Sat April 28, 2018 - Sun August 26, 2018 Museum hours
Dive into some of the KVM’s rarely-seen collections as the story of Kalamazoo unfolds one letter at a time. Kalamazoo A – Z features artifacts and images from the Museum's permanent collection, most of which have never been exhibited. Visitors will have a chance to explore a thought-provoking array of objects—from advertisements to Zoa Phora products. It is not often that a bassinet is exhibited next to a cash register—this emphasis on material culture presents a unique opportunity to experience Kalamazoo's history.
Material culture refers to the physical objects that people use to define their culture. Museums often use this approach to tell stories and explore the relationship between people and the objects they create. The KVM’s original collection dates from an 1881 donation of rocks and fossil specimens accepted by the Kalamazoo Board of Education as “the beginning of a new museum.” Since then, the collections have grown to approximately 55,000 artifacts, documents, and images. Like most museums, the KVM has only a fraction of its collection on display at any given time. The goal of Kalamazoo A – Z is to bring out rarely-seen parts of the collection to demonstrate the depth and complexity of the experiences of those who have lived here.