State of Education: Civil War exhibit NY State Museum
In commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the New York State Museum presents a new exhibit: "An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War." Vince Gallagher has a look.
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"We begin the story by talking about slavery in New York State, New York was a slave state, and we talk about New York before the war, New York was a very wealthy state,” said Robert Weibel, NYS Museum State Historian.
And the role New York State plays is the main focus of this 7,000 square foot exhibit, which features a photograph of the last days of General Grant and a face mold of President Lincoln. There are also examples of everyday items the soldiers would use, from a canteen made of wood, an official brass bugle, even playing cards.
"People will be familiar, but they can say to themselves, wow, I mean, I just can't believe how much these item shave changed over time, this is something as simple as a cedar pencil," said Trumaster Trimingham, NYS Museum Educator.
But this also deals with education, much beyond the typical Civil War lesson plan. In addition to the actual exhibit depicting New York's role as well as the soldiers, there are additional resources for teachers, including research materials and an online tour.
"And we hope that many students and teachers whether they can travel here on their own or visit us online, can take advantage of looking at the exhibition,” said Nancy Kelley, Exhibit Planner.
"Much of the exhibit which is permanent installations, we've been offering tours for many years, and we're starting this campaign again to incorporate full school group tours of our temporary exhibits,” said Trimingham.
Many topics can also be explored when discussing the war, including economic growth, the role of government, and even science and technology
"Remington Arms for example became the manufacturer of typewriters, same technology that went into the Vanuatu of guns also went to typewriters," said Weibel.
The exhibit is also chronological, beginning with slavery in New York, covering the war itself, and ending with the aftermath.
"And we conclude the exhibit as good educators do, by asking questions about the war, what is the legacy of slavery,” said Weibel.
To learn more on all this, The Empire State in the Civil War exhibit will be open though September 22nd of next year at the NYS Museum.