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Office Phone (x0):
(316) 284-5243

Office Location:
Kauffman Museum

Rachel Pannabecker

  • Emeritus director of Kauffman Museum
  • Education:
  • B.A., Comprehensive Spanish/History, Bluffton University, 1971
  • Ph.D., Textiles and Clothing/Cultural Anthropology, Ohio State University, 1986


About Rachel: In October 2014 Rachel retired from Kauffman Museum, where for over thirty years she served as collections manager, then curator, then director of the museum. She continues serving Kauffman Museum in collections management and special projects. Rachel also taught occasional courses in the social sciences at Bethel College. At Kauffman Museum Rachel worked with an interdisciplinary exhibit team to develop special exhibitions ranging from K is for Kansas to In the Fields of Time: The Impact of Emil Haury and Waldo Wedel on American Archaeology to Threshing Stone: Mennonite Artifact & Icon. Her most recent project was Sorting Out Race: Examining Racial Identity and Stereotypes in Thrift Store Donations. Rachel also worked with the Kauffman Museum Services Group on the development and installation of permanent exhibitions at the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma, Kansas, and the El Pomar Foundation Carriage Museum (now the Penrose Heritage Museum) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rachel and Ethel Ewert Abrahams published their research on tobacco novelties in Better Choose Me: Addictions to Tobacco, Collecting, and Quilting, 1880'1920 in Uncoverings (2000) following a presentation to the American Quilt Study Group.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.