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New Exhibits

Sorting Out Race
Sorting out race logo with datesMarch 30, 2017 - May 17, 2017 
Every day, thrift stores receive donations of items with racial imagery - antique advertising cards, collectible salt-and-pepper shakers, vintage children's books, and mugs with team mascots. Do these items perpetuate hurtful stereotypes or are they harmless reminders of past attitudes? Should thrift stores sell these objects or should they be "sorted out" of popular culture forever? This traveling exhibit, organized by the Kaufmann Museum at Bethel College in Kansas, opens a conversation about race and ethnicity in Renton. 

Renton High School Indians: History of a Name

March 30th - May 17th, 2017Renton Indians exhibit


The Renton History Museum will support this travelling Sorting Out Race exhibit with a local exhibit, Renton High School Indians: History of a Name, as well as programs and opportunities for community dialogue.    

People of the Inside  

Long-Term Exhibit

Jennie Moses

Come see our new and improved permanent Duwamish exhibit. Generously funded by 4Culture, People of the Inside tells the story of the Duwamish before and after White settlers came to Renton. Become acquainted with the Moses family, the last Duwamish to live on their ancestral land of the banks of the Black River, and learn about the Duwamish today. The exhibit features all new artifacts and photographs, to better illustrate Renton's Duwamish history. 


Coming Soon...


Renton in 75 ObjectsRenton in 75 Objects

May 30, 2017 – January 20, 2018

If you had to sum up the rich variety of Renton's history in 75 objects - what would you choose? This exhibit, curated and installed by UW Museology students, uses unique artifacts and photos from the Museum's collection to help the visitor visualize our city's history. The artifacts are varied - they range in size from a tiny wedding ring to a one-ton coal car - and come together to illustrate Renton's most memorable points in history.



Permanent Exhibits

Early industry exhibits

Coal miners in Renton Coal MineCome visit the Museum and see two new permanent exhibits. Renton Co-operative Coal Company tells the unique story of a group of miners in Renton who came to this country searching for better lives. The exhibit features a DVD presentation showcasing many of the Museum's rarely seen historic coal mining photographs. The second exhibit features two of Renton's other early industries and the people who built them: Denny-Renton Clay & Coal and Pacific Car & Foundry (PACCAR). Included are many artifacts and photographs that are being exhibited for the first time. The exhibits were created with grant funding from 4Culture.


Sustaining A City

Renton's Many Melting PotsSustaining A City, a Renton History Museum exhibit, about Renton’s unique growing, cooking, and eating traditions. Renton citizens have shared our foodways, from Duwamish fishing and gathering through German bakeries and Italian wine-making to chain restaurants and supermarkets. Sustaining A City helps the visitor understand how sharing food has bridged differences between diverse people. The exhibit also provides an opportunity to remember food traditions that may have been forgotten, like pioneer picnics and Renton’s thriving dairy industry of the early 20th century.