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.