When I visit museums, I enjoy exploring exhibitions and discovering the creative ways that other museum professionals build immersive experiences. In history museums, that work involves investigating the past through the evidence we collect and preserve — the objects, photographs, documents, personal stories, and more. As a museum curator, the process excites me, especially as I begin new projects.
In 2023, the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) will commemorate its 125th anniversary with an original exhibition called Our Unfinished Past: The Oregon Historical Society at 125. Over the past year, I have been engrossed in our archives and collections, working to develop an exhibition that tells our story — a tall order for an institution whose mandate for over a century has been to collect and preserve Oregon’s history.
As we near this milestone anniversary and the opening of Our Unfinished Past on January 13, 2023, we invite you behind the scenes in the first in a series of “Curator Chats” that will highlight the people, events, and powerful stories that have shaped OHS for more than twelve decades.
To understand our world, we must look to the historical record — the primary sources and the work people have done to make sense of them — to gain new insights about the people who came before us and how their actions shape our present. Our hope is that through this exhibition, and through this video series, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Oregon Historical Society, and our vision to share an Oregon story that is meaningful to all Oregonians.
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