Heritage museum’s Vietnam exhibit nominated for award

The Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association’s exhibit “Home of Record” has been nominated for an award given by the Association of King County Historical Organizations.

The exhibit, which featured the photographs and letters of Islander Christopher Gaynor,  who served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, hung in the museum from Oct. 7 to Feb. 19.

“It’s a great honor to be nominated,” said Bruce Haulman, the chair of the museum’s exhibit committee.

The exhibit was comprised of three parts, Haulman said. One area was dedicated to how the war affected Vashon, another was dedicated to the 12 young men from Vashon who died there, and the final section displayed Gaynor’s numerous photos coupled with his letters home.

Haulman, who curated the exhibit with Gaynor, noted that people go through most museum exhibits fairly quickly, but they lingered at this one, taking time especially with Gaynor’s letters.

Haulman did not know how many entrants the show is competing against, but noted that the association contacted the museum and asked it to nominate the exhibit.

“We have great hopes,” he said.

“It was a unique exhibit,” he added. “Most historical organizations have not dealt with the Vietnam War at all.”

Gaynor, too, said he was pleased about the nomination.

“I think it is a great honor for Vashon, and it’s wonderful that the museum is being recognized. The museum is a treasure, a small but sparkling treasure we have on Vashon.”

The awards ceremony will be held Tuesday, April 24, at The Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.


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