Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Grand Rapids Public Museum Exhibits Collection of Peter M. Wege’s Firearms

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) has been collecting for 160 years and prides itself on being the community’s institution of collective memory – where people, their stories and things are gathered together and meaning is shared. The Museum is pleased to announce a recent addition to the collection, the Peter M. Wege Gun Collection, which is now on public display in the “Be Curious” gallery for a limited time. The Wege Gun Collection includes a variety of firearms and knives Mr. Wege collected throughout his lifetime.

From original Civil War pieces, to modern hunting arms, to replicas of some of the most famous weapons in the world, the Wege Gun Collection presents an impressive display which can be appreciated from several vantages. The collection covers a wide swath of history, and contains everything from primitive flintlocks up to sophisticated modern automatic weapons. Significant pieces include an original Colt Navy Revolver from the Civil War and a dagger from Nazi Germany.

By collecting and preserving replicas of the weapons worn by Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, or George Custer, Wege's collection showcases the importance of these heroes in constructing the American identity we all share.

The collection can be seen on display in the GRPM’s Be Curious gallery on the second floor. Viewing of this collection is included with general admission. For more information please visit

Peter Melvin Wege
Peter Melvin Wege (1920-2014) was a member of the Steelcase Board of Directors for 50 years, but he was best known as a philanthropist who made significant and lasting contributions to education and environmental causes in his West Michigan community and around the world. Wege's father, Peter Martin Wege, founded the Metal Office Furniture Company in Grand Rapids in 1912, which went on to become Steelcase, the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world. Wege joined Steelcase in 1946, working in a series of executive posts including sales, design and as an officer of the Board of Directors and the Steelcase Foundation Board. At his urging, Steelcase went public in 1998, and shortly afterwards in 2000, he resigned as the company's vice chairman to work full-time on his foundation.

Grand Rapids Public MuseumThe Grand Rapids Public Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. The mission of the museum is to be a living monument of artifacts, ideas and stories told through exhibitions, events and educational programming designed to inspire, motivate and celebrate our human bond. We enrich the life of our community through experiences of the wider world in a uniquely Grand Rapids context. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit

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