As I knew we would be be finishing our study of the Civil War, I was thrilled to discover that the traveling exhibit, “Homefront and Battlefield” was going to be at the UNL Great Plains Art Museum for several months. Since we went downtown right after learning about the flag that was from Gettysburg, we were in the 1860’s zone. I even had my nicer camera along and did not have to rely on my phone to capture some of the artifacts just waiting to be seen.
As we walked into the room full of treasures, I could not wait to get started. Then I saw signs posted all around the room. No pictures allowed. Those dreaded words are the bane of anyone who wants to remember an experience visually. Especially for one who loves learning more about American history.
Two results of this rule:
1) This post is much shorter due to the lack of pictures. Probably I would have put at least 100 pictures on. You can thank me now for your lack of eye strain.
2) Now you are just going to have to go to Downtown Lincoln and see the exhibit yourself. Because this focus features artwork, linens and artifacts from all over the country, the deliberateness of the displays were impressive.
Some of my favorite items were getting to see actual Civil War uniforms and even quilts made out of that material. Seeing flags from particular regiments as well as photographs from that era helped bring that time period to life. Featuring quilts of various sizes and techniques, the displays were woven together. If only the fabrics could tell the stories of those who made the masterpieces or used them throughout their lives … Perhaps the quilt that had the most impact was made by two former slaves. While their names have been lost to history, their life’s impact has not been forgotten due to their creation.
Fun for the kids involved seeing the tent and cot on display. Of course my daughter enjoyed seeing the period costumes. Going through the exhibit and reading much of the information will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Various lectures and educational explanations are happening throughout the next several months.
Docent led tours are available on Wednesdays at 10:30. Because of the quilt collection, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum is also hosting activities. Currently one of their exhibits is “Covering the War” and features quilts from many decades of American History. In addition, the Nebraska Historical Society has also played a part in organizing activities and helping to set up the exhibit. You can find these events on the UNL Great Plains Art Museum website. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturdays from 10-5. As far as brining your kids, the younger ones may struggle a bit with not being able to touch the quilts that are a few feet away. My kids stayed fairly engaged as elementary students, and I was definitely glad that they got to experience this display!