Utah State Historical Society officials are bullish on silver following the recent success of a display of silver artwork from Utah and California.

The silver exhibition was the society's first venture into major exhibits and now society officials are looking for their next exhibit, "Life and Land," which will run through Dec. 31, to be just as popular.Philip Notarianni, exhibit curator for the society, said the silver exhibition was a good learning experience as well as a success and will make promoting future shows easier.

About 4,440 people visited the display over its 31/2 month run, despite the display's out-of-the-way location at the Historical Society's home in the Rio Grande Railroad Depot.

Probably the best lesson came in the area of admission pricing. Notarianni said it appears admissions were set too high initially, which discouraged some visitors. He said special promotions and family admissions proved popular.

Final tabulations are not complete, but Notarianni said it appears the society will run a slight deficit from the showing. But there are some pluses.

Foremost is the permanent display equipment that the society purchased for the silver exhibition and which will be used for future shows. Notarianni said the cases proved very useful and versatile. Also, working with the media was very effective. He said local television stations provided more than $15,500 worth of public service time. He said radio stations and local newspapers also contributed in the form of public service announcements and major feature stories.

One other benefit from the show was offers from many visitors to donate items to the historical society's collection.

Officials hope to showcase the new display capabilities in January by hosting members of the state Legislature at a planned art exhibit that will follow the USU exhibition.