History museum

Three new exhibitions at the History Museum

The Washington State History Museum draws the curtain on three new exhibits in September and a host of virtual and museum events this fall.

“We are delighted to open three new exhibitions, each containing its own story about the magical qualities of ‘place’. “Hand-sewn worlds”, “A view from above” and “360” each invites museum visitors to think in different ways about their surroundings and how that environment is explored, ”said Mary Mikel Stump, director of exhibits and programs at the Washington State Historical Society.

In preparation for nearly two years, “360” is the latest renovation of the museum’s Great Hall of Washington History. This dynamic and interactive gallery is full of ideas of how Washington’s 360-mile expanse, with its abundant natural resources, has supported and drawn communities through time.

A large free public opening for “360” will take place on Thursday, September 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Everyone is invited to hear the welcome address at 6 p.m., followed by a tour of the gallery every 15 minutes from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Exhibitions staff will be stationed throughout the gallery to chat with visitors. Masks are mandatory, and “360” the capacity of the gallery will be limited to 50 people at a time. The History Museum is free from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on September 16, as it is the third Thursday of each month.

On Friday September 17, the museum opens “Hand-sewn worlds: the mapping of quilts”, a traveling exhibition from the American Folk Art Museum in New York; and “A View from Above: Bird’s-Eye Maps from the WSHS Collection”. Both exhibitions are visible until January 23, 2022.

“Hand-sewn worlds” draw parallels between making quilts and mapping. QBoth uilts and maps are built on established systems that use colors, patterns, and symbols to create compositions from a network of nested pieces. Quilts and cards are steeped in history and memory – they record and represent future traditions, experiences, relationships, beliefs and aspirations. Spanning the 19th to the 21st century, this collection of quilts features a range of materials, patterns and techniques.

“A view from above” will delight visitors with sumptuous illustrations maps drawn in such a way as to give the viewer the impression of looking at a city below, as if he were flying above it. Popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, “bird’s eye views” or scenic maps depicted towns and villages across the country. This exhibit features panoramic maps from the Historical Society’s collections, including locations in Washington, as well as a selection of tools used for surveying, cartography, and commercial illustration.

The Washington State Historical Society is also hosting an array of events with local partners this fall.

“We are launching a series of Difficult History programs, and we look forward to bringing these conversations to our community,” said Camille Perezselsky, Director of Philanthropy for the Historical Society. The series begins October 14 with “Crossing Boundaries – Trans History, Then and Now” presented in partnership with KNKX Public Radio. KNKX’s Ed Ronco and Vivian McCall will be in the museum gallery with Crossing Boundaries curators Gwen Whiting and Peter Boag. “We will be sharing their conversation live online. Viewers will receive a link upon registration. This conversation will be an opportunity to learn more about the history of gender, identity and changing cultural perceptions.

The free University of Washington Tacoma Scholarly Selections series returns to the History Museum this fall. Visitors can hear professors and researchers from UWT in a relaxed museum setting on the free third Thursday evenings. On October 21, Professor Riki Thompson presents “Gender Norms, (Dis) Empowerment, and the Digital Dating Paradigm”, share original research on online dating for people who identify outside of binary gender norms. On November 18, Professor Orlando Balochi presents “International Research on Environmental Monitoring and Energy Harvesting”, on the ongoing collaboration of UWT researchers with peers from Portuguese and Brazilian universities who are studying new approaches to harnessing energy in nature to power sensors capable of monitoring pollution levels. and more.

Saturdays with the family are also making a comeback at the History Museum, with “Exploring 360” October 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and “Stitching Stories with the PNW African American Quilters” on November 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And what about the History Museum’s most beloved annual holiday event?

“Many members of the community have asked us about our annual model train festival. I am delighted to share that we are planning to host the 25e Model Train Festival from Friday December 17 to Sunday January 2, ”said WSHS Director Jennifer Kilmer. “We encourage everyone to check our website for updates, in case COVID changes course, but at this point we really can’t wait to welcome train fans of all ages.”

There’s more to enjoy, including a virtual Veterans Day program on November 11 and the in-person History After Hours: Bootleggers’ Ball festivities. Check the Washington State Historical Society website for details on all upcoming exhibits and events at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma: WashingtonHistory.org/exhibitions-events.

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