A Visual Memoir: 25 Years at the Nelson Museum with Shawn Lamb
This exhibition in Gallery B celebrates and gives thanks to Shawn Lamb’s exceptional work for the Society. Set to coincide with Her retirement as Touchstones Nelson Archivists and Collections Manager this coming January, this exhibition is a selection of photographs, paintings and artifacts from the permanent collection chosen by Shawn to illustrate some of the stories and highlights of Shawn ‘s memories from the past 25 years.
History of the Museum
The Nelson Museum began with the incorporation of the Kootenay Museum Association in 1955, spearheaded by its dynamic first president, Mrs. Mildred Erb. Members of the Nelson Art Club joined with members of the Nelson Oldtimers’ Association and others of historical bent to obtain and operate a building in which to exhibit local and traveling art shows, and historical materials of the Kootenay Region. From 1956 until 1960 the museum occupied space in the former federal Post Office, but had to vacate to the former Kansas City House brothel on Lake Street when the City of Nelson decided to convert the Post Office into City Hall. In 1971, a new museum was selected as Nelson’s project funded by federal, provincial and local grants, and in 1974, the present building opened moving to year-round operation in 1984. Since 1991, the Board of Directors has been actively seeking a centrally located, larger, and more suitable premises, and is currently working toward moving Forward to the Past that is back to City Hall, extensively renovated into a new home for the collections and programs of the MAAG, otherwise know as the Nelson & District Museum, Art Gallery, Archives and Historical Society.
Museum Activities 1984-2002
Although the Nelson Museum had presented many excellent programs during the years preceding moving to year-round operation, there had not been permanent paid staff until 1984. Regular monthly art exhibitions began in 1984 and have continued until today, when exhibitions are professionally curated by the Nelson Public Art Gallery Committee. Through the nearly 20 years, in a most humble space, the Museum has presented the work of many of the major artist of the region. With permanent staff it was also possible to access employment and project funding. This has allowed the museum to prepare and present a major historical exhibition each year, a number of them off-site at the Chahko Mike Mall or an empty Baker Street location. The already extensive archival collection of the museum grew in scope and content in 1989 when the city of Nelson transferred the archives of the former David Thompson University Centre to the Museum.