GIFT FAN 'Garden Whimsy' is the title of this Japanese fan, circa 1910, presented to Pamela Sher from Gina Hook, part of the Healdsburg Hand Fan Museum collection. (Photo courtesy of Healdsburg Hand Fan Museum)

What does Healdsburg have that elsewhere only London, Paris and Hamburg have? It’s not just the great food or the fine wine; it’s a Hand Fan Museum. 

The Healdsburg Hand Fan Museum has presented the elegance and variety of the functional accessory in the tiny storefront tucked in the shadow of the Hotel Healdsburg since 2002. It closed at the beginning of the year for electrical reasons, but it reopened on March 16.

Newly remodeled and freshly painted, the museum provides a warm and inviting space with a range of different educational modes that engage the senses. 

With its fresh new look, the museum becomes a dynamic new digital discovery center. “We are now, very selectively, installing thoughtfully curated new and existing items from the permanent collection,” said the museum’s new project manager, Cairenn Voigt. “You’ll be able to come into a warm and inviting space that offers a range of different educational modalities.” 

The museum’s new exhibit is “Fans in Bloom,” featuring historic and modern fans from around the world depicting many varieties of flowers. 

With many though not all of its fans on display—there are over 2,000 in its collection—the Hand Fan Museum displays beautiful and varied fan designs created throughout history. The collection ranges from fans used as primitive tools for fire building or keeping cool, to fans as style accessories to accompany the height of modern fashion. 

A reception for the new exhibit takes place Sunday, April 2, from 3-5pm, and includes a presentation by Pamela Sher, founder and curator of the museum, on the renovated museum’s new features.

“We are thrilled to have a refreshed space with more opportunities for interactive learning for our visitors,” said Sher.

The Hand Fan Museum, 309 Healdsburg Ave., is open noon–5pm Wed-Sun. Closed Tuesdays and rainy days.

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