Smithsonian traveling exhibit stops at UMES
PRINCESS ANNE, MD-(Oct. 1, 2012) Journey Stories, a traveling exhibit of the Smithsonian Institutes’ Museum on Main Street opens at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Mosely Gallery on Oct. 18 with a reception from 4-6 p.m. It remains on display through Nov. 30.
“We’re pleased to bring such an outstanding exhibit to the lower Eastern Shore,” Cori Beardsley, the new interim director of the Mosely Gallery at UMES, said. Journey Stories uses images, audio and artifacts to tell how our ancestors came to America or pursued a new life in another state or across the continent, she said. “The reasons why they came or why they migrated within the country are as diverse as the individuals themselves. Their stories demonstrate the critical role travel has played in forming American society.”
The exhibit covers four centuries of American history and includes accounts of European immigrants traveling in search of promise in a new country; Africans forced into slavery and brought to North America; ‘forty-niners’ following the California Trail during the Gold Rush; Native Americans traveling the Trail of Tears after the Indian Removal Act of 1830; the harrowing tales of slaves escaping through the Underground Railroad; and families leaving their hometowns in search of employment during the Great Depression.
“The exhibit shows how the development of transportation technology was inspired mainly by the human desire for freedom,” Beardsley said.
The Maryland Humanities Council is sponsoring Journey Stories’ five-location route in Maryland and assists host museums in developing public programs to supplement the Smithsonian exhibit. At UMES, the Frederick Douglass Library hosts a companion exhibit, “International Voices: Capturing Their Journeys to UMES,” from Oct. 18 (opening reception from 2-4 p.m.) to Nov. 30 and a lecture, “The Global Village in the New Millennium,” on Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. by Dr. Robert Ginsberg, professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University with 35-years teaching philosophy and comparative literature. Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland and author of “Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power,” will speak on Nov. 8, at 12:30 in the UMES Student Services Center.
Somerset County, libraries in partnership with UMES, will offer the film screening of “Grapes of Wrath” at the Princess Anne Library on Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. A discussion of the book, which is set in the Great Depression, follows on Oct. 11, at 4 p.m. at the Crisfield Library and Oct. 24, at 2 p.m. at the Princess Anne Library. A book discussion on “The Alchemist,” Paulo Coelho’s story of a young shepherd on his journey to Egypt, takes place on Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. at the Crisfield Library and Nov. 21, at 2 p.m. at the Princess Anne Library.
Want to add your “Journey Story” to the collection? Smartphone users can download an app, “Stories from Main Street,” to record their own story, Beardsley said. The collection includes life in small towns and the American experience and is part of the Smithsonian Institute’s oral history archives. Selections will be posted online at www.storiesfrommainstreet.org.
The Mosely Gallery of Art is open Mon.-Fri., from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 410-651-7770 for more information. The Frederick Douglass Library is open Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 410-651-7696. Both have evening and weekend hours by appointment. For Somerset County Public Libraries, call 410-651-0852.
Photo caption: African-American families traveled north during the Great Migration any way they could: on foot, by car, by train, and even by packet boat. A young girl and her family migrate from Florida to New Jersey, 1940.
Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, email@example.com.
Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.