Buttons Are Beautiful To Woman With Traveling Museum

By Cindy Hoedel
The Kansas City Star.


Lise McIntyre is the creator of the Traveling Button Museum, www.TravelingButtonMuseum.com , which consists of displays about the history and art of buttons.

By invitation, McIntyre takes her exhibit to various groups and clubs, including button clubs. McIntyre has collected antique and vintage buttons for 24 years and estimates her current collection at more than 10,000. This conversation took place at her home. To find button clubs in other states, go to NationalButtonSociety.org.

Q: Where did the idea of a traveling museum come from?

A: It was not my original idea. I had a dream of buying a beautiful Victorian home, and my husband and I would live in the upstairs, and the buttons would have the full run of the downstairs for visitors to enjoy and see fully what buttons can be: the workmanship, the craftsmanship, the artistry.

I could not sell my husband on that idea. I worked him over 50 different ways, and I could not make him see the beauty of it. I put that dream aside, but dreams don’t die. So I began to build the traveling museum.

Q: When in your life did you first start to notice buttons?

A: I played with buttons when I was a little girl. My grandmother lived on a farm north of Luray, Missouri. She had a button tin, and on rainy days she would get it out, and let my brother and I play with the buttons.

Then as an adult, about 24 years ago, I lived in Leon, Iowa, and I bought a tin of buttons at a garage sale. I was going to sell them to an antique dealer and make a few bucks. I spread them out all over my dining room table and invited my neighbor over to look at them. She walked all around the table looking at them and said, “I think there’s a button club here.”

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