Although her professional background isn’t in the arts, Barbara L. Sater says it was her love of the arts that brought her to the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.
A retired registered nurse, Sater is one of several volunteers at DACO who come from a variety of backgrounds, all with one thing in common - their appreciation for the arts and willingness to learn.
Sater, a docent volunteer since 2013, has lived in Lancaster for more than 40 years. During one of her visits to DACO, an exhibition of “Christmases Past” that featured toys from the 1950s and 60s piqued her interest in volunteering, she says.
“I was very impressed with the docents and appreciated their enthusiasm and pride in the museum and the (Reese-Peters) House,” she said.
As a docent, Sater’s role is to make works of art meaningful, accessible and inspiring to visitors, she says.
“I interact with all visitors coming through the exhibition on my scheduled day, introducing them to the event and generally getting them started on their tour of our four galleries located on the second floor of the Reese-Peters House,” she said.
Sater also provides historical tours of the property to showcase the preservation of architecture and the collections of the Reese-Peters House.
As a volunteer, Sater also participates in ongoing docent training that includes semi-annual updates about the museum and curator-led docent training for each of the three exhibitions per year.
She says her most memorable experience as a volunteer has been the Paramount costumes exhibitions, not only because of the interesting exhibits alone, but also due to the sheer number of visitors coming through the museum each day to experience it themselves.
“Visitors are in awe of the costumes, their craftsmanship and history,” Sater said.
She remembers a “dapper looking” 98-year-old gentleman who toured the current “Distinctly Paramount” exhibition in particular as someone who made an impression on her because of his joy in seeing men’s fashion on display.
“He told the story to the tour group of meeting designer Emilio Pucci when he himself happened to be wearing a Pucci-designed suit,” she said.
For Sater, volunteering offers an opportunity to be part of a group of people who share an interest in decorative arts, architecture and heritage of the Reese-Peters House.
“Volunteering is the lifeblood of organizations such as DACO,” she said. “It’s critical that we pass the baton to the next generations so they may continue the enthusiasm, excitement and commitment to our community’s heritage.”
To volunteer at DACO, visit our Volunteer Portal.