Cabinet of Curiosities
The Church Gallery is the original exhibition space in the museum, converted from the first Catholic Church in town, built in 1855. It has a distinctly different feel than the rest of the museum, evoking the atmosphere of American museums during the early twentieth century, when it first opened to the public in 1928. A 20th-century version of a Cabinet of Curiosities, the gallery retains its original glass cases, modeled after those in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, tightly packed with a diverse assortment of historical and artistic artifacts, while the walls are covered with historic portraits and WPA murals. Didactic texts are minimal, allowing viewers to create their own stories and connections between the diverse material on view.