Southern Ute Museum: With Gloved Hands …

Southern Ute Museum contract employee Daniel Rohde adjusting the fabric and buttons on the Air force uniform of Chairman Leonard C. Burch.
Courtesy SUMACc


The daily focus in the museum is the 26 cases in the Permanent Gallery: each case is being meticulously cleaned and vacuumed. Soon, pre-selected objects will begin migrating from the Museum’s collection vault to the Permanent Gallery display cases. Once the displays are complete, approximately 300 items will be available for viewing.

The first group of objects that will be placed back on display have two things in common: the object is part of the Southern Ute Museum’s own collection, and the object had once been in a display case.

An object that is part of the Museum has a “home”, or location where the object can be found. Right now, all objects in the tribal museum collection that will return to public display have been identified. For easy reference, each row in the Vault has tags, which identify “homes” of objects. Tags contain information on shelf identification and box or shelf location of an object; additional information on the tags identify where an object will be placed in the Permanent Gallery. This process will place many of the Museum’s objects into their original locations.

Each object will be moved one at a time into the Permanent Gallery for placement in a display case. One of the first objects to be placed back in the Permanent Gallery is the Air Force uniform of Leonard C. Burch. With gloves and finesse, the reconstruction of a case has begun. Details and attention, such as folds in clothing and adjustment of buttons, are part of the process for each item in a display case.

Only 299 more items to go. A visit to the museum during this time will give visitors a chance to see a gallery exhibit in progress.

The Southern Ute Museum is located on the Southern Ute Indian reservation at 77 CR 517, Ignacio, Colo., just south of the Sky Ute Casino and Resort. For information, call 970-563-9583. The Museum is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Thursday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Admission is free. Come visit and see the transition for yourself.

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