NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s Kauffman Museum recently signed a historic agreement with a museum in Khiva, Uzbekistan, and two of the men responsible will talk about the agreement and its implications at the next Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum event, Dec. 16.
Last spring, James Juhnke, Bethel professor emeritus of history, and Sharon Eicher, assistant professor of business and economics, led a tour that followed the route of the so-called “Great Trek” in 1880 of Mennonites from the Ukraine to what is now Uzbekistan. One thing they discovered was the site of a little-known former Mennonite settlement at Ak Metchet, a village nine miles from Khiva.
Early in November, Juhnke and Robert Kreider, Bethel professor emeritus of peace studies, returned to Khiva to negotiate and sign an agreement between Kauffman Museum and the Ichan Kala Museum of Khiva for a project to create an exhibit portraying the life and contributions of the Mennonites who lived at Ak Metchet from 1884-1935.
Juhnke and Kreider will present “A Mennonite museum in a Muslim city” at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, in the Kauffman Museum auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The two men will talk about the plans of Ichan Kala Museum administrator Azat Karimov to develop a permanent exhibit that will include Mennonite-made tools, household items and clothing, as well as maps, photographs and a model of the settlement.
The lecture will feature photographs of the building that will house the new exhibit and examples of current exhibits in the Khiva museum complex.
A free-will offering will be taken to support the future Mennonite exhibit in Khiva.
Kauffman Museum is located on the Bethel College campus at 27th and Main in North Newton. Regular museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the museum, which also includes admission to the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture,” is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children ages 6-16. More information is available by calling the museum at 316-283-1612 or visiting its Web site, kauffman.bethelks.edu.