The Pratt Museum
The award-winning Pratt Museum is a community gathering space featuring science, art and culture. Recognized with the National Award for Museum Service and the Governor’s Award for the Humanities, the museum has garnered many additional awards including the Award for Excellence in the Museum Profession from Museums of Alaska.
The Pratt Museum hosts indoor exhibits of natural history, Native cultures, art, homesteading, quilts, fishing, and marine ecology with live aquaria. Live remote video shows pelagic seabirds at a rookery in Kachemak Bay.
Over the summer, visitors to the museum can remotely control a camera that is mounted on Gull Island to view kittiwakes, common murres, puffins, guillemots, cormorants, sea otters and more.
Outdoor exhibits include the historic Harrington cabin, a botanical garden, and trails throughout the Pratt’s 9.8 acre wooded site. A stewardship exhibition focuses on the brown bears of Cook Inlet and on the devastation of the regions forests caused by the spruce bark beetle.
Special events are held throughout the year, including lectures, cultural events, educational programs, and community discussions. Open year-round. www.prattmuseum.org for more information.
Samuel Leon & Vega Anderson Pratt
The Pratt Museum is built on land donated by Sam and Vega Pratt. Sam’s collection helped inspire the founding of the Homer Society of Natural History in 1955, over a decade before the group created the Museum. The Society voted to honor their contribution by naming the Museum for the Pratts.
Sam Pratt was born in Woodland, Illinois on November 15, 1889. He came to Alaska in 1934. After moving to Homer in 1936, he met and married Vega Anderson. Sam worked as a fox farmer and commercial fisherman, then in 1947 Sam and Vega, both artists, began Vega’s Art and Gift Shop. They sold art supplies and a variety of merchandise, much like a miniature department store.
Sam and Vega were active members of the growing community of Homer and when the Museum opened in 1968, Sam served as the first volunteer curator. The Pratt Museum and the Pratt House on Pioneer Avenue between Bartlett Street and the Sterling Highway, where Sam and Vega lived for years, are on her family’s original homestead. Sam died on November 18, 1974, and Vega on September 19, 2002.
In 1967, the Homer community chose to construct the Museum as Homer’s centennial project, celebrating the purchase of Alaska from Russia. A formal agreement was signed between the City of Homer and the Society to construct a Museum facility and to maintain a Museum for the citizens in the event the Society should cease to exist.