Aspen "Journey Stories" Chronicled in Smithsonian Exhibit

Jun 6, 2013

The Aspen Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution are hosting an exhibit in Aspen called "Journey Stories." The exhibit is being held at the firehouse downtown.
Credit Marci Krivonen

How did you arrive in Aspen? Was it the skiing that brought you here, or perhaps the hiking or biking. Maybe a romance prompted the move. Whatever caused your journey, it comes with a story. Many of those stories are highlighted in a new exhibition that opened on June 4th. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Journey Stories is a traveling exhibition that makes a stop in Aspen in June and July.

“It’s all about people who travel whether it’s just for pleasure, or whether they immigrate, all the different types of journeys that makes America, America and we’re a land of immigrants," says Lisa Hancock.

She's a curator at the Aspen Historical Society, and she helped put together Journey Stories. It’s a collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. The stories span different eras, from Native Americans pushed aside by newcomers to immigrants who arrived by boat.

Hancock says the exhibit tells the story of America through travel.

In addition to stories from around the country, some Aspen residents are featured too. Hancock says the historical society gathered interviews from people who grew up in the ski town and those who arrived later in life.

We have had a little project going and we have video history footage that’ll be featured in the exhibit, with people who feel that their journey story is interesting," she says.

Charlie Patterson is one of the Aspen residents featured in the exhibit. He says he traveled from New York to Colorado in the 1950's to check out the skiing.

"First we went to all the different resorts, and one day, we were skiing in Arapahoe and I was skiing on the ridge, and I noticed an attractive blonde a little way over. I noticed a green aspen leaf on her ski jacket, and I said, ‘What is that patch?’ And, she said, ‘Oh, it’s a fabulous new place called Aspen!’” 

Patterson’s story will be among many others at the exhibit. After its stop in Aspen, Journey Stories will travel to five other rural towns in Colorado over the next year.

The exhibit opened Tuesday at the Aspen Fire Protection District, downtown.