Museum After Hours is a free monthly presentation series to be held on the last Thursday of every month. We provide a space for community congregation, discussion, and debate. The event touches on topics ranging from regional culture and history to the roles and responsibilities of museums within our community. The talks will take place in the Entrance Building at 5:00 pm from March through October and 4:00 pm from November through February.
Bob Carson will be discussing his new book, THE BLUES: Natural history of the Blue Mountains in northeastern Oregon and southwestern Washington, published in November of 2018. Although the Blues are mostly underlain by young basalt flows, a variety of much older rocks reveal Earth history for hundreds of millions of years. Atop the Blues is a rare grass-tree mosaic with forest climax associations determined by elevation. Photographers for the book are Duane Scroggins, Bill Rodgers, and many others. The book is punctuated with photo galleries, poems, a foreword, and an afterword.
Native Walla Wallan Catie McIntyre Walker will be discussing her popular new book, Lost Restaurants of Walla Walla, which celebrates the decades of departed, beloved local establishments. Published in August of 2018, the book explores how dining in Walla Walla blossomed from an influx of mining transplants in the late 1800s. Within decades, a roadhouse called the Oasis boasted a seventy-two ounce slab of beef, and the old Pastime Cafe opened at 5:30 am with white toast and whisky for breakfast. In the early 1950s, Ysidro Berrones opened one of the valley’s first Mexican restaurants, the El Sombrero Tortilla Factory and Cafe. Joe Denney, owner of Denney’s Hi-Spot for two decades, also satisfied locals with his morning crooning to piano on KTEL. Bring your appetite for history, as Catie McIntyre Walker will share these stories and more during this Museum After Hours presentation. Copies of her book are available for sale in the Museum Store.
Museum-goers will have a chance to meet Shannon Buchal, the new collections manager of Fort Walla Walla Museum! In this Museum After Hours presentation, Shannon will talk about fakes, forgeries, and replicas from a museum perspective. She will explore some famous forgeries displayed in museums and discuss the use of replicas and reproductions in museum work, including some standing in for actual artifacts at the old fort. In addition, she will look at how the outstanding stories behind some of these counterfeit items make them notable artifacts worthy of display.
Note that this presentation will begin at 5 pm in the museum’s entrance building.
In this Museum After Hours presentation, former FWWM intern Sullivan Friebus, a history major at Whitman College, will discuss psychological warfare of the Pacific Ocean theater during World War II.
During Sullivan’s internship, the museum received an assortment of documents and photographs that detailed the struggles and victories of the Allied forces in the Pacific theater. These documents, collected by World War II veteran and Walla Walla local Donald A. Anderson, include examples of propaganda utilized by both the Allied and Axis powers. The psychological tactics developed in the U.S. campaign against Japan sought to undermine the morale of the Japanese soldiers, encourage them to surrender, and ultimately prevent American casualties. At first primarily targeting individual soldiers or units, psychological warfare would eventually attempt to influence the unconditional surrender of Japan itself.
Sullivan Friebus will share his research and talk about the lessons learned from the use of psychological warfare, which are relevant in a world where foreign and domestic organizations continue to mobilize propaganda within the United States.
Talk details to be announced. Presentation begins at 5 pm.
Walawála, Walúula, Pášx̣apa: these ancient place names in the Walla Walla Valley tell the story of waterways, features, myths, and fruits of the land. In this Museum After Hours presentation by Roberta (Bobbie) Conner, director of Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, come and try to wrap your head and tongue around a different perspective of the places you call home.
Tamástslikt (Tah-mahst-slickt) Cultural Institute, the 45,000 square foot tribally-owned museum on the Umatilla Reservation near Pendleton, Oregon, which opened in 1998. The Institute serves three goals: to accurately present the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla peoples history, to perpetuate knowledge of their history and culture, and to contribute to the Tribal economy.
Bobbie is Cayuse, Umatilla, and Nez Perce and is enrolled at the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. She is a graduate of Pendleton High School, the University of Oregon, and Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. She serves on the Eastern Oregon University and Oregon Historical Society Boards of Trustees and the Ecotrust and Oregon Community Foundation Boards of Directors.
John Potter is a retired computer programmer who has been collecting magic lantern slides for over 30 years. In this informative and entreating show he will share a variety of slides using a magic lantern, the earliest form of the slide projector, with a patent date of 1907. He will share information about the history of the magic lantern and discuss the equipment and different types of slides it can project.
The slide content will include many historic images of the Northwest, including Puyallup, Tacoma, Seattle, Walla Walla, and some images related to industry in Washington State. He will also share images of early advertising and political slides, coming attractions, and sing-alongs. Of special note are an array of mechanical slides that give the effect of movement, such as chromatropes (similar to a kaleidoscope) slip slides, and lever slides.
Audience participation is greatly encouraged, so come by and enjoy the magic lantern show!
Ahead of Adam West Day in September, the staff from Kirkman House Museum will be giving a special presentation about the man behind the mask. Hear about their amazing Batman exhibit and how Walla Walla played a role in creating West’s lasting legacy. Presentation begins at 5 pm.
The Columbia River Plateau has the dubious distinction of being the sole North American culture region whose distinct Indigenous beadwork traditions are popularly identified as being products of outside influences. In this Museum After Hours presentation, Maryhill Museum of Art curator Steven L. Grafe will examine this phenomenon and illustrate the uniqueness of the three main styles of Plateau Native beadwork dating from 1860-1960.
In celebration of October as Washington State Archaeology Month, members of the museum’s Heritage Research Services division will discuss recent projects. Presentation will begin at 5 pm.
One day in 1912 Frank Finkel and his wife, Delila, traveled from Dayton to Walla Walla. No one could know that a casual visit to the cinema would bring Finkel’s past back to haunt him and unlock a mystery surrounding one of the most infamous battles between U.S. soldiers and Native tribes in American history.
The moving picture playing at the Keylor Grand that day was “Custer’s Last Fight.” Halfway through the film, Finkel stood up to leave. On the ride home, Finkel would reveal to Delila an incredible story from his past . . . one he hadn’t shared for 34 years. Word quietly spread, and the Dayton community wanted to hear his account. Eventually Finkel was persuaded to share his story: that he was a military veteran who had escaped his final battle, shot and blinded by blood. He claimed to be the sole survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, where General Custer and over 270 U.S. troops perished. But was he telling the truth? The details behind the battle have been investigated by the government, scholars, historians, and private individuals. Gary Lentz will look at all the fascinating details behind this mystery and the enigmatic man who claimed to be the sole survivor.
Are you interested in sponsoring this program? Contact the Museum to find out how!