Chandler Museum Exhibits

The Chandler Museum exhibit hall features 6-8 exhibitions each year. The schedule includes a combination of in-house produced exhibits exploring Chandler history topics and nationally traveling exhibits showcasing culture, history and art.

Picturing Home: Dust Bowl Migrants in Chandler

Daughter of Mexican Field Laborer. Near Chandler, Arizona.

March 8, 2022 - Aug. 13, 2023

In the late 1930s Chandler had an influx of Dust Bowl migrants who fled their homes in search of a better life. Government photographers Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee documented unique stories showing these migrants and their dwellings, which were often temporary.

This exhibition is a history of Dust Bowl Chandler through unique black and white photographs. It examines what home looked like and makes connections between 1930s Chandler and Chandler today. It includes themes of housing, migration, agriculture, technology, self-sufficiency, and empathy.

Daughter of Mexican Field Laborer. Near Chandler, Arizona. Image Credit: Dorothea Lange, 1937, Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 016792-C

In the Fields of the North/En los campos del norte

In the Fields of the North/En los campos del norte

June 14 - Aug. 28, 2022

The exhibition features over fifty contemporary photographs chronicling the lives of contemporary migrant farm workers. Photojournalist David Bacon’s evocative, powerful photographs alongside moving oral narratives from migrant farm workers gives viewers a reality check on the food they eat and the lives of the people who harvest it. The exhibition is fully translated into both English and Spanish.

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte features the work of David Bacon; is produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, and History San Jose; and is traveled by Exhibit Envoy.

Image: Maria Antonietta Gonzalez and Jose Angel Martinez Gonzalez, two migrants from Carranza, Chiapas, top and bag onions. María Antonietta González y José Ángel Martínez González, dos migrantes de Carranza, Chiapas, retiran los tallos y empaquetan las cebollas. Photograph by David Bacon.

Thrift Style

Thrift Style Flour Bag

Sept. 6 - Nov. 27, 2022

Thrift Style provides a nostalgic view into American ingenuity, sensibility, and optimism during a particularly challenging time of economic hardship and war—the period of the Great Depression and World War II. The exhibition explores the reuse of feed, flour, and sugar sacks to make clothing and other household objects. This “upcycling” was a cost-saving and resource-saving approach employed by homemakers to meet their families’ needs. With 41 works from patterns to garments, it serves as an example of past ingenuity that can inform today’s efforts towards sustainability.

A Program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Image: Manufactured by Werthan, Nashville, TN, Feed Sack for The Wilson Flour Mills, Wilson, KS, c. 1940; feed sack cotton, 16 7/8 x 9 3/4 inches; Courtesy of Kansas State University Historic Costume and Textile Museum.

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964


June 14 - Aug. 28, 2022

This poster exhibition explores the little-known story of the Bracero Program, the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. Between 1942 and 1964, millions of Mexican men came to the U.S. on short-term labor contracts. Six bilingual posters not only tell a story of exploitation but also one of opportunity. They offer historical context, ask big questions, challenge perceptions, tell powerful stories, and provide a platform that encourages dialogue and civic engagement.

In case you missed the exhibition, view the tour of Bigger than Boxing: Zora Folley and the Heavyweight Title