Kimberly Kronwall is the Exhibits and Loan Registrar at History Colorado. Previously, she was at the Smithsonian Institution's newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where she worked as a Collections Specialist and helped put over 3,000 objects on display across the 14 inaugural exhibitions. She has also worked for the Denver Art Museum, the University of Denver Art Collections, the National Archives, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery, and the Fort Collins Museum of Art. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Colorado State University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from The George Washington University.
I’m about to look in the window that Dad pointed out when my sister jumps back, screaming. There in the window, inside the replica of a trading post by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, is a large black bear poised to attack! I’m immediately reminded of surprise snakebites delivered to pioneers while traveling through The Oregon Trail: Classic Edition computer game. My sister, age 5, was so scared she ran back to Dad, still screaming, the tail of her real raccoon-skin hat flying behind her. She’d picked up the hat from a reenactor playing Jim Bridger, the original host of the trading post and purveyor of items for people headed to Oregon City by way of the Oregon Trail. Sadly, she couldn’t keep the hat, but she still remembers the feeling of playing trader Jim; something that wasn’t conveyed while playing The Oregon Trail.
History Colorado endeavors to share its collections with all audiences, young and old, distant and near, in person and digitally. As the Exhibits and Loan Registrar, I help facilitate object lending to other institutions throughout the state and the nation. Recently, we made an exciting loan of objects to the San Juan Historical Society in Silverton with the help of fourth and fifth graders from Silverton Elementary. The items on loan are on view through October 2018.