American Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibits for “Philadelphia, Building a Nation”

Templeton Heritage Center At the Union League Philadelphia, PA

Exhibit showcase at the Philadelphia Building a Nation: American Civil War Sesquicentennial Exhibits

Scope: Exhibit Development, Scriptwriting, Design and Fabrication Services

Designer: JoAnne Yuzawa

For the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, the Templeton Heritage Center at The Union League in Philadelphia retained Interpretive Solutions to develop a series of five annual exhibits under the umbrella theme “Philadelphia, Building a Nation.”

Each year a new exhibit explores the role of Philadelphians at war and on the home front during the corresponding year of the war, 1861-1865. The initial exhibit for the League’s new Heritage Center, which opened in 2011, focused on the many conflicting voices of Philadelphians in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War. The second exhibit opened a year later and explored how mobilization for war permanently changed Philadelphia and in turn how Philadelphia shaped the nation’s response to the war. The interpretation examined issues of patriotism, political mobilization, and civic engagement. It showed how Philadelphia helped to build a nation – and reinvent itself — through manufacturing, transportation, innovations in medicine, and supply of materiel. The exhibits engage visitors with the writings of Philadelphians who recorded their reactions to the tumultuous events of 1861-65 in diaries, newspaper accounts, and letters.