Current Featured Exhibits Include:
The Midas Touch: The Penrose & Tutt Partnership
It is a classic American tale — albeit one of legendary proportions: two young men come west, discover gold and become millionaires overnight. For Charles Leaming Tutt and Spencer Penrose the story came true. Scions of families with deep roots in Colonial America, Tutt and Penrose headed west to find their fortunes and their futures in Colorado.
And, Eureka! Unlike so many other hopeful emigrants they found it. Leaving behind the bustling eastern seaboard, they joined thousands of others seeking a fresh start, a new opportunity, a better chance at health or a bit of adventure.
In the late nineteenth century Philadelphia was crowded, dirty, and crime-ridden. Conversely, Colorado Springs was clean, sparsely populated and seemingly full of promise. For over ten years the Penrose & Tutt partnership prospered. They made their homes in Colorado Springs and set down new roots.
Like other prominent capitalists of their day they were strongly anti-labor and exhibited a heavy hand in western labor wars. They lived in big, beautiful homes and travelled widely. They were truly men of their time.
As partners they were at once complimentary and contradictory. Their success propelled both men into the national spotlight but in the end their partnership dissolved. However, their influence in the region never did.
They earned their fortunes primarily from the mineral wealth of the region along with investments in transportation, real estate, and ore reduction methods. Consequently, they gave much of it back to the region in investments, donations, endowments, scenic attractions, civic improvements, cultural institutions and the ongoing legacy of El Pomar Foundation.
For two men who possessed the Midas Touch — they left us a legacy worth its weight in gold.
Journey to Pikes Peak
Do you ever wonder why people live in a particular place? How they got there and why they came? These concepts are creatively explored in Journey to Pikes Peak. Children aged 2-10 are free to join our mascot Max the Marmot to discover how, why and when people came to live in the Pikes Peak Region over time. Download our Journey to Pikes Peak Parent Guide!
Chasing The Cure
From its founding in 1871, local boosters advertised Colorado Springs as a premier health destination for the treatment of consumption and “lung troubles” among other maladies. Our region’s greatest asset-turned-industry was its stunning scenery, abundant sunshine and mild climate. For decades the local Chamber of Commerce published pamphlets extolling the health benefits of the region. Distributed across the country and around the world, the advertisements encouraged invalids to breathe our “100% aseptic air” and enjoy the healing powers of our over 300 days of sunshine a year in Colorado Springs. And They Came!
From Sanatorium to Scholarship
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
OPENS May 9, 2015
From the Ashes: The Waldo Canyon Fire
The day after the Waldo Canyon Fire tore through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and the Pikes Peak Library District began collecting stories and artifacts from individuals, families, and businesses affected by the fire. Coinciding with the first anniversary, this unique and powerful exhibit will preserve and memorialize the impact of this historic event on our community and landscape.
Any Place North and West: African Americans in Colorado Springs
The title for the exhibit is drawn from a poem by Langston Hughes, which describes the exodus from the South of millions of African American families following the Civil War. It tells that story from a local perspective by describing what individuals and families found when they arrived in Colorado Springs, the supportive community they created for themselves, and the role they played in shaping the city we live in today.
Behind the Lens: Photographers of the Pikes Peak Region
An exhibit that examines the history of photography and highlights five photographers who captured the unique spirit and beauty of this area.
Cultural Crossroads: Highlights from the Collection
Cultural Crossroads features striking examples of American Indian beadwork, clothing, baskets, and other materials representing over 30 nations. This exhibit illustrates the ongoing creativity, innovation and adaptation of native peoples in a region noted for being a Cultural Crossroads.
From Paris to the Plains: Van Briggle Art Pottery
The exhibit draws upon the museum’s renowned collection of Van Briggle Art Pottery and features the finest examples from the pottery’s first decade of operation.
Pedal Power highlights how the fantastic climate, terrain and scenic beauty of the Pikes Peak region have made it a natural for cycling over the past 100 years. Noteworthy bicycles from our collection include an early twentieth-century Tiger bicycle manufactured in Colorado Springs and the mountain bike used by former World Champion Alison Dunlap at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Helen Hunt Jackson House
Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–1885) was one of the most noteworthy literary figures of the 19th century. As the author of poetry, verse, children’s stories, historical pieces, documentary accounts, and a novel, she earned both widespread public acclaim and the respect of her literary peers. Her most productive years as a writer came after she moved to Colorado Springs in 1873, only two years after the town was founded. She completed her most famous works during this period. Included among these are the novel, Ramona, and a work of nonfiction that advocated for American Indian rights, titled A Century of Dishonor. Jackson’s home and her original furnishings are on display at the CSPM. The Jackson house offers a peek into life in Colorado Springs in the 1870s and 1880s.
One Man and His Vision: General William Jackson Palmer
Who was General William J. Palmer and why is his life important to us today? New city residents wonder why his statue is in the intersection of Platte and Nevada Avenues while many long-time citizens believe they know all they need to about him: he founded our city, many landmarks carry his name, he fought to abolish slavery by participating in the Civil War, he was a teetotaler, and his spoiled wife Queen left him for easy living in England. Think again. Recent research and an updated exhibit at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum affirm and expound on the information that we know to be true and provide insight into his personal life to dispel the myths.