Ian Swart wants to provide people with a new perspective on Woodward history through his upcoming photography exhibit titled "Ghosts from the Past."

The exhibit, which is set to open next month at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum, will feature between 15 and 20 photos of modern day Woodward that have been meshed with photos of Woodward's past.

Swart, who is the museum curator, said he scoured the museum's collection of "thousands and thousands" of historical photographs, looking for just the right ones.

"I wanted them to be interesting photographs and I wanted the building to still be standing," he said.

"Most of them are either from the late 1890s or World War I era," he said of the old photos.  "Some are from the Woodward tornado (1947) and I think a couple are from the 1960s maybe.  I've included lots of different eras."

By utilizing a wide range of historical photographs, meshed with the modern day images, Swart said, "I think people will realize there is a lot of history around us."

"We drive down the streets of Woodward every day but we don't think about what was here before, that there were horses and buggies parked on Main Street in the same places we park our cars today," he said.

But that is exactly what many of Swart's images illustrate.

The museum curator said he "got the idea from a website that featured photographs of Europe during World War II."

The website, which he "just stumbled upon," had a number of photographs "of modern day cities that had been bombed out during the war and superimposed over that would be images of soldiers marching down the streets or buildings in rubble," Swart said.

"It really struck me," he said of viewing the images.  "It was like looking through a window into the past."

"I thought it would be really neat to do that with photos of Woodward," Swart said, noting, "I think it's interesting to see modern day Woodward in a new way, or rather an old way."

The exhibit will be on display in the main art gallery at the museum from April 5 through May 28.  The Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum, which has free admission, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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