Current Featured Exhibits Include:
Legacy: 2013 International Watermedia Exhibition - Opens June 8, 2013
Hosted in collaboration with the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, this juried exhibition presents a rich spectrum of original work by visionary watermedia artists.
Any Place that is 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.
Minerals and Me
This exhibit is a collaboration between the museum and the fourth grade class at Patrick Henry Elementary. Over a period of six months, the students became “community curators” by studying the CSPM’s extensive mineral collection, writing exhibit labels, and creating original artwork and poetry that examines the role of minerals in everyday live.
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.
Ancient Colorado Springs: The Paleontology of Red Rock Canyon
Colorado Springs residents, hiking through the 789 acres of Red Rock Canyon Open Space, walk into an ancient world with every footstep. The dramatic ridges and canyons in the popular park reveal over 300 million years of geologic time. The fossil evidence that surrounds park visitors reveals that Colorado Springs was once vastly different. Some of these fossils are now on display at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
The fossils, which include tail rays and bones from large predatory fish, a shark tooth still serrated after 70 million years and a cast of a dinosaur track, were either found on the ground or removed from outcrops where they were in danger of being lost by time and erosion. Most of the fossils of Red Rock Canyon are still in their original location, locked within the rocks. The fossils in the exhibit are a result of the Paleotrails Red Rock Canyon Project which began shortly after Open Space was opened to the public in 2006. The study was conducted by local volunteer paleontology researchers, Sharon Milito and Michael Poltenovage. They worked in cooperation with the City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation and Cultural Services Department and as part of the Denver Basin Project of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Marketing the Mountain: Pikes Peak in the Popular Imagination
Over six million people from around the world visit the Pikes Peak Region yearly and over 500,000 make a pilgrimage up Pikes Peak. The memories of the sublime view from the mountain are not the only thing these sojourners take home with them. Most visitors to the region also purchase a memento or two of their Pikes Peak experience. This is as true today as it was a century ago and the souvenirs range from warm and satisfying Pikes Peak donuts consumed atop the peak, to logo embellished clothing, plates, buttons, spoons, frosty snow globes, toys, and art.
As part of the Zebulon Pike Expedition Bicentennial Commemoration the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is presenting, Marketing the Mountain: Pikes Peak in the Popular Imagination, which will run May 20, 2006 through May 2007. This exhibit examines efforts by civic boosters, business interests and various promoters to highlight the scenic beauty of our region and draw people to it by using Pikes Peak as a beacon.
From the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries various promotional and marketing strategies attempted to lure tourists to our region. Over the years the mountain has received various labels including: The Sentinel of the Plains, The Monument of the Continent, The Monarch of the Plains, and most recently, America’s Mountain.
The endless stream of pamphlets, view-books and tourist guides have created not just a national, but an international awareness of Pikes Peak. According to CSPM Archivist Leah Witherow, “Pikes Peak has become the icon that represents the mythic American West. For centuries prior to settlement the Peak has inspired comment and expression.”
According to the Colorado Spring’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau tourism is our region’s third largest industry. Sales of souvenir materials contribute to this rating as tourists seek to memorialize their visit to Pikes Peak with the purchase of a keepsake. Examples of these souvenirs and marketing objects are the substance of the Marketing the Mountain exhibit. Items associated with the man and the mountain range from the tacky, to the trendy and the classy.
CSPM exhibits include permanent displays highlighting regional history and changing galleries dedicated to exploring special topics.