Traveling Exhibits, Swapping Art And Fire!


As we enter the holiday season, the Palmer Museum is all about creating opportunities for you, your friends and family to get together and celebrate. From a traveling exhibit from the Lower 48 to seeing fire dancers on the museum lawn, the museum is definitely the place to be this winter!

On November 26th, the museum will be joining over twenty other small businesses in Palmer to promote and celebrate Small Business Saturday. To encourage holiday shoppers to spend their money locally, businesses throughout Palmer will be holding special sales, promotions and opportunities to make your holiday shopping brighter. The Palmer Museum is no different.

Throughout the day, the museum will be offering those shoppers who make a purchase in the Museum Gift Store an opportunity to grab a marble from our secret giveaway bag for some fun free prizes. In addition to that, anyone who makes a purchase of $25 or more will be entered into a drawing for a free pair of Benjamin Schleifman raven earrings valued at $80! If that wasn’t enough, the museum will also be hosting its second annual Art Swap from 12PM–4PM where visitors can bring 1 to 3 pieces of art they own and no longer want, and exchange them for something new (to them). The idea is to try to recirculate old unwanted pieces so that they can refresh someone’s décor and be something new without incurring the cost. All types up artwork are welcome and value is not an issue. If you call it art, it’s art!

Beginning in December, the museum will begin its holiday celebration with the introduction of a new traveling exhibit called Apron Strings: Ties to the Past. Although taken for granted by many social and art historians, the apron is the subject of a fascinating reevaluation in this popular ExhibitsUSA exhibition. Featuring 51 vintage and contemporary examples, Apron Strings: Ties to the Past reviews the apron’s role as an emotionally charged vehicle for expression, with a rich and varied craft history that is still viable today.

Featuring aprons dating from the 1900s through present, the exhibition chronicles changing attitudes toward women and domestic work. It also surveys the wide range of design and craft techniques apron-makers have used to express themselves, while still working within creative venues traditionally available to women. 

Elaborately embroidered aprons of delicate cotton, for example, were worn by well-heeled women of the 1920s. In contrast, the Depression and war years of the 1930s and 1940s inspired sturdy, calico bib aprons. The post-war 1940s and 1950s - the June Cleaver era - stand out as the acknowledged heyday of the apron, when commercial and intricately hand-decorated aprons flourished as symbols of family and motherhood. 

Today, artists continue using aprons to explore cultural myths and realities, as well as their individual experiences with American domesticity. Though not as widespread as they once were, aprons remain as functional and protective garments for men and women alike.

Apron Strings: Ties to the Past was curated by Joyce Cheney, an independent curator based in St. Louis, Missouri. It was adapted for travel by ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. It will be on exhibit at the Palmer Museum beginning in December and will last through March of 2017.  The museum has several related programs planned in accordance with the exhibit, so be sure to visit the Museum website at for further details.

Finally, to finish out the holiday celebrations, the museum will once again be hosting its annual holiday open house ‘Twas the Night Before Colony Christmas on Friday, December 9th from 7PM–10PM. The event is free to the public and includes a free wine tasting hosted by Bear Creek Winery, food catered by Denise Statz of NonEssentials, live music and an all age show/special performance by the AK Fire Circus (from 8:30PM-9:30PM). All those interested in participating in the wine tasting must have a valid Alaska I.D. present at the time of the event.   Although the event is free to the public, the museum encourages attendees to participate in its holiday tree trimming fundraiser by becoming a holiday angel by making a donation and receiving a handmade ornament by a local artist in exchange. All donations will be used to help support the museum’s 2017 programs and events.

So, come celebrate with the Palmer Museum this holiday season. There will be plenty of merriment, excitement and laughter to go around! For more information about any of the Palmer Museum’s exhibits or events, please visit the museum website at or contact a member of the museum staff at 746-7668.   

About PMHA:

The Palmer Museum of History and Art is a non-profit museum that serves the community of Palmer in preserving and sharing the history and art of the Palmer region. The museum’s collections contain items that best depict region’s art history, exploration, settlement, agriculture, and trade, cultural and social development. During the summer, May 1st through September 30th, the museum also serves a Palmer’s Visitor’s Center and is open seven days a week from 9AM-6PM. The museum also operates during the winter months from October 1st through April 30th, Wednesday through Friday, 10AM-5PM and second Saturdays of the month, 10AM-6PM.