Lincoln Museum

I spent a few hours at the Lincoln Museum today, and the experience was terrific. The exhibits consisted of life-like figures, multimedia displays, and lots of giant documents. There wasn’t a lot in the way of personal memorabilia, tho; I think I could have fit everything they had that Lincoln actually touched in the trunk of my car. It would have been nice to see, you know, Lincoln’s limousine or helicopter or something, like at the Reagan museum. They did have an impressive recreation of his funeral, tho, which is something I guess. You won’t find that at the Clinton museum. Also, by the end of it, I really wanted an interactive experience where you get to spank Tad Lincoln.

Some of the multimedia displays were really, really cool. Projectors threw shadows of rain on the wall or images of naysayers in mid-air. There was a gallery of political cartoons that could have been boring, but they were framed in crooked frames and hung on crooked walls, which created a disorienting effect that would be fun to replicate with my own photos. The whole White House part had a funhouse atmosphere that made me half-expect to see ladies’ dresses flipped up by a blast of air at the end (accompanied by the disembodied laughter of Tad, naturally).

There was a recreation of the Blue Room, guest bedroom (where Willy lay in a fever), and Lincoln’s office, all of which gave me a deeper appreciation of Victorian style.

I would have taken more pictures, but they don’t allow photos in the exhibits, because they don’t want people stealing all their juicy history or possibly learning anything outside the museum. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was the same way. Hey, if you want to see Roy Orbison’s lousy spelling* or Britney Spear’s denim-and-leather-flames ensemble, you’ll have to go to Cleveland. That kind of knowledge isn’t free.

* To be fair, every example of original song lyrics had lousy spelling, even Robbie Robertson’s.

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8 thoughts on “Lincoln Museum

  1. I love your description of the museum, especially after reading about how the concept for it came about in Andrew Ferguson’s wonderful book, “Land of Lincoln.” The museum was originally supposed to house tons of artifacts the state has in its possession. But the politicos got carried away and went for a Disney concept. Still, I’m dying to make a visit.

  2. Regarding the “Land of Lincoln” book: I’m not wild about books on CD, but this one is an exception: The audio book has some wonderful narration and I highly recommend it.

  3. I too loved my 2 visits. It’s engaging for young folks.

    I actually was surprised at the memorabilia they did have, I know a new bunch of stuff was recently secured, so can’t wait to see it all. The old gravestone of eddie is creepy….

    Mary was so disjointed at the end, and Robert did not seem overly sentimental, so what they do have on display is probably a lot. Love the Prince of Wales Room repro and his office….

    I did sneak a few pics. Don’t TELL.

  4. Lincoln’s Helicopter is actually at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Museum in Dayton, right there next to JFK’s Boeing 707 AF1 26000. I don’t know where Lincoln’s limousine is.

    It would be fun to see those period rooms at the Lincoln Library. Ford’s Theater in Washington is the closest I’ve been to a Lincoln period room, but it’s pretty amazing.

    Did they not allow pics inside? Bummer.

  5. Lincoln’s Helicopter is actually at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Museum in Dayton, right there next to JFK’s Boeing 707 AF1 26000. I don’t know where Lincoln’s limousine is.

    It would be fun to see those period rooms at the Lincoln Library. Ford’s Theater in Washington is the closest I’ve been to a Lincoln period room, but it’s pretty amazing.

    Did they not allow pics inside? Bummer.

  6. I was going to visit Ford’s Theater in June, but the day before I arrived they closed for 18 months of renovations.

  7. Hey! For me For’d Theatre was closed in 2002 for renovations. And they’re still doing renos? Wow.

    Great review Derek. Thanks for the great pictures!

  8. Il admit that it would be pretty amazing to see Lincoln’s limo or helicoptor. Escpecially if they were belonged to Lincoln over 50 years before the invention of either.

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