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Slicer, Art and Madeline: Turnvereine Stein Collection (MS 519)

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The Art and Madeline Slicer Turnvereine Stein collection consists of 132 items, 106 of which are German beer steins and other drinking vessels; the remaining 26 items are memorabilia. The collection was donated to Springfield College Archives in March 2015 by Art and Madeline Slicer, classes of 1959 and 1958, respectively. All items were created by, or have the underlying theme of, the German sporting organizations called Turnvereine, known in the United States as the Turners. Made of pottery, stoneware, ceramic, pewter, and glass, the steins and memorabilia depict sporting activities such as gymnastics, running, lifting, and other track and field events. Begun by Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in 1811 in Berlin, these social clubs were designed to promote physical fitness and foster a sense of national pride. Members of these clubs also competed in festivals (Turnfests), commemorated through many of the steins in this collection, including from Turnfests held in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Münich, and Nüremberg. The historical period represented by the items in this collection ranges from the mid-nineteenth century through 1942, with the bulk of the materials dating between 1880 and 1934.