Smithsonian Exhibit, Curator Coming to Jacksonville Area Museum

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 9, 2021 at 10:44am

An exhibit from the Smithsonian will be in Jacksonville starting next week, and a Smithsonian curator will be here to help kick off the event.

The Jacksonville Area Museum is hosting the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street’s “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” exhibit beginning on Saturday, November 20th.

Museum Board Chairman David Blanchette says the museum will also have a companion exhibit of interest from a local point of view. He says for the museum to be chosen to host this prestigious exhibit is truly an honor after being open less than two months.

It talks about the question stemming from the idea of the revolution that government should be entrusted to the power of the people, the power of the citizens. And the steps that have been taken since then, and kind of the fits and starts of American democracy. The interesting thing is that we also have a companion exhibit that goes along with this using local artifacts and we call that the Machinery of Democracy, and that demonstrates how area citizens have exercised their democratic rights in the past.”

Blanchette says a Smithsonian curator will be giving a presentation that night to help welcome the exhibit for its run at the Jacksonville Area Museum.

Dr. Claire Jerry who is the Curator of Political History at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is going to help us welcome the exhibit with a special program. That will take place at 6:30 the evening of Saturday, November 20th, at Hamilton’s Banquet Hall on 110 North East Street. They have generously agreed to provide their space for us and we are considering them a cosponsor of the event because of that. The presentation is entitled The National is Local is National and that is free and open to the public.”

Portrait of Claire Jerry, Curator in the Division of Political History at the National Museum of American History. April 2018.

Blanchette says the exhibit and event are examples of the Museum Board’s commitment to keeping things fresh, even in the first two months of its assistance.

Even if you have been at the museum already, it gives you another chance to come in and see something entirely different. That’s what we had in mind when we opened this museum is to constantly shake things up and add new things brought in to give people more reasons to visit.”

The Smithsonian Museum on Main Street’s “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” exhibit opens on Saturday, November 20 at the Jacksonville Area Museum.

The traveling exhibit may be seen during the museum’s regular hours of operation of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday through December 22.