Retrospective of Past Exhibits on Display at History Museum

By January 31, 2023February 17th, 2023Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Jan 31, 2023) — In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum first opened its doors to the public, creating a space where people could gather as a community and learn about local history and the local impact of world events. The Museum looks back at some of the over 50 exhibits presented through the years in a new exhibit, “The Past Shapes the Future: A Retrospective,” on display in the Main Gallery February 11 – May 28, 2023.

The diverse topics range from bikes to birds, water to women’s rights, and apricots to art—some lighthearted, others thought-provoking.

The retrospective complements the Museum’s new multimedia, technology-driven Permanent Exhibition, ‘Making Connections: Stories from the Land,” also launching on February 11.

“As a history museum, we don’t want to forget to look back as we move forward,” said Museum Educator Georgianna Shea. “We honor all the curators, designers, staff and volunteers who laid the groundwork for where we are today. The new Permanent Exhibition stands on the shoulders of the past changing exhibits.” 

In the retrospective, visitors can view banners and panels from over 20 exhibits from the past 20 years, and scan QR codes to view supplemental material and videos, including from the Los Altos History Show. On a chalkboard, they can share thoughts on what the History Museum means to them.

“It’s a playful analogue version of the high-tech displays visitors will encounter upstairs. Instead of touchscreens, we have QR codes. Instead of an LED ring, we have a chalkboard. It’s the difference between high tech, low tech and no tech,” said Shea.

This look back, she hopes, will bring fond memories to visitors who’ve been a part of the Museum for years, and create new memories for visitors who come for the first time.

To learn more, visit the website at

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibitsstore, and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available to rent for evening and weekend events. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.


The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.


Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,