Behind the Scenes: Hidden Treasures of Washington’s Museums
Ready for some well-kept secrets from Washington state museums? Journalist and author Harriet Baskas, who researches the closeted collections of museums, will share some of her favorite finds at the Redmond Historical Society’s Saturday Speaker Series at 10:30am on September 13th. Sponsored by Humanities Washington, the fast-paced, photo-filled and, at times, offbeat tour through Washington will be told through the stories of museum artifacts that are rarely – or never – shown to the public. Read More >>
And Baskas has some gems to share: from toupees used by Bing Crosby (archived in Spokane), to a quilt made of Ku Klux Klan robes (in Yakima) and a pickle that is almost 175 years old (in Lynden). Author of Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can’t or Won’t Show You, Baskas will talk about how those objects came to be in the local collections and who makes decisions about what is displayed – or not. “While there are more than 15,000 museums in our country, visitors only get to see about five percent of any institution’s collections,” says Baskas. “Most museums simply don’t have room to display everything they’ve got. But some artifacts never get displayed for political, philosophical, artistic, environmental and other, often surprising, reasons," she says.
As a journalist, Baskas produced a major radio series on hidden museum artifacts that aired on National Public Radio, with Smithsonian-based historians as her advisers. Baskas has a master’s in communication from the University of Washington and served as general manager for three community radio stations in Oregon and Washington. Her other books include Washington Curiosities and Washington Icons.
The Saturday Speaker Series is a monthly program presented by the Redmond Historical Society on every second Saturday from September through May (with the exception of December) at 10:30am at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, located at 16600 NE 80th Street. Topics cover local, state and Pacific Northwest historical interest. There is a suggested $5 donation for non-members. Doors open at 10:00am.
The Redmond Historical Society is a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization that receives support from the City of Redmond, 4 Culture, Nintendo, the Bellevue Collection, Nelson Legacy Group and Humanities Washington as well as from other donors and members.