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New Exhibit, 'Furniture: The Fancy & The Functional' open in museum at Cultural Heritage Center

Furniture: The Fancy & The Functional is about furniture found in the home, and the myriad of information one can learn from a careful study of both the fancy and functional materials in today’s homes and those of the past. From a famous wooden desk to a metal dinette set, all of the artifacts displayed in the exhibit come from the permanent collection of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society. Some of the furniture on display has never been exhibited before.

Dispersed throughout the gallery is interpretive signage, graphics and advertisements, demonstrating an evolution in how the use of rooms in the home has evolved and the impact of cultural change on the function and design of furniture.

Hands-on activities include building a chair and designing two 12-by-12-inch “rooms” with choices of floor coverings, wallpaper and furniture. There is a comfortable sofa for relaxing and reading more about furniture in American society or watching videos about crafts and design.

“Museum staff members worked very hard to create a visually stimulating and educational exhibition with hands-on activities.” said Jay Smith, director of the museum.

“We hope people take advantage of this opportunity to visit the museum in the Cultural Heritage Center to see the new exhibit,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society. “We are sure it will be an enjoyable experience for people of all ages.”

For more information, visit or call (605) 773-3458.

The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism. The Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

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