Iowa Historical Museum Expands Popular Vault Tours;
Iowa’s Finest Historic Quilts Available to the Public for the First Time

For immediate release July 25, 2005



Contact: Jeff Morgan, 515-281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Museum is expanding its highly popular History Hunter Vault Tours Saturday to include a special viewing of Iowa’s finest historical quilts–most of which have never been available for public viewing.

The museum’s Chief Curator Michael Smith will lead three behind-the-scenes tours of some of Iowa’s finest treasures at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 at the State Historical Museum, located at 600 E. Locust Street in the heart of Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Each tour is limited to 20 people; tickets are available at the door, but reservations are strongly encouraged by calling Katie Flippen at 515-281-4129. Tickets are $30 per person; the proceeds will be used for continued preservation and care of the museum’s quilt collection.

The events begin with guided tours of the museum’s new exhibit, Rural Remembrances: Iowa’s Quilt Legacy, and continue in the subterranean, climate-controlled preservation center where the vast majority of the museum’s quilt collection is preserved and protected, including a number of pieces from world-renowned quilt expert and Indianola, Iowa native Mary Barton. In addition to talking about the quilts and the stories they hold, Smith will discuss collection, conservation and preservation techniques during this unprecedented opportunity to see artifacts that have never been available for public viewing. Additional quilting activities will be available for the entire family.

The Museum’s tours of the permanent collection and Battle Flag Preservation Center began in December, 2004, and are sold out through October 2005. The tours are held the third Saturday of every month and the public is invited and encouraged to call the Iowa Museum Store in the State Historical Building at 515-283-1757 to reserve their spots on the next available tours. Admission for the vault tours is $12 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under, and free for children 2 and under. Vault tours are limited to 20 participants for each tour. Parents are encouraged to accompany younger children.

Admission for the Battle Flag tours is $20 per person and $18 for members of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Battle Flag tours are limited to 10 participants ages 12 and older. Weekday group reservations for vault and Battle Flag tours can be made by calling Hillary Liepa at 515-281-3809. Proceeds go to preserving and protecting the permanent collection and the museum’s battle flag collection.


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