The Webster’s Dictionary defines a museum as follows: A place for the Muses; a building, room, etc., for preserving and exhibiting artistic, historic, or scientific objects. The Michigan—Land of Riches project is taking the full definition from Webster’s and giving it life.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum has filled many roles in the community over its long 157 year history and must continue to do so now and in the future. The Michigan—Land of Riches exhibit joins 30 faculty and 200 students from area colleges and universities plus local artists together in a project within the confines of the historic former home of the Public Museum. The energy and creativity of the faculty, students, and artists all working together under the overall curatorial direction of Paul Amenta is much appreciated by all of us at the Museum. We have enjoyed participating in the project in addition to watching it all unfold. We have had our own lessons learned. The Museum thanks the Kendall College of Art and Design Collaborative Studies class that first recommended this exhibition. Thank you also to the sponsors from the community that made generous donations. Michigan—Land of Riches would not have happened without that support.


This exhibition guide (10 MB pdf) is the compilation of the work, design, interpretation, and creativity that went into the Michigan—Land of Riches project. But it is more than that; it is a lasting manifestation of the muse that makes a museum and serves as its root word. And so the exhibition captures, in some real way, the definition of a Museum supplied by Webster’s. Congratulations and thanks to all who have had a role and a place in Michigan—Land of Riches.



Dale Robertson is the President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.






Special thanks to the staff at the Grand Rapids Public Museum including:
(from left:) Tim Priest, Collections Manager;
Alex Forist, Collections Curator;
Marilyn Merdzinski, Director of Collections and Preservation;
Chris Carron, Director of Education and Interpretation;
Jon Kloote, Collections Technician; Veronica Kandl, Research Manager