Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:
"To foster and encourage the interest
of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of
humans throughout history and the evolution of the nutcracker.
No other tool or collective has shown such a wide diversity of
material and design as the implements used to crack the hard
shell of the nut".
The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum was founded in 1995 by
George and Arlene Wagner who donated their huge nutcracker
and the building in which it is housed. The museum became a
non-profit 501(c)3 foundation and others have donated
nutcrackers, and now it contains over 6000 specimens, probably
the world's largest collection of nut-opening devices.
The museum contains not only the ever popular wooden toy soldier
type so often seen at Christmas, but many shelves of antiques
dating back to roman times. Nutcrackers are shown in many
different woods and metals, ivory and man-made materials.
Nutting stones are also shown from the archaic period--four to
eight thousand years old.
The museum shows nutcrackers from over 50 countries and has been
visited by residents of over 70 countries. It has been featured
on television with the Food Network, Arts and Entertainment, and
Sunday Morning CBS. Arlene Wagner also made an appearance on the
Conan show. Displays have been sent to various cities in the US
and also to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Power point presentations
have been given to various groups throughout the US and Germany.
In 2005 the museum published an award winning coffee table book
'The Art & Character of NUTCRACKERS' showing over 1000 specimens
from the museum. An addendum to this book has been published in
2015 showing nearly 400 more nutcrackers from the museum. The
museum also published 'The Nutcracker Lady's
Introduction to Nutcrackers', an informative soft cover book for
students and collectors, in conjunction with the Seiffener
Nussknackerhaus in Germany.
The icon of the museum is Karl, a 6 foot beer drinking Bavarian,
carved by Karl Rappl of Oberammergau
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