New "Living West" exhibit illuminates intersection between Colorado's human and environmental history

Nov 07, 2013, 13:53 ET from History Colorado

"Living West" launches History Colorado Center's second exhibition phase after opening in 2012.

DENVER, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- History Colorado announced that it will launch the second of three exhibition phases at the History Colorado Center with a new 7,000-square-foot exhibit, Living West, opening Nov. 23, 2013.


This experiential exhibit journeys into the deep relationships between Colorado's people and the land through three stories:  life in the Mesa Verde region 800 years ago, the 1930s Dust Bowl on the southeastern plains, and today's Rocky Mountains.

Visitors explore how people have struggled, survived and thrived in Colorado's fierce and fragile landscape. Each gallery is designed to generate conversation about the environmental choices Coloradans have made and continue to make.

History Colorado's exhibit developers worked with environmental and archaeological experts from around the state to weave environmental history into the human story. Tribal representatives from the Santa Clara, Zia, Acoma and Zuni pueblos and the Hopi Tribe assisted with both exhibit content and the selection of nearly 200 artifacts from History Colorado's renowned Mesa Verde collections that illuminate the lives of ancestral Pueblo people.

With water as a consistent theme, Living West examines its impact on human and natural habitats and the implications of pine beetles, wildfire, increasing wildlife interactions and alpine snowpack on the mountains Coloradans love.

Visitors experience the epic 1935 Black Sunday dust storm, explore a water diversion project and measure their water footprint via interactive components developed in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, which also provided design and fabrication services for Living West.

The second phase will also feature new educational programs, live museum theater, demonstrations and performances, as well as two traveling exhibits coming in 2014: Food: Our Global Kitchen from the American Museum of Natural History and RACE: Are We So Different?, a project of the American Anthropological Association.                                                                               

Living West is included in the cost of a general admission ticket: $12 adults, $10 students/seniors 65+, $8 children 6-12; children 5 and under are free. For complete information, visit

Living West is presented in partnership with Denver Water, with generous support from the Gates Family Foundation.

History Colorado inspires generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in building a better Colorado. Find out more about History Colorado, a Smithsonian Affiliate, on Facebook, twitter @HistoryColorado,, or call 303-HISTORY.

Media Contact: 
Rebecca Laurie, Public Relations Director
(o) 303/866-3670; (m) 303/918-9216

SOURCE History Colorado