The Pratt Museum is turning fifty this year and both current and past museum staff are kicking of the celebration Friday. Pratt Exhibits Curator Scott Bartlett said the first in a series of exhibits pays homage to the museum’s past.
“We have an exhibit series for our fiftieth anniversary, and the first exhibition that’s opening on Friday is ‘Curators’ Closet.’ What we’ve done is invite past curators and collections managers who’ve worked with the collection to tell us some of their favorite things from collections and some of the special projects they worked on, some of the hidden gems they wanted to highlight,” Bartlett said. “It’s a chance to look at the museum’s collecting history over the past 50 years.”
Visitors can check out everything from seed collections to a homestead map from the 1940s, and a bear pelt jacket that belonged to Vega Pratt, which the museum is partially named after. Pratt and her husband Sam donated several of the first items in the Pratt’s collection after they founded the Homer Society of Natural History, which opened the museum’s doors in 1968.
The museum will also be offering weekly behind-the-scenes tours of its collection as part of “Curators’ Closet,” which will run through April.
But the Pratt isn’t just looking to its past. Subsequent events this spring and this summer are also incorporating the future.
“As part of this exhibit, there’s going to be a couple of special events. We’re going to have a community conversation on March 29, which is an envisioning of the next 50 years,” Bartlett explained. “’Curators’ Closet’ is really looking at the past 50 years of the museum and our collecting, and we want to have a conversation about what the future might hold.”
Bartlett said Pratt visitors with an eye towards the future can also look forward to an exhibit called Kachemak 2068. The museum also plans to display an art exhibit centered on community ties.
Bartlett adds that the Pratt is still cooking up other events to celebrate its anniversary, but for those who can’t wait, the reception for “Curators’ Closet” is Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.