Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Follow Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum on Facebook Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum on Twitter Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum on Instagram

Exhibits

New Exhibit Opening September 14, 2019 –  Evidence: Finding the Facts about General William Jackson Palmer

Exhibit Opens Saturday, September 14

By examining newly unearthed archeological evidence along with extensive archival materials, visitors will test assumptions, challenge myths and gain new insights into Palmer and his family. Click here to see some of the new findings: https://vimeo.com/344609595


[Dis]Information: American Indians Through the Lens of Roland Reed

New Exhibit runs through March 28, 2020

The museum is proud to open its newest exhibition, [Dis]Information: American Indians Through the Lens of Roland Reed. The exhibit will include dozens of pictorialist photographs of American Indians taken by Roland Reed in the early twentieth century. Reed saw himself as both an artist and an ethnographer; his images are strikingly beautiful but deeply problematic. Reed constructed romantic scenes that situated American Indians in an imagined past versus contemporary reality. The exhibit will encourage visitors to examine the role “retrospective photography” plays in shaping our understanding of American Indians. To accomplish this goal, the CSPM is honored to work with Gregg Deal, Pyramid Lake Paiute, an extraordinary artist whose work challenges misconceptions of indigenous people and asks viewers to reexamine stereotypes. [Dis]Information will include original artwork and commentary by Gregg Deal in addition to contemporary American Indian photographs alongside historic images that celebrate the power and beauty of photography while challenging the assumptions of viewers.


Francis Drexel Smith: A Legacy on Canvas

Credit: Untitled (Garden of the Gods), 1921, CSPM Collection, Gift of Florence K. Lawrie

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is pleased to present, Francis Drexel Smith: A Legacy on Canvas. In conjunction with the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Broadmoor Art Academy, the exhibit is on display until December 28, 2019. Born to a wealthy Chicago family in 1874, Francis Drexel Smith came to Colorado Springs in 1900. Like so many other well-to-do emigrants from the East and Midwest, he came for his health, recovered and stayed for a lifetime.

During five decades as a professional artist in Colorado Springs, Smith completed hundreds of canvases and was a key supporter and contributor to the nascent Colorado Springs arts community. This exhibition will feature more than 20 paintings, many executed between 1920 and 1945. Smith was a member and officer of the Colorado Springs Arts Society, the city’s first artists’ association, a founder and board chair of the Broadmoor Art Academy and a founding trustee of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. He maintained his studio there for nearly 20 years.


Pikes Peak Community College: 50 Years of  Colorado Springs History

Pikes Peak Community College developed in an American history context. After World War II —with G.I. Bill support — community colleges proliferated. In the 1960s, Baby Boomers added more demand. A 1961 Colorado committee proposed four new “junior” colleges. They included Colorado Springs, anticipating its growth, largely due to the military. By 1968, El Paso Community College (EPCC) opened.

In the 1970s-80s, high-tech and medical industries, and returning Vietnam veterans, pointed to vocational education, which was 70 percent of EPCC’s enrollment. EPCC became a Servicemen’s Opportunity College. Ft. Carson “sold” EPCC land for a new campus for $1, to support military access. The architect was Clifford Nakata, a Japanese American who had suffered WWII “relocation” with his family. They named the new campus Centennial, dedicated on August 18, 1976, because of the U.S. Bicentennial/Colorado Centennial year. The college also proposed a new name, becoming Pikes Peak Community College on March 21, 1978.


The Story of Us: The Pikes Peaks Region from A – Z

The Story of Us: The Pikes Peak Region from A – Z, allows users to explore the history and geography of the area using 21st Century technology. Open a letter from A – Z and learn about the people, places and events that make our region unique. Navigate dynamic maps that allow you to go back in time to understand how neighborhoods, businesses, climate and transportation have shaped our community. Where do you fit in? Come and discover your place in local history.


City of Sunshine

From its founding in 1871, local boosters advertised Colorado Springs as a premier health destination for the treatment of tuberculosis. Our region’s greatest asset-turned-industry was its stunning scenery, abundant sunshine and mild climate.

Historically, at least 1/3 of all visitors to Colorado came in search of a tuberculosis treatment. Once cured, many stayed on in the region to build families and businesses. Many of their contributions to this community are visible today. The City of Sunshine exhibit tells the story of how individuals, institutions, and treatments helped shape the Pikes Peak Region.

The museum and our partners at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Department of Geography and Environmental Studied and Tierra Plan have developed an innovative web-based mapping tool that allows you to explore the history of tuberculosis treatment in the Pikes Peak Region. To access this site click here.


Beads, Blankets and Buffalo: Trade at Bent’s Fort

CSPM’s Children’s Gallery exhibit, Beads, Blankets and Buffalo: Trade at Bent’s Fort, gives visitors ages 2-10 an interactive, hands-on experience of a “day in the life” at Bent’s Fort. Bent’s Fort was a multicultural place of trade and exchange along the Santa Fe Trail in the 1830’s and 1840’s. In the exhibit, children can explore a carpenter’s shop, trade counter, kitchen, tepee and Santa Fe Trail wagon!


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.


Cultural Crossroads: Highlights from the Collection 

For millennia, the vast stretch of land between the Platte and Arkansas Rivers and east of the Rocky Mountains has been a Cultural Crossroads. American Indians are a part of living cultures. Native people in Colorado are actively preserving their languages, traditions and history. Cultural Crossroads features  striking examples of American Indian bead work, 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.


New Van Briggle Art Pottery exhibit will open on February 3rd’; the CSPM maintains the world’s largest and most important collection of Van Briggle.

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.


Ongoing Exhibits

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. By focusing on key objects in the Jackson Collection the exhibit examines her life, work, friendships, influences and family. It combines an interactive digital display of documents, objects and photographs with a fresh interpretation of her story placed in the gallery outside of the three rooms and her original furnishings of the original Jackson House which have been on display at CSPM for over fifty years. The Jackson house offers a peek into life in Colorado Springs in the 1870’s and 1880’s.


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.


Past Exhibits

The League of Wives


From the Ashes: The Waldo Canyon Fire From The Ashes

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. This unique and powerful exhibit preserves and memorializes the impact of this historic event had on our community and landscape.


The Midas Touch

 

CSPM exhibits include permanent displays highlighting regional history and changing galleries dedicated to exploring special topics.