Hoekstra’s sofa added to museum’s collection

A well-traveled sofa has completed its long journey from the halls of the nation's capitol to the small, Midwest town that its former owner calls home. Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra gained national attention during his tenure for his choice to sleep on an office sofa in lieu of taking on a Washington apartment or hotel. The sofa became an icon for the Republican congressman from Holland and a nod to the thrifty traditions often associated with West Michigan's sizable Dutch-American population.
May 6, 2011


“For many folks in the area, this is a symbol of Dutch frugality and ingenuity,” Holland Museum Executive Director Thea Grigsby said.

The idea to acquire the sofa for the museum’s collection was headed up by a private party and its $1,800 purchase from the federal government was funded by private donations.

The museum took possession of the sofa on Monday.

Prior to it being formally accessioned into the museum’s collection — after which it will be treated as a rarefied collections object with restrictions on its handling and storage — the sofa will make a brief appearance on Saturday at the museum’s Kentucky Derby Party fundraiser. Hoekstra and his family are the guests of honor for the event.

“At first glance, this is just a piece of furniture,” said Stacey Tvedten, the museum’s collections manager. “But when interpreted, it’s an educational tool and a catalyst for discussions on national issues like economics, politics and civics in the late 20th and early 21st century.”

The Holland Museum is located at 31 W. 10th St.


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