The Colorado's Most Significant Artifacts program highlights the importance of historic and cultural heritage and honors and recognizes all the organizations in Colorado that care for and preserve photographs, documents, rare books and manuscripts, audio recordings, film, digital materials, art, and historic, archaeological and natural science specimens.
Stay tuned for 2020's call for nominations in late spring 2020.
Held in the archives of the Colorado Chautauqua Association, this trifold brochure is from the Texas-Colorado Chautauqua’s opening season in 1898. With red lettering on white paper, the double-sided document is 6” x 9” when unfolded. Illustrations of the Auditorium and tents to be pitched for the summer reflect the late 19th century time period. Text describes summer offerings of this Western representation of the Chautauqua movement. Highlighted programs include science, mathematics, languages and pedagogy. The printed information for participants such as admission, tent rentals and meal costs provide important details for interpreting this unique history
This signed certificate by President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt praises the Colorado Fuel and iron Company (CF&I) physicians and surgeons for their work towards preventing and eradicating tuberculosis in Colorado at the annual International Council on Tuberculosis conference in 1908. The certificate is printed on linen and is signed by the President and members of the committee that sponsored the conference. This certificate was displayed at the company’s Minnequa Hospital in Pueblo as an acknowledgment of medical staff’s work.
This poster from the Peak Family Papers (WH1124) advertises course offerings at Denver’s Opportunity School (renamed the Emily Griffith Opportunity School in 1934). Dating from 1917, the poster emphasizes the school’s free day and night classes, which included Algebra, English for Foreigners, Citizenship (“to prepare for [the] naturalization examination”) as well as vocational courses like Automobile Operation and Repairing, Bookkeeping, and Dressmaking. The poster urges potential students to “Bring in your problems and difficulties….the principal and teachers are always glad to meet you, and help you in your work, or prepare you for a better position.”
The Fulford Signal was the newspaper of the small, short-lived mining boomtown of Fulford, Colorado, and was printed for 22 issues dating April to November of 1893. This special one-page “EXTRA!” was released quickly on Monday, July 3, 1893 to spread the news of a gold strike and was printed onto orange paper—the only issue to ever do so. The paper lists names of producing claims and early assay office reports of weight and value, enticing more miners to the area. This exceedingly rare issue was donated by author Richard Perske and is remarkably intact with clear, readable text.
The collection of glass plate slides contains 85 slides with more than 50 unique images were created around 1923. The slides were produced by benevolent committees of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Many of the photographs were taken within the Beth-El General Hospital and School of Nursing, showing the facilities and medical practices of the time as well as the nursing staff and students at work and play.
An unknown sign painter created this curtain in 1927-28 to grace the stage of the Rex Theatre, a popular movie theatre and playhouse on Main Street in Louisville, Colorado. The curtain includes advertisements for twenty-two downtown businesses, highlighting the owners’ family names as well as two-digit telephone numbers and some business services or amenities. With a border illusion of elegant red drapes, this oil on canvas curtain was located in the same building for eighty years at which time it was donated to the Louisville Historical Museum.
Miss Yokohama is Colorado's Japanese Friendship Doll. This artisan doll arrived in San Francisco in 1927 with 57 of her sisters. Following their reception in San Francisco, the dolls toured the US and then found homes in appropriate institutions in each state. She is one of only 7 dolls created by the Ohki Heizo (Maruhei) Doll Company in Kyoto. She is 81cm tall and is constructed of wood, gofun (a mixture of powdered oyster shells and glue coating the wood to creates a skin-like sheen and texture), human hair, glass eyes. She wears a yuzen dyed kimono with furosode sleeves.
The Fish on the Floor is a remnant of historic recreation from Deckers in Douglas County, Colorado. This floor tile mosaic depicts a rainbow trout rising to catch a fishing fly. An anonymous artist skillfully cut pink, yellow, green, black, gray, and white tile, inlaid the pieces in a white circle on green background, and crafted a striking portrayal of a fish in motion. The tiles comprising the representation are attached to the original wooden tongue and groove floorboards. Although no records exist regarding the creation of the mosaic, it is estimated to have been in the 1930s or 1940s.