Elyse Poinsett here, the official stand for the Special Events and Marketing hats at the Rosenbach. Most of you probably know me best as the voice behind our e-newsletter (sign up here!), facebook page, and Twitter feed. I think our latest exhibition is just terrific, so I stole the posting duties from Kathy for a week to tell you all about it.
Almost a week ago, we opened our latest exhibition, “War Stories.” Created in collaboration between staff at the Rosenbach and five student veterans living in the Philadelphia area, this exhibition places today’s stories alongside historic accounts to provide visitors with a soldier’s perspective on war.
The exhibition features touch screens that you can use to tour virtual recreations of spaces soldiers occupied, like humvees, training rooms, and Civil-War era cabins. There's also audio clips of veterans telling stories about the people they met, the spaces they lived in, and how they communicated with people back home. The exhibition will be on view until May 26, 2013.
To mark the occasion of the opening, we invited trustees, members, veterans, their families, and the public to drink cider, eat delicious Federal Donuts, and check out the new exhibition. The event served double-duty as member appreciation day and a free day in honor of veterans. We had quite a crowd!
The veterans who contributed their time, stories, and photographs to the exhibition were on hand to answer questions and see their work for the first time. Pictured with four of them, below, is the Hirsig Family Director of Education Emilie Parker, who initially developed War Stories. A huge thanks to all the veterans involved!
We also had the Libby Prison Minstrels play a few sets of their Civil War-era repertoire. Here’s a video of just one of the terrific songs they played:
This exhibition is part of a larger project, also called "War Stories", a one-of-a-kind program that engages military communities and civilians by interweaving stories from today’s veterans with stories from the Rosenbach’s vast historic collections.
The first phase of War Stories, including the exhibition, opening program, and school partnerships that we will tell you about soon, were funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program. Thanks, Pew! So, come check it out!
Elyse Poinsett is the Marketing and Special Events Associate at the Rosenbach Museum & Library.