upcoming Exhibits


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Public Opinion is More Than Law:The First Murder Brought to Court in the Nebraska Territory

August 3, 2019 – March 8, 2020

Charles A. Henry

Portrait of Charles A. Henry, c. 1860, Illustrated by Morton, Watkins, and Miller Courtesy of History of Nebraska

This exhibition was developed by Durham Museum intern and University of Iowa graduate, Allison Buser.

On April 3, 1855 Charles A. Henry shot George Hollister near the town of Bellevue, shocking the residents of the newly established Nebraska Territory. Highlighting objects from the Byron Reed Collection, this exhibit chronicles the course of events from Hollister’s death through Henry’s unusual court case and examines the public’s role in the outcome of the legal proceedings. The incident illustrates the struggle to carry out legitimate justice in the territory amidst settler notions of popular sovereignty, which sometimes interfered with the early judicial system.


SOUND THE ALARM: THE MAKING OF THE OMAHA FIRE DEPARTMENT

August 3, 2019 – March 8, 2020

Sound the Alarm

Charles Derwent, Membership Certificate in the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company, November 3, 1868
The Byron Reed Collection, BRTEMP652

This exhibition was developed by Durham Museum intern and Creighton University graduate, Alisha Baginski.

The Omaha Fire Department traces its roots to 1860 when the city’s first firefighting company was founded. Called the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company, these men battled fires through muddy, unpaved streets, hand-carrying buckets of water. In its 25 years of operation, the company evolved, added more stations, held annual parades in honor of the firefighters, formed a Fireman’s Benevolent Association with neighboring towns and more. Using documents from the Byron Reed Collection this exhibit chronicles the Omaha Fire Department’s late 19th century beginnings.

Taking it to the Streets: Grading Downtown Omaha

August 17, 2019 – June 21, 2020

Grading Downtown

House on the Edge, Douglas Street, 1891, Bostwick-Frohardt/KM3TV Collection, The Durham Museum Photo Archive, BF14-254(04)

To combat six major hills in downtown Omaha the city undertook extensive street projects to lower inclines. This work was done throughout the 1880s–1920s with the largest of the projects being the grading of Dodge Street in 1920. In some locations, buildings were brought down to a new level 18 feet lower than the original foundation. Tempers ran high between neighbors going mad with the constant noise, businesses and homes being literally uprooted and some downtown residents even suing the city for damages and lack of sleep. In the end, the grading of Dodge Street cost over one million dollars and moved over 300,000 cubic yards of dirt. Through this photography exhibit, see what all the fuss was about and how times have changed the streets of downtown Omaha.

RACE: Are We So Different?

September 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020

RACE: Are We So Different?It’s a simple truth. People are different. Throughout history, these differences have been a source of community strength and personal identity. They have also been the basis for discrimination and oppression. The idea of “race” has been used historically to describe these differences and justify mistreatment of people and even genocide. Today, contemporary scientific understanding of human variation is beginning to challenge “racial” differences, and even question the very concept of race. RACE: Are We So Different?, developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, is the first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural and historical points of view. Combining these perspectives offers an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States.

Lead sponsorship of this exhibition is provided by The Sherwood Foundation. Additional sponsorship support provided by the Conagra Brands Foundation and HDR, Inc.

Louder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics
October 12, 2019 – February 2, 2020

Louder Than WordsLouder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics looks at some of the most important debates in our country through the lens of rock music. The exhibit includes exclusive video interviews with people such as Bono and Jimmy Carter, and combines them with interactives, photography and artifacts to examine how music has both shaped and reflected our culture norms on eight topics: Civil Rights, LGBTQ, Feminism, War & Peace, Censorship, Political Campaigns, Political Causes and International Politics. The exhibit is organized by presidential administrations – from Eisenhower through Obama – and uses historical context to shed insight into how we view these issues today. Examples of artifacts included in the exhibit are:

  • Grace Slick’s vest from Jefferson Airplane’s performance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair in 1969
  • 1966 Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar belonging to Joe Strummer of The Clash
  • Correspondence between the FBI and Priority Records regarding Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”
  • Original handwritten lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a- Changin’,” Chuck Berry’s “School Day,” Neil Young’s “Ohio,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” and Green Day’s “American Idiot”
  • Original Village People stage costumes
  • Artifacts related to the Vietnam war, the May 4, 1970 shooting at Kent State, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement

Curators from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Newseum worked with veteran music journalist, author and television producer Bill Flanagan (VH1 Storytellers, CMT Crossroads, CBS News Sunday Morning) to create this unique exhibition.