Plainsman Museum to Collaborate with Smithsonian to Develop Local Exhibition about Americans at Work

The Plainsman Museum has been selected to participate in a Smithsonian pilot project to develop a unique humanities-based exhibition about local work history. The project is a hands-on opportunity for local cultural professionals to learn about the exhibition development process used by the Smithsonian’s Museum of Main Street (MoMS) program.

The curatorial framework for the exhibition is provided by the Smithsonian and will be fleshed out by the Plainsman Museum using local historical images, art and artifacts, video clips and oral histories. The resulting exhibition will reflect the strong history and culture of Hamilton County, Nebraska.

The completed exhibition “Community Works” will bring to light the who, what, where, why and how of Hamilton County at work, and how it fits within the nation’s history. It explores the places Americans work how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environment over the past 150 years.

“This exhibition is an exciting opportunity and a tremendous honor for the Plainsman Museum. It allows the museum to team up with the Smithsonian to highlight the variety and dignity of work for Nebraskans over the past 150 years as told through the stories of Hamilton County, Nebraska. Support for this project comes from Humanities Nebraska and local endorsement of the Hamilton County Commissioners, Aurora Mayor’s Office, the Hamilton County Historical Society and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.” – The Plainsman Museum Exhibit Development Team

MoMS is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and state humanities councils. It was created to serve museums, libraries and historical societies in rural areas, where about one-fifth of all Americans live. The partnership brings exhibitions, educational resources and programming to small towns across America. MoMS has visited all 50 states as well as Guam and inspired some 1,600 towns to rediscover their local histories while finding a renewed sense of community pride. Funding for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Visit them online at www.museumonmainstreet.org.

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For more information, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.

The Plainsman Museum is a not-for-profit institution, which focuses on the time from 1850 – 1950, that collects, preserves, illustrates and works to establish the history of Hamilton County, Nebraska, through education, exhibits, research, and maintenance of relevant archives and collections.

(press release dated June 29, 2019)

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