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Permanent Exhibits
The Ailman Family in Silver City - A family friendly interactive parlor exhibition
This interactive exhibition allows visitors to enter into and experience the Victorian Parlor of the H. B. Ailman family. It is a family friendly exhibit that all age groups will enjoy.

H. B. Ailman built the home in 1881 that now houses the Silver City Museum. The parlor has been designed for guests to actually use the vintage and reproduction furniture and games, and experience what a fine home in Silver City would have been like in the 1890s. Parlors were used to express wealth and for entertaining guests.

H.B. Ailman and Family in the Parlor (Collection of the Silver City Museum)


THE FLOOD SEASON
How Silver City's Main Street Became the Big Ditch


Continuing Exhibits
Storytelling through the Mail: Tall Tale Postcards

February 3 through April 19, 2015

The Jackalope, Photo: Bob McConnell
Our exhibition of POSTCARDS examines an unusual form of visual humor across time beginning during the late 1800s. Visitors will be treated to a whimsical and occasionally thought-provoking presentation that is smart but accessible, visually appealing and-most importantly-fun.

Imagine a land... where corn grows to the size of tree trunks; where the lakes are so cold that the trout have fur coats; where deer have become hunters and men are their prey. These assorted oddities come vividly to life in Storytelling through the Mail: Tall Tale Postcards.

Storytelling through the Mail is a traveling exhibition developed at the Michigan State University Museum. It features over 80 examples of "tall tale" postcards from around the United States, which demonstrate a unique form of popular humor dating back to the early 20th century. Other items in the exhibit include newspaper cartoons and magazine covers, all of which help to tell the story of the tall tale postcard.

Displayed in complement with this exhibition will be vintage postcards from the Silver City Museum collection. These cards and images, evocative of the exotic Wild West landscape of southwestern New Mexico, are examples of what folks would send through the mail to distant family and friends. They include popular scenes of Silver City as it appeared in the early 1900s. Vintage Valentines from the Museum's collection will also be presented in celebration of Valentine's Day.

Tall tales are humorous stories of exaggeration, fictional accounts that are presented as the truth. They often involve ludicrous or absurd imagery. Tall tales are passed on in oral, written, and visual forms, including the postcards, cartoons and other artifacts included in this exhibit. Artists easily create tall tale scenes on postcards by piecing together regular-size images with enlargements or by juxtaposing two images that would not normally go together. Although illustrated tall tale postcards were common, it is the trickery of photography that characterizes much of the genre. People sometimes assume that "the camera doesn't lie," but tall tale postcard creators have the last laugh, teasing us into believing their lies. [ Press Release ]
May 23:
Open Drawers, Fashion Plates, and Late Night Dates
Clothing from the late 1800s through the 1930s from the Silver City Museum's Wheaton/Smith Family Collection.
September 15:
Crossroads of Empire: Early Printed Maps of the American Southwest
A traveling exhibition organized by the Amon Carter Museum and the University of Texas at Arlington Library.
October 3:
Celebrating the Women of Southwest New Mexico
Stories from the past of the Mimbres people, Chihenne N'de/Apache, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo women as told by five New Mexico women writers and historians of today.
November 14:
Ranching - It's about Family
In cooperation with the Grant County Copper CowBells, family stories and ranching traditions that come together for a spell within Historic Ailman House.

Historic District Window Exhibits
Historic Districts Interpretive window exhibits are on display facing the Courtyard.

Each of the four districts has a map, with corresponding information about the history and architecture of the district.

The maps interpret the unique buildings and history of Silver City, and the importance of historic preservation.
Walking tours of three historic districts include:
  • Historic Business District,
  • La Capilla,
  • Gospel Hill.
Each tour includes maps, illustrations, and histories of specific buildings in the tour area. These materials are currently available for free, while supplies last, at the Silver City Museum and the Murray Ryan Visitor Center.