Did You Know...
The Molly Brown House Museum has almost 10,000 objects, including the house itself, in its collection?
The Molly Brown House Museum’s collection consists of approximately 10,000 artifacts, including the 1889 structure, used to interpret the life and historical context of Margaret Brown. The Museum’s collection includes original Brown artifacts and period pieces that reflect the life of an upper-middle class family in early 20th century Denver. It serves as an increasingly important record of early 20th century American life by reflecting the tastes, manufacturing techniques, and technological advancements of the time. The collection is also significant for its connections to Colorado’s mining elite.
The Museum’s collection is dictated by a Collections Policy that defines three significant periods from which to collect artifacts: the life of Margaret Tobin Brown (1867-1932), Victorian life in Denver during the Brown’s primary years of residence at 1340 Pennsylvania Street (1894-1912), and the restoration of the home (1970-today). Additionally, the Museum’s collection policy is to acquire artifacts that belonged to Margaret Tobin Brown or her immediate family. Margaret’s original photographs taken of the home in 1910 are used as a guide in the acquisition of artifacts in order to best recreate the original décor and use of the structure’s fourteen rooms.
The Museum follows the American Alliance of Museum’s Code of Ethics for Museums, which states that the “stewardship of collections entails the highest public trust and carries with it the presumption of rightful ownership, permanence, care, documentation, accessibility, and responsible disposal.” Finally, the Museum has written policies governing acquisitions, security/theft, food and drink, smoking, pest management, care and handling, restrictions on fragile/vulnerable objects, reproduction, maintenance, in-house exhibition, loans, environmental standards, housekeeping, and facility use to ensure the longevity of its collections.
Approximately 20% of the museum’s collection includes items owned by Margaret Brown and her family, while the remaining collections reflect the era in which she lived. Collections include, but are not limited to, furniture, rugs, kitchen equipment and accessories, decorative accessories, silver, china, glass and ceramics, window coverings, textiles (sheets, quilts, doilies, tablecloths, blankets, bed coverings) and fine art (paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and photographs).
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If you have an object you wish to donate that has provenance linking it to Margaret and JJ Brown or their families, please contact the Curator of Collections at 303-832-4092 x12.
If you have an object you wish to donate that is significant to Colorado's past, we suggest you contact the History Colorado Center at 303-866-2305.
If you have an object you wish to donate to a museum, please contact either the Mountain-Plains Museum Association or the Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums at:
Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA)
7110 West David Drive
Littleton, CO 80128-5404
Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums (CWAM)