sarae, avatar

so this weekend I needed to kill a couple of hours in Yakima, and being as I am of course a massive museum nerd (and have a museum membership elsewhere that got me in for free) I went to the Yakima Valley Museum

folks, it was A TRIP

a smorgasbord

a veritable fantasia of all the things I love and hate about museums

I will share some highlights

Bohammer avatar

hey @sarae I linked your post into the newly made Yakima magazine, I hope you come over and share some more stories about the city!

sarae, avatar

so the museum is one of those institutions that "acquires broadly"

which means it has some awesome local stuff -- a big collection of storefront neon which is compellingly displayed

and the original Yakima baby jogging stroller, which is a fun historical item if you're into bicycling history, which I am

but also this undistinguished assemblage of other bicycles, presumably sourced from Yakima's finest garages

interpretive signage was limited

Yakima Cycle Shop neon sign, a large sign showing a young man in 1950s clothes riding a cruiser-style bike

sarae, avatar

there's a large collection from the local paper, and an interesting display about typesetting history

but also a giant wall describing the vacations, and vacation columns, written by the newspaper publisher in the 1960s while he was on vacation with his second wife

he married repeatedly; this is also discussed in some detail

sarae, avatar

on a related note, the museum holds the entire DC office of US Supreme Court Justice William Orville "Wild Bill" Douglas

transplanted to eastern Washington following his 1980 death

admirable record of jurisprudence on conservation issues!

questionable tendency to marry women several decades his junior

I certainly learned some new things

sarae, avatar

some things at the museum are just plain weird

like an iron lung

the two-cow-capacity foot-powered milking machine

the entire wunderkammer room full of taxidermy animal heads and stuffed birds

or this dog-powered butter churn

interpretive signage describes the dog's many attempts to escape the butter churn

alas, death was his only release

I feel for the dog

sarae, avatar

the dog-powered butter churn was owned by a family named the Gleeds, which is pretty fucking Dickensian

like if I wrote this into a short story, the Gleeds and their dog-powered butter churn, someone would say that was too improbable and make me edit it out

but here we are, folks, this is what history is like

sarae, avatar

how does the museum do on Indigenous issues

it is after all right there in Yakama country

well -- the assemblage of Plateau beadwork is enough to make you weak in the knees

if you're stupid for good beadwork and I really am

also the parfleche bags, my God

the signage?


beaded gauntlets, covered in beautiful flowers and vines
so many gorgeous moccasins

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