New exhibit to open at Aspen Historical Society |

New exhibit to open at Aspen Historical Society

Staff report

Aspen’s been the first to innovate and been at the top of the podium many times. But the town also has stumbled along the way. The Aspen Historical Society travels through these successes and failures with a new exhibit, “Bests, Firsts & Worsts: Aspen in Objects,” opening June 9 at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum.

Visitors to the exhibit will learn about Aspen’s quirky history as told through nearly 90 artifacts, each with its own story that sheds light on Aspen’s bright ­— and dark — times. The exhibit offers an intimate glimpse at the stories and events that make Aspen such an exceptional place to live and visit.

“We wanted to tell Aspen’s story through superlatives,” curator Lisa Hancock said. “But the way it’s designed allows the museumgoers to decide and debate what is a best or a worst.”

Featured artifacts include a chunk of the largest silver nugget ever mined in the United States; Aspen’s first female mayor’s gavel; a rare edition of The Aspen Times printed on the back of old maps when exceptionally heavy snows stopped the trains from delivering paper; a single chair from Aspen Mountain’s first chairlift, Lift One; and Steve Jobs’ personal mouse donated to the International Design Conference in Aspen time capsule in 1983. On their own, the artifacts are interesting; together, they weave a tapestry of the city’s colorful history.

To complement the exhibit, the Aspen Historical Society also is releasing an exhibition catalog in which all of the artifacts are explored in depth along with more than 20 editorial contributions from local writers and experts including Su Lum, Steve Wickes, Alan Fletcher and Tony Vagneur. All exhibit attendees will receive a catalog.

“Bests, Firsts & Worsts: Aspen in Objects” opens June 9 and will be open through spring 2017. The Aspen Historical Society will host a grand-opening party for the public on June 23 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Regular summer hours for the Wheeler/Stallard Museum (620 W. Bleeker St.) are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From June 9 through 15, hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and free for children 12 and younger.

The exhibit is made possible by the Louis and Harold Price Foundation.