*Note: there are some images that might not be suitable for children in this article, please use discretion.
If you’re in the Walla Walla area, chances are you’ve heard of Gerald Matthew’s Museum of Un-Natural History. And if you haven’t, well, you’re in for a treat.
Who is Gerald “Gerry” Matthews you ask? He is a self-described “clown, comic-actor, and the voice of Sugar Bear.” He also goes on to say, “In short I’ve spent many years performing in every venue short of strip dancing to make a living without having to hold down a respectable job.”
So, without even knowing the man, it’s hard not to want to laugh at his abrupt honesty. His philosophy is “heavily laced with satire and sarcasm,” and “the constructions in my museum tend to reflect this critical outlook.” It’s important when visiting the museum to be prepared for anything, and with an open mind. (The last part is maybe something we can do in every situation.)
The main themes in the museum are Dadaism, Surrealism, and Absurdism. The inspiration of opening this free museum (every Saturday from 10am to 2pm) began when Matthews was living in New York City, specifically Manhattan, next to the well-known American Museum of Natural History. After a party, Gerry and a group of friends “invaded the grounds of the museum and drunkenly agreed there was a need for a museum of un-natural history to present a less factual point of view.”
And that’s just what he did in 2001 once a loft space began available. A passion was born. With oddities including painted over wine bottles with Barbie legs sticking out, a giant egg inside of a bird’s cage, an old Army doll with a woman’s head, and so many other strange things… this might not be the best place to take your kids on a rainy Saturday. But that isn’t to say it isn’t worth stopping by- quite the contrary. This might be your most memorable stop in Walla Walla.
The museum is located at: 4 & ½ West Main over Tallman’s in Walla Walla. It is open every Saturday from 10am to 2pm, or by appointment. If you’re interested in finding out more information about the museum or the kind of things on display, head over to their website!
And check out Gerry’s interview with Walla Walla Valley here.