VIDEO: Visit our ‘Welcome Home’ exhibit!
January 27th, 2017
In this video, Lissa Kramer, curator for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, speaks to a members-only opening on June 25, 2016, for the “Welcome Home” exhibit at our “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum.
Exhibit beckons: ‘Welcome Home’
“Welcome Home,” the newest exhibit at our “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum, focuses on the physical and conceptual idea of home on the Duwamish peninsula.
“We really wanted to focus on the idea that your community is a nurturing, welcoming place – or ideally it is,” says Lissa Kramer, our curator.
“In that idea are a lot of sociological concepts,” she says. “Your house is your home, but your home is also where a lot of us derive a certain part of our self-identity. We certainly express ourselves through the colors we paint the walls. Do we choose to have a yard? Is it a lawn or a native-plant garden? All of these things are reaching out of ourselves and showing our community who we are and who we see ourselves as becoming.”
The exhibit — which is funded in part by a 4Culture grant and will be on display through spring 2017 — has three major themes: (1) house as home, (2) the social context of home, and (3) “Home is where the heart is,” in other words, why people love their homes.
“Home can be where you grow up, or where you choose to put down new roots, or where you raise your own family,” she says, “but at its core it’s where you are comfortable and familiar.”
The exhibit illustrates some of the long history of houses on the Duwamish Peninsula, looking at both trends in architecture and homes, both “now and then.”
In addition, the exhibit shares social issues that formed the context for the last 150 years of homes on the Duwamish peninsula through the present day.
The exhibit touches on Duwamish tribal displacement, the effects of World War II (including housing shortages and Japanese internment) and racial redlining, as well as the symptoms of today’s housing crises, including urban villages and increased homelessness.
One section of the exhibit, “We love our homes,” asks visitors to share what they love about making the Duwamish peninsula their home or what they love about coming back to the area.
Two artifacts highlighted in the exhibit are a throw rug from Fir Lodge (now Alki Homestead) when it was the home of William and Gladys Bernard and a high chair from West Seattle’s Colman family. On the tray are written the names and dates for all children who used the chair.
Also featured is a two-minute video depicting our museum and the surrounding neighborhood in 1959 when the building was the home of then-9-year-old Marcy Johnsen and her family. The footage was shot by her father. Johnsen is now our board president.
The contract designer for the exhibit is Ellie Kleinwort of Seattle. The exhibit is the third and final installment in our exhibit series called “Telling Our Westside Stories.” The first two exhibit themes were land and work.