Chandler Museum exhibit looks at thrift and the Depression - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler Museum exhibit looks at thrift and the Depression

September 3rd, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Chandler Museum exhibit looks at thrift and the 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 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Mondays. Information: 480-782-2717 or

Most of the programming events offer a chance to reserve a seat and unless otherwise noted, are free. Go to and search by “Chandler Museum.”


Dust Bowl Migrants in Chandler (Through Aug. 13, 2023)

In the late 1930s Chandler had 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 exhibition is a history of Dust Bowl Chandler through unique black and white photographs. It examines what home looked like and makes connections between 1930s Chandler and Chandler today. It includes themes of housing, migration, agriculture, technology, self-sufficiency, and empathy. 

Thrift Style (Sept. 6-Nov. 27)

Thrift Style provides a nostalgic view into American ingenuity, sensibility and optimism during the period of the Great Depression and World War II. The exhibition explores the reuse of feed, flour, and sugar sacks to make clothing and other household objects. 

This “upcycling” was a cost-saving and resource-saving approach employed by homemakers to meet their families’ needs. With forty-one works from patterns to garments, it serves as an example of past ingenuity that can inform today’s efforts towards sustainability.

Arrival Stories (Opening Sept. 20)

Visit the Price Gallery to explore first-hand accounts about people past and present coming to our community. Then, share your story. 

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


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

Arizona artist David Emitt Adams will talk about historic photographic processes through his focus on the environment. By using the 19th-century process wet-plate collodion, Adams produces images on surfaces that humans have left behind–discarded cans, tins, and metals. 

Gain a deeper understanding of the intersection between people and the landscape through historic artifacts that hold images of the desert landscape.

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

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

People can connect with other readers during in-person discussions led by museum staffer 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.



Play Day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 10. 

Yo-Yo Mania

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

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

Pack your bags and travel back in time where everyday objects look completely different. These 45-minute programs are led by our friendly educators who compare everyday items, then and now.

 With new themes each month, kids begin together with a central topic and then break off into family groups in several activity stations. Geared toward ages 3-5. 

Have a little one who loves to “help’ with the laundry? Come for the suds and stay for the fun with laundry day themed activities. 

Registration required.

Art Tots. 10:30-11:15 a.m. Sept,. 14 and Sept. 28, “Portraits.”

This 45-minute program led by educators is an age-appropriate introduction to different art styles and concepts. With new themes each month, kids begin together with a central topic and then break off into family groups. Geared toward ages 3-5. 

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

In the Exhibits. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 24.

This program immerses kids in interactive activities throughout the museum’s exhibits. 

During WWII fabric for clothing was scarce. Explore how homemakers used fabric from feed sacs and changed the industry. View the Thrift Style exhibition and make upcycled clothes from a household item.