The Adirondack History Museum’s 2018 Season will reflect on the event that marked the dawn of the modern era: World War I.
“2018 marks the centennial of the end of World War I. Although America became involved late in the conflict, the impact of ‘The Great War’ shaped the century to come, both nationally and locally. We’re focusing on bringing an Adirondack perspective of WWI through three different exhibits, our film series, and several lectures,” said Museum Director Aurora McCaffrey.
The museum’s seasonal exhibit, Over There: Local Boys Go to War, examines the impact of World War I on the men of the Adirondacks. This exhibit will feature local stories and experiences presented through photographs, artifacts, and ephemera.
“The highlight is an amazing collection of scrapbooks from local photographer Clyde Cheesman, who served overseas in Europe. Many of his very striking images have never been displayed before, so they’re new to everyone,” said McCaffrey.
The Rosenberg Gallery show, Artists of War: Posters as Propaganda in World War I, features original WWI posters by a variety of artists. The Great War era is frequently referred to as the golden age of poster illustration. The posters present many aspects of the war effort — including war bonds, food preservation, women’s aid, and enlistment — and were utilized to shape public opinion and unify the nation behind the war effort. The show, featuring original posters from the Gretna Longware collection, will be curated by Aaron Noble, New York State Archivist and co-author of A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War.
“The images are power, and the story they tell about how public opinions can be influenced by media is very relevant in today’s world,” said McCaffrey.
The Adirondack Suffragists exhibit will remain for another season and will expand to highlight the contributions of women to the war effort. The war greatly altered women’s roles in society and gave new force to the cause of women’s suffrage. Lauded by Governor Cuomo as a valuable destination on the NYS Path Through History, the exhibit was visited by U. S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and NY State Senator Betty Little in 2017.
In additional to its three WWI exhibits, the museum will mark a milestone by hosting the grand opening of a new permanent exhibit, Hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks. This interactive exhibit explores the history of High Peaks hiking, significant figures and groups, and the mountains themselves.
To celebrate, the museum will host a special reception on July 20, featuring a screening of the film The 46ers. Director Blake Cortright will introduce the film.
The museum’s Thursday evening film/lecture series will begin on June 21, and run through September. The series explores World War I history, the Great Influenza of 1918, and High Peaks hiking.
The Adirondack History Museum seeks to serve as Essex County’s center for the stories that reveal the roots and values of its people. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $2 for students.