In this collection, Thaddeus Dixon’s wide range of objects highlight his various interests and scholarship. As an artist Dixon, left behind several original works. He painted still lives of coal surrounded my numerous items. He created romantic landscapes using mechanical overlays. Further, he produced many charcoal sketches of his family members.
Thaddeus was not the only Dixon with artistic ambitions. Emma Mae, Thaddeus’s wife, left behind numerous canvas work projects ranging from embroideries of mountain scenery, decorative doilies, ornate tea towels and handkerchiefs, and a family quilt.
As an explorer and naturalist, Dixon collected assorted objects gathered from his natural surrounds, such as whitetail deer antlers, a monarch butterfly, black bear canine teeth, coal samples, and water specimens. He also created the Field Journal of Appalachiain the summer of 1929 where he recorded his findings.
In additional to natural specimens, Dixon also gathered several man-made objects, typically items associated with strong social contexts. He collected historic Native American arrowheads and a traditional, native herb basket. The collection also holds a selection of objects connected to coal mining, including a miner’s canary cage, a variety of canary skulls, and company issued scrip. Dixon also collected newspaper clippings related to mine disasters, dating from 1890 until his death in 1948.