Chandler Museum exhibit looks at thrift and depression


Chandler Museum, 300 S. Chandler Village Drive, Chandler is offering a variety of free programs next month as well as a new exhibit.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Mondays. Information: 480-782-2717 or

Most lineup events offer the ability to reserve a seat and, unless otherwise stated, are free. Go to and search by “Chandler Museum”.


Dust Bowl Migrants in Chandler (until August 13, 2023)

In the late 1930s, Chandler experienced an influx of Dust Bowl migrants who fled their homes in search of a better life. Government photographers Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee documented unique stories showing these migrants and their dwellings, which were often temporary.

This exhibit is a story of Dust Bowl Chandler through unique black and white photographs. It examines what the house looked like and draws connections between Chandler of the 1930s and Chandler today. It includes the themes of housing, migration, agriculture, technology, self-sufficiency and empathy.

Style Thrift (September 6 to November 27)

Thrift Style offers a nostalgic take on American ingenuity, sensitivity, and optimism during the Great Depression and World War II era. The exhibit explores the reuse of food, flour, and bags of sugar to make clothes and other household items.

This “recycling” was an economical and resource-efficient approach used by housewives to meet the needs of their families. With forty-one works, from patterns to clothing, it serves as an example of past ingenuity that can inform today’s efforts toward sustainability.

Arrival Stories (Opening September 20)

Visit the Awards Gallery to see first-hand accounts of people past and present who come to our community. Then share your story.

This interactive exhibit will evolve with visitor participation, so be sure to add your arrival story to Chandler’s rich history.


History Bites (12-12:30 p.m. September 6): Photography Technology Series: Conversations with History.

Arizona-based artist David Emitt Adams will discuss historical photographic processes through his interest in the environment. Using the 19th century wet-plate collodion process, Adams produces images on surfaces that humans have left behind – cans, tins and discarded metals.

Deepen your understanding of the intersection between people and landscape through historical artifacts that contain images of the desert landscape.

Chandler Museum Book Club (noon-1 p.m. September 20)

The Four Winds of Kristin Hannah will be discussed at the inaugural meeting of the Chandler Museum Book Club. Staff from the Chandler Museum and the Chandler Public Library came together to choose a mix of fiction and non-fiction that expands on the subjects of the exhibit, Picturing Home: Dust Bowl Migrants in Chandler.

People can connect with other readers in in-person discussions led by museum staff member Kristine Clark and librarian Anbolyn Potter. Future books include: Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Nomadland by Jessica Bruder, and The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan.

Information: [email protected]


Game day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., September 10.

Yo Yo Mania

Drop by and chat with our special guests from the Chandler Yoyo Club. Learn to do some basic yo-yo tricks and play with other toys that will challenge your skills. Registration suggested.

C-Town Suitcase Club, 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., September 7 and 21.

Pack your bags and travel back in time where everyday objects are completely different. These 45-minute programs are led by our friendly educators who compare everyday objects from yesterday and today.

With new themes each month, kids start together with a central topic, then split into family groups at multiple activity stations. Intended for 3-5 year olds.

Do you have a little one who likes to “help” with the laundry? Come for the foam and stay for the fun with laundry day themed activities.

Registration required.

Art toddlers. 10.30am-11.15am Sept. 14 and 28 September, “Portraits”.

This 45-minute, educator-led program is an age-appropriate introduction to different artistic styles and concepts. With new themes each month, children start together with a central topic, then separate into family groups. Intended for 3-5 year olds.

Come face to face with portrait making. Discover famous portraits, explore the features that make up a face and have fun making silly faces. Registration required.

In exhibitions. 11am-2pm on September 24.

This program immerses children in interactive activities through the museum’s exhibits.

During World War II, fabric for clothing was scarce. Find out how housewives used food bag fabric and changed the industry. Visit the Thrift Style exhibit and make upcycled clothing from a household item.

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