History in the Twin Cities: Remembering Three Wars and More…

Looking for interesting exhibits and events around the Twin Cities related to history? Here’s what’s on and what’s coming up:

The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Dakota Prisoners at Fort Snelling
Dakota Prisoners at Fort Snelling – Minnesota Historical Society

The newest — and most controversial — exhibit at the Minnesota History Center opened yesterday as Minnesotans mark the 150th anniversary of this six-week conflict between the Dakota people and the U.S. government. Learn more about this challenging work of public history at its website, or read our earlier post on the debates that surrounded its planning.

History Center tickets are $11, discounted to $9 for college students. And there’s always free admission on Tuesday evenings (5-8pm). Or join the Minnesota Historical Society and get free admission anytime.

We the People: The First Official Printing of the U.S. Constitution

As the 1862 War exhibit opens, time is running out to see early copies of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in this special exhibition at the MN History Center, which closes after the 4th of July.

Click here for more about the Constitution display.

1934: A New Deal for Artists

The Minnesota History Center will also continue to host this traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian through September. Its fifty-six paintings come from the Depression-era Public Works of Art Project, which lasted only six months in 1933-1934, but stands as the first federal program to support the arts at a national level. Unemployed artists were commissioned to produce works (broadly fitting the theme “The American Scene”) to decorate public buildings.

Click here to learn more! (see above for ticket prices and membership info)

The First Minnesota: Portraits

Civil War buffs should check out this collection, on display in the North corridor of the Minnesota State Capitol until July 7th. It features the work of artist Jay Wittenberg, who has painted the portraits of over seventy members of the 1st Minnesota regiment that famously fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and other Civil War sites. Learn more about Wittenberg and his paintings at this news story from his alma mater, the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul.

“Half Past Midnight: Will the Upper Post Be Saved?”

A photo exhibit at Historic Fort Snelling, documenting its role during World War II as an induction center for over 300,000 volunteers and draftees from the Midwest as they entered the military. The exhibit is free and will remain open through the end of July. (Learn more from the Fort Snelling website.)

Photography from the USSR: Soviet Life, Russian Reality

Running through mid-September at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, this exhibition features photographs from the last forty years of the Soviet Union’s existence. Learn more at the museum website.

Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship

This popular exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota runs through Labor Day. It seeks to introduce the  “perils and privileges of 18th century pirate life” through interaction with over 200 artifacts (including coins, cannons, swords, and more), mostly related to the Whydah, the flagship of pirate Sam Bellamy, which sank in 1717.

Click here to learn more about the exhibition. Our own Prof. Sam Mulberry just visited the exhibit and strongly recommends its excellent audio tour, included in the ticket (prices range from $12-$36).


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