ANN ARBOR’S STORY - The First 50 Years If it takes a village to raise a child… what does it take to raise a village? Raising a village takes pioneers whose stories range from inspiring to mysterious, and heroic to heartbreaking. It takes settlers who build homes, operate farms, raise families and connect with each other to form communities. And it takes home-made items, businesses, and occupations that contribute to the quality of everyday life. In celebration of the Bicentennial, this exhibit looks at one of the most curious periods of Ann Arbor’s history: the first 50 years (1824-1874). Intriguing artifacts, objects, textiles, photos, and maps from the collection will be mixed with stories and more to show what life was like for the earliest residents.
The Museum on Main Street itself is the largest artifact on exhibit and is one the oldest buildings in the City. Construction began on the Kellogg-Warden House in 1835 just 11 years after Ann Arbor’s founding. The Kellogg and Warden families were millers, merchants, and real estate speculators, from New York state but their businesses did not thrive as they had hoped. In 1853, the home was purchased by another pioneer, Samual Ruthruff, whose family owned the home until 1889. In 1990 the home was moved from its original location at 1015 Wall Street in Lower Town across the Huron River to 500 N. Main Street to be the Museum on Main Street.
The First 50 Years - Lower Town 1835/1840 (ca.)
Entomophagous Dining was a Delicious Success!
For its Fifth Biennial Invitational and Juried Exhibition in 2023, the International Museum of Dinnerware Design presents artists and designers to explore how dining on insects (entomophagy) may be in our future, if not our present.This exhibition is about sustaining the planet by dining on insects. Whether or not you are nodding your head and thinking “yup” or shaking your head and thinking “yuck,” we must all agree that dining on insects requires special dinnerware. The intention is to showcase the best in contemporary dinnerware as it relates to the theme Entomophagous Dining through the creation of specialized dinnerware or sculptural work relating to the topic
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that two billion people, more than a quarter of the world’s population, eat insects as part of their standard diet. Some believe that this is the only way to feed a population of 9 billion by 2050.
Entomophagous Dining is a fun and educational exhibition that examines and celebrates dining with insects, dining on insects, and related interactions as portrayed by the invited and juried artists who have created artwork in ceramic, metal, glass, fiber, and found objects. You’ll have to visit the exhibit to see for yourself the beautiful butterflies, busy bees, marching ants, singing cicadas, praying mantises,lurking cockroaches, tempting meal worms, and more.
There are many favorite stories connected to this special exhibition. One story involves ants. We all seem familiar with the scenario where there is a picnic and the luncheon on a beach towel or a grassy patch by a lake is invaded by ants. Cartoons of yesteryear envisioned picnickers shrieking while dancing ants paraded by with olive chapeaus, and other picnic delicacies. This is the fifth biennial juried exhibition curated by our collaborating partner, The International Museum of Dinnerware Design. The Museum on Main Street is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 Noon-4 PM and weekdays by appointment. The address is 500 N. Main Street, there is free parking for visitors in the lot next to the building. Photo: Australian artist Lynette Lewis created out of stoneware a 16-piece plate and cup setting Puti Pikiniki – Bush Picnic. She is participating as a special invited international artist. Honey ants or Tjala are the design motif on her picnic dishes for which she is renowned
A number is a mathematical object used to count, measure, label and identify. They tell us how things work, where to go, when and how to get there – if you know where to look and how to read and use them. This fun and family friendly exhibit includes some of the numbers of local history, the history of some numbers and numbers-related activities for kids and adults. There are games and puzzles in the middle room for you to play with, learn from, figure out and challenge your numbers skills. You can take your numbers brain teaser test home, as well the answers...if you need them!The Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon-4pm and weekdays by appointment. Groups are welcome, call 734-662-9092 for information or click here to send an email.
Does History Have Your Number? - Find out at the Exhibit at the Museum on Main Street
Celebrating a Century of Service - Thank you Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor!
This exhibit closed on February 27, 2022. This nonprofit organization of volunteers is dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. They have been doing that for decades for residents of Washtenaw County with the support of proceeds from the purchase of treasures, toys, household necessities, tools, clothing and one of a kind items from The Thrift Store and Sales.
We hope the Thrift Sale experience re-created in the front room will bring back some wonderful memories of the downtown rummage and thrift sales. And give you an idea of what you can find right now at the Kiwanis Center and Thrift Store on Staebler Road in Ann Arbor. Visitors will learn about the work Kiwanians do and how they do it - from an oversized scrapbook in the Exploration room to photos, art, objects, stories and artifacts throughout the exhibit.
The Museum on Main Street is at 500 N. Main at the corners of Beakes, E. Kingsley and Main Street. Hours are Saturdays and Sundays, Weekday appointments can be accommodated by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 734-662-9092.
Museum on Main Street Covid-19 Safety Measures
Because the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, members and visitors is the highest priority – masks are required indoors when visiting the Museum on Main Street. Free masks are available at the door along with hand sanitizer.
Opens in Person
Saturday June 5 & Sunday, June 6
The Museum on Main Street
500 N. Main
Ann Arbor, MI
Museum and Exhibit Hours:
The Museum is open on
Saturday and Sunday,
12-4pm. Groups and private tours can be happily accommodated by
emailing the exhibit curator at email@example.com.
The International Museum of Dinnerware Design’s Fourth Biennial Invitational and Juried exhibition, Breakfast, is all about celebrating the first meal of the day. In addition to work by contemporary artists, historic works from the IMoDD permanent collection will be seamlessly woven throughout the exhibition. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition will open virtually on April 10th and will be available via Facebook and our website that day.
At that time, visitors will be welcome to view the exhibition catalogue, photographs, and videos of the exhibition on line. Artist prizes will be announced at the virtual opening. Guests can plan to view the exhibition in person when it is safe to do so following common sense and state guidelines and procedures.
When the Museum is physically open to the public, hours are weekends noon-4 p.m. Special tours are welcome by contacting the Museum on Main Street or emailing the exhibition curator.. An in-person closing reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 21st, 2-4 p.m.
Invited Artists: Posey Bacopoulos, Paul Eshelman, Léopold Foulem, Ursula Hargens, Janel Jacobson, David MacDonald, Kate Maury, Dganit Moreno, Jeff Oestreich, S.C. Rolf, Linda Sikora, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Will Swanson, Debbie Thompson, Ann Tubbs
Juried Artists: Hadi Abbas, Alice Abrams, Irina Bondarenko, Nancy Bulkley, Elizabeth Coleman, John Cummings, Melanie Doiron, Ruth Easterbrook, Grace Fish, Julianne Harvey, Mei Kiengsiri, Eriko Kobayashi, Sara Lynch, Cara Jean McCarthy, Will McComb, Dana Miller, David Morrison, Rory Nester, Carrie Ohm, Stephanie Osser, Diana Pancioli, Peter Saenger, Shana Salaff, Robin Wilt
This exhibition is a partnership between the International Museum of Dinnerware Design and the Washtenaw County Historical Society’s Museum on Main Street. Juried prizes are sponsored by “Jiffy Mixes” of Chelsea Milling Company.
Will it Still Snap, Crackle or Pop?
Virtual Tour of the Exhibit on Main Street
This exhibition is a partnership between the International Museum of Dinnerware Design, the Washtenaw County Historical Society's Museum on Main Street, and the Ann Arbor District Library.
The International Museum of Dinnerware Design’s Fourth Biennial Invitational and Juried exhibition, Breakfast, is all about celebrating the first meal of the day. In addition to work by contemporary artists, historic works from the IMoDD permanent collection will be seamlessly woven throughout the exhibition. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition is open virtually on our website.
Guests can plan to view the exhibition in person when it is safe to do so following common sense and state guidelines and procedures. Special tours are welcome by contacting the Museum on Main Street or emailing the exhibition curator at firstname.lastname@example.org. An in-person closing reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 21st.
Juried prizes were sponsored by “Jiffy Mixes” of Chelsea Milling Company. To see a listing of invited and juried artists click here
The Women's March to
the Ballot Box
We take a look at the passage of the 19th amendment through the lens of historic events, video,photographs, first person accounts, documents and letters.
November 2019 - February 2020
Connecting Communities: Roads, Bridges & People
This exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Washtenaw County Road Commission. The story was written by Grace Shackman and first appeared in the September issue of the Ann Arbor Observer. Her words are also on the exhibit panels illustrated with photographs from the Commission, the Ann Arbor District Library, and the Bentley Historical Library. The road commission provided the tools, lights, artifacts, photographs, hard hats, maps, and equipment. The Washtenaw County Historical Society was happy to host and design the exhibit, contribute artifacts from our collection and collaborate with the WCRC to create this fun and family-friendly experience.