The exhibit opened in Spring 2009 at Cincinnati Museum Center and traveled nationwide for a 3-year tour with stops at Ellis Island and the Smithsonian. The flexible plan accommodated a variety of venues, from 2,500 to 6,000 square feet. At each venue, exhibitors had a chance to expand upon regional stories through special exhibit cases.
Objects and Artifacts
"Women & Spirit" showcased numerous artifacts which had never before been on public display. Items assembled from over 400 communities included a handwritten letter from Thomas Jefferson, a cradle from the NY foundlings, and a replica of the first incubator along with traveling trunks, journals of immigration experiences, pioneering healthcare devices, diaries, samplers, musical instruments, student work, and ephemera associated with a number of saints. A total of 70 objects were displayed at each venue.
The exhibit was supported by strong collateral materials, such as an educational outreach package and curriculum; guest speakers and roundtable discussions; and an extensive network of community support for special events and local marketing opportunities.
The exhibit was based on a modular system composed of rich content printed on birch walls and enhanced by interpretive media. It showcased a wealth of stunning photographs and rare artifacts carefully presented with environmentally-controlled cases and appropriate lighting fixtures.
Media components included an introductory video projection experience, oral history listening stations, interactives, and smaller videos which showcase archival footage.