Pin It
Favorite

Keeper of the Past 

MAC special collections curator Rose Krause is surrounded by history every day

click to enlarge art19089.jpg

What fascinates Rose Krause isn’t always the story behind an object or photo from the past, but how and why those things survived long enough to make it to the shelves in the cavernous archives of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture.

“It could have just gone away,” Krause says. “But someone saw it and decided, ‘Well, this might be significant and maybe they’ll want it at the museum,’ and because they thought that, it’s here, and that’s incredible.”

Like a series of letters written by an unmarried, pregnant teenager living here during World War II to the serviceman father of her unborn daughter, urging him to marry her against his claims that he didn’t love her. And many of the original architectural plans hand-drawn onto linen sheets for elegant, upper-class homes designed by Spokane icon Kirtland Cutter.

As curator and archivist of the MAC’s special collections at the Joel E. Ferris Research Library and Archives, almost everything that’s added to the shelves of Inland Northwest history passes through Krause’s careful hands.

A soft-spoken woman with rectangular glasses and dark brown hair cropped into a neat bob grazing her chin, Krause has been captivated by history and libraries — and what it would have been like to live in another era — as long as she can remember.

It’s easy for people to assume that she’s something of a walking encyclopedia of little-known facts. But Krause is quick to point out that she hasn’t seen everything in the museum’s massive collection during the more than eight years she’s worked there. It would take a couple of lifetimes to do so, she says.

Because part of her job is making sure that the MAC’s collection diversely represents different eras, voices and social status, Krause does, on occasion, turn down offers for donated material that may mirror already documented periods of our history.

That’s the part that scares her the most.

“There is a lot of power in the decisions that are made about what is kept and not kept, and that is really scary because I certainly don’t want to be the entity that sort of erases something that happened in the past.” 

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • NEVER 
GONNA 
GIVE 
YOU UP
  • NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP

    Nostalgia for the '80s remains in hyperdrive. Why does the era's pop culture still resonate?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Remnants 
of Rome
  • Remnants of Rome

    Gonzaga's hit Ancient Roman exhibition is a look into the past and the capability of the university's museum
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY

    It's the final Spokane art stroll of the year
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Chris Bovey: My Spokane

Chris Bovey: My Spokane @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 8

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Chey Scott

  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY

    It's the final Spokane art stroll of the year
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • 'Tis the Season
  • 'Tis the Season

    Local theaters embrace the holiday spirit with new and classic productions staged through December
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Doing a Disservice
  • Doing a Disservice

    Bringing pets to public places can have unintended consequences for those who rely on service animals
    • Nov 29, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

  • Blind Faith
  • Blind Faith

    In a vacant lot by the railroad tracks, an unlikely friendship is found
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • Caffeinated Chemistry
  • Caffeinated Chemistry

    Nitro coffee is the newest trend to hit the coffee industry, and Spokane has a few early adopters
    • May 20, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation