By the end of the Civil War, most Americans considered whether Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant to be a hero. The reputations of the two generals, molded in part by a sectional bias that would enhance the achievements of one often to the detriment of the other, would wax and wane over the next 140 years.
The exhibit “Lee and Grant” provides a major reassessment of the lives, careers, and historical impact of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. It also encourages audiences to move beyond the tradition al mythology of both men and rediscover them within the context of their own time, based on their own words and those of their contemporaries. “Lee and Grant” presents photographs, paintings, prints, coins, and reproduction clothing, accoutrements owned by the two men, documents written tin their own hands, and biographical and historical records to reveal each man in his historical and cultural context, allowing audiences to compare the ways each has been remember for almost 150 years.
“Visitors will enjoy discovering similarities and difference between Lee and Grant that are rarely pointed out,” said Dr. William M. S. Rasmussen, exhibition co-curator and the Lora M. Robins Curator of Art at the Virginia Historical Society. “These generals have been explored by historian for decades, but “Lee and Grant” is the first exhibition to present the two men together so that visitors can make decisions about them, side to side, based on facts. We hope that after they view “Lee and Grant”, visitors will give more thought to the legacies of both generals.”
The Powers Museum, 1617 W. Oak Street, Carthage, Mo., is proud to host this exhibit, the only showing in Missouri or elsewhere in the four-state area. The event marks the start of Carthage’s commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, which will continue into next year with additional events. Special programs and events scheduled with “Lee and Grant” include diners at pre-Civil War Kendrick House with General Grant and Mrs. Grant as special guests on September 3-4. A Civil War Chautauqua will be held September 17-19 at Stone’s Throw Theatre in Carthage featuring Gen. Grant, Gen. Lee and Mary Chestnut. Both of these events are ticketed events and advance tickets (required for dinner and strongly suggested for the Chautauqua performances) can be purchased at the Powers Museum during regular business hours while the museum is open prior tot eh exhibit’s arrival (Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 1 – 4:30 p.m.) or by mail after calling or emailing the museum. The museum will close temporarily to receive and set up the exhibit on or about August 22.
The exhibit will open to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 1 at 10 a.m. Hours for the run of the exhibit will be the same as above along with special openings Labor Day and Columbus Day Monday holidays from noon until 5 p.m.
Other activities during the run of the exhibit include several free lectures, a Civil War Authors Book Fair (Oct. 2), Civil War ancestor genealogy workshops (Oct. 9), craft make and take sessions, pre-school story hour in a Civil War tent, hands-on-activities, videos and many other scheduled programs. The entire schedule can be seen at www.powersmuseum.com under the Schedule page then click link for Programs. Readers may also request an event brochure by calling 417-237-0456 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All programs other than the dinners at Kendrick and the theatre performance are free. Admission at the exhibit is free also.
“Lee and Grant” has been made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibit was originally developed by the Virginia Historical Society and co-curator by Dr. William M.S. Rasmussen, Lora M. Robins Curator eth Art at the Virginia Historical Society and Dr. Robert S. Tilton, Chairman of the Department of English, University Connecticut, Storrs. This exhibit is toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance through NEH on the Road. NEH on the Road offers an exciting opportunity for communities of all sizes to experience some of the best exhibitions funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Mid-America Arts Alliance was founded in 1972 and is the oldest regional non-profit arts organization in the Untied States. For more information, visit www.maaa.org or www.nehontheroad.org.