Nina Mason Pulliam
Featuring the R.B. Annis Western Family Experience
The R.B. Annis Western Family Experience is currently closed for renovation.
After more than 10 years of frequent use, the much-loved R.B. Annis Western Family Experience is undergoing a refresh. A complete renovation and redesign are underway, and the space is temporarily closed for reconstruction. Scheduled for completion in November 2021, the reconstruction will transform the space to focus on five diverse families of the contemporary West. Activities, art and technology will highlight the diversity of people in the American West. Pardon the inconvenience of construction noise as we create a brand new experience.
Each activity explores an aspect of the American West or contemporary Native American cultures. Explore each activity below and come visit us to play and learn important lessons.
Snuggle on a real bearskin in the birch bark wigwam. The second floor Native American galleries contain amazing beaded shirts, cradleboards and baskets, but look out for the unexpected!
In the stairwell at the north end of the museum’s main level, you’ll spot an authentic totem pole titled The Legend of Wasgo. Learn about our totem pole, then follow the stairs down to find out more about a Tsimshian artist who carves totem poles. Tell your family story on a model totem pole and then make sure to raise the pole yourself.
Try on some of our 1800s clothing and hop into our true-to-life stagecoach to imagine what overland travel was like in the days of settlement of the West. Then saddle up for a photo op in Western duds and become the proprietor of a general store. This is a great opportunity to show kids how life has changed over the centuries.
Children can learn the method used by a Potawatomi basket artist at our fun and accessible weaving station. Here, kids can understand the mechanics behind weaving, and learn more about artist John Pidgeon and his family.
Kids can learn and understand the effort that goes into building a tipi when they visit our Native American galleries. At a tipi model, they can work individually or together to place the poles and arrange the hide around their framework.
The Eiteljorg Museum Café, located on the first floor near the totem pole, is a good place to take a break with kids. The menu features items perfect for your little ones. Stop in for lunch, or a snack to power up to enjoy the rest of the museum. You can even enjoy your lunch outdoors on the terrace when the weather is nice!