Visit - Current Exhibits

*Explore our online and previous exhibits HERE.

Dates: Fall 2023-Spring 2024

Stranger Times is an exploration of both the contemporary and the nostalgic through popular culture. This exhibit uses the idea of the “Upside-Down” from the Emmy-nominated Netflix series Stranger Things as an analogy for the experience of life and coming of age during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. As the show centers on teens dealing with unusual happenings in their town, the museum will highlight the reflections of Durham teen experiences with COVID-19 and the associated stay-at-home order.

Stranger Times features the stories of teenagers, their experiences during the pandemic, and how their lives and community were turned “upside down”.  This exhibit will also explore the childhood of the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, and how their upbringing in the Bull City influenced their creative choices in developing Stranger Things.


Kids Area featuring Durham A-Z

Dates: Ongoing

This display is updated every 6 months with our main gallery exhibit, with the primary focus of educational programming and relatable historic information for school-aged children, as expressed through Durham’s alphabet!

With the Fall 2023 installation of Stranger Times, the kids corner has been updated to F is for First Responders, in honor of service workers in Durham and around the world who served our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Faces of Durham 

Dates: Ongoing

In this outdoor, social-distance friendly exhibit, Faces of Durham features a selection of familiar and lesser-known faces from the Bull City’s past and present. The exhibit highlights a broad range of contributions including industry and commerce, medicine, and human relations while mapping Durham’s development from a railway stop to a booming tobacco town, and to today’s revitalized hub of arts and innovation.


Durham Beginnings | 1865-1885 

Dates: Ongoing

An exhibit featuring five dramatic but little-known personal stories evoking the spirit of Durham’s formative years. Learn the “coming to Durham” stories of Eliza Bennet Duke, Richard Fitzgerald, Abner Jordan, John Green, and Margaret Faucette.

Five generations of Faucette women, circa 1920 (North Carolina, Durham County Library)

Explore Durham Through Time 

Dates: Ongoing

Visitors can use a touchscreen to explore key moments in Durham’s past. A post-it note wall allows viewers to tell us what moments from Durham’s past are most important to them. They may see their feedback incorporated later with a photo and caption.

Touchscreen timeline


Look Beyond the Windows

Dates: Ongoing

Take in the museum’s almost-360-degree view of downtown and consider the changes over time. To begin, we’ll focus on the Hill Building, Arts Council (formerly City Hall and Central High School), Liggett and Myers buildings, and NC Mutual tower.

Look beyond the windows exhibit. Tobacco Warehouses, NC Mutual, Hill Building, Durham Arts Council

 Story Room 

Dates: Ongoing

Visitors can step into the Story Room to record a personal memory about Durham’s past in. They can also explore memories others have shared or browse through old, local yearbooks. Stories recorded in the Story Room will be archived on the Museum’s SoundCloud or YouTube channel.