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Gotelli returns to share Christmas collection

‘An Illustrated Christmas’ opens at Folsom History Museum
By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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“An Illustrated Christmas, 1860-1900,” opened at the Folsom History Museum last week with more than 85 viewers. Returning to the museum for a Christmas exhibit, artist Dolph Gotelli shared his paper collection of Christmas including drawings from Thomas Nast whose “Harper Weekly” illustrations created the image of Santa Claus, scrap work from the Victorian era, holiday advertising, politics, magazine covers and Santa Claus. “This is my passion, print material,” said Gotelli. “Anything paper that is saved.” He said he started his Christmas collections in the 1970s. “Santa Claus is the main attraction in my collections,” said Gotelli. “Paper came into my collection quickly because there is always something to excite you. The great care and imagination that was there is so amazing.” The exhibit’s opening night gala last week brought more than 85 people and two Folsom City Council members, Kerri Howell and Ernie Sheldon. “This exhibit gives different perspectives,” said Mary Mast, museum director. “It’s celebrating the Christmas season and because it’s centered around the Victorian era, it gives a sense of elaborate decorations in social gatherings.” Art Sanguinetti, 68, came to the exhibit’s gala with his wife, Sherri, from Stockton. “We came partially because we are friends of Dolph and because we love Christmas,” Sanguinetti said. “We think this is a fantastic event and hope it becomes a Folsom tradition.” Ernest Garcia, 73, and his wife Helen, 69, have been Folsom residents for 28 years. “I am enjoying the exhibit very much because it reminds me of pictures of when I was a young boy,” Garcia said. “It takes you back to a time, before my time, and it shows more of a family element not such a commercial aspect.” Gotelli said he hopes other artists come out to enjoy the graphics and that everyone comes out to see the evolution of how Santa Claus has changed. “It’s pretty impressive,” said Sheldon. “What’s amazing to me is the color. Some of them are so striking to say the least. Christmas is my special time of the year, so I’m impressed.” Howell hopes the holiday exhibit will bring out big crowds to the museum. “Everyone in Folsom who has not come to the museum is missing one of our Folsom jewels,” Howell said. “It is a wonderful way to learn about Folsom history.” “An Illustrated Christmas, 1860-1900” exhibit will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday through Feb. 7, at the Folsom History Museum, 823 Sutter St., Folsom. Prices include $4 for adults, $2 for youth and children younger than 12 are free. For more information, visit folsomhistorymuseum.org. * * * KNOW AND GO What: “An Illustrated Christmas, 1860-1900” When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday through Feb. 7 Where: Folsom History Museum, 823 Sutter St., Folsom Cost: $4 for adults, $2 for youth and children younger than 12 are free Information: folsomhistorymuseum.org