On Thursday, December 17, the City of Alamo opened its new Angel Galleria at the Alamo Museum to the public. The host of angels were a donation by Shirl Pfeiffer who has been collecting angel figures for as long as she can remember. The 80-year-old donated a good portion of her collection as 1,500 angel figures now reside at the Alamo Museum leaving Pfeiffer with 500.
Love and Memories
Shelves upon shelves of angels fill half the museum. Each is unique with a different size, shape, face and even the type of figurine; angel lamps and candles dot the display.
“It started with my mom and dad,” said Pfeiffer. “We owned a business in Rockford, Illinois called the Victorian House and the Victorians liked angels so much, so we carried a lot of angels in the shop.”
After both her parents passed away within two weeks of each other, she and her husband sold the business and moved back to her hometown of Beloit, Wisconsin. The couple then moved into Pfeiffer’s parent’s home, which she decided to decorate with angel figurines in memory of her parents.
According to the now Alamo native, her collection has grown substantially because, while Pfeiffer continues to purchase angels, she also receives them as gifts from friends. Up until recently, she housed all the angels in her mobile home in Alton. However, permanently moving them from Wisconsin to Texas was not Pfeiffer’s original plan, though moving them all was not her original intention.
“There’s an angel museum in my hometown,” she said. “I had already talked to [the lady], but they only wanted a select few, and they wanted to maybe sell some. I said no, it has to be the whole.”
Thus, Pfeiffer and her husband began their trek to South Texas. It took two summers to pack the two U-Haul moving trucks to bring each of the 2,000+ angels to the Rio Grande Valley.
Sharing the Spirit
Pfeiffer said she first received the inspiration of exhibiting her angels when she realized people would visit her home with the intention of seeing these angelic figures. She also did not wish to place the burden upon her husband of watching over her “loved ones” should she pass away before him.
When she and her husband first arrived in the Rio Grande Valley, Herb Moering, a member of the museum committee, said he and his wife visited Pfeiffer’s home several times.
“It gives you a more heavenly perspective,” said Moering. “[Pfeiffer] thought it would be nice if she could share it with everyone who was interested in angels.”
“[These angels] were all on display,” Pfeiffer said. “It kind of makes you stop and wonder and think a little bit about life and beyond the daily things that you go through.”
Guardians for Alamo
The grand opening ceremony was held on December 17, which included a ribbon cutting arranged by the Alamo Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Pfeiffer even did the snipping of the ribbon herself. If you wish to view this unique exhibit, you can visit the Alamo Museum at 130 S. 8th Street Mondays through Wednesdays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. For more information, contact Exhibit Committee Member Herb Moering at 815.382.1154.