dumbo that we know today. Helen Aberson wrote the original story of Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Helen Durney drew the illustrations.

For this special exhibit, OHA has worked in collaboration with the Syracuse University Special Collections, where the original documents are housed due to their connect to the S.U. graduates. However, due to the extreme fragility of the pieces, duplicates are used in place of the originals. Regardless, the story the pieces tell about the origins and evolution of Dumbo is one every Syracusan should know.

The exhibit will be up through the end of May.