Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
The Minnesota Historical Society maintains a rich collection of primary source materials (government records, manuscripts, photographs, art, artifacts) and secondary resources (books, published diaries, official sources) relating to the Civil War.
Our new Civil War Collections website features a timeline of major events and allows users to browse the Society’s holdings by collection type, topic, or event. Check it out!
Also come see the new exhibit featuring many of these artifacts, Minnesota and the Civil War, opening March 2!
In case you missed it last Friday, our very own Adam Scher was on Almanac talking about Minnesota Inventions. Watch it here:
For more on Minnesota’s food innovations, see our Inventions of Champions: How Minnesotans Changed Breakfast podcast.
President’s Day is History Matters Day at the Capitol!
This Monday, February 18, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Learn more here:
Free shuttles are available from the History Center. Hope to see you then!
Historically, posters have been a relatively cheap and quick way to disseminate information and ideas. Often, in opposition to commercial posters which promote the consumption of products, political posters, as a genre, have been used much in the same way as political graffiti – to promote grassroots political and philosophical ideas and movements.
Today, political poster-makers expand upon the historic role of their predecessors, often straddling the line of fine art printmaking. Almost exclusively, they produce hand-printed, limited-edition serigraphs (screenprints) or prints produced using letterset presses – rather than using machines to print offset lithographs, which is the printing process most commonly associated with ‘large-run’ commercial posters.
Minnesota has a unique and vibrant graphic arts community; the community of printmakers and poster artists is no exception.
Poster Offensive is a biennial political poster exhibit created in 2004 by Jeff Johnson, owner and creative director of Spunk Design Machine (these exhibits currently coincide with election cycles). According to the exhibit organizers, Poster Offensive is “an independent, non-partisan poster show, which utilizes the politically potent medium of the poster to showcase contemporary interpretations and critiques of political and social issues.”
Although many of the artworks in the Poster Offensive exhibits deal specifically with the elections with which they coincide, some reflect larger issues, including local food movements, conservation of natural resources, freedom of speech, unemployment, immigration, women’s rights, and, like these presented here from the 2012 Poster Offensive 6, the recent proposed ‘marriage’ amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution. Designed, illustrated, and printed by Jeff Johnson, Bill Ferenc, and Andy Weaver of Spunk Design Machine, a Minneapolis-based design boutique, these two versions of Equal Equals Love were recently added to the Fine Art collection at the Minnesota Historical Society.
Ben Gessner, Collections Associate
Click images above to see them larger. To learn more, please go to Collections Online:
To learn even more:
In November 1969, four months after the first manned lunar landing by Apollo 11, President Richard Nixon asked the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to prepare lunar soil samples collected from the mission for presentation to the 50 United States and 135 countries. Each sample was to be accompanied by the recipient’s state or national flag, which had traveled to the Moon and back aboard Apollo 11.
President Nixon presented this lunar soil display, containing approximately 50 milligrams of material, to the people of Minnesota in 1970 with the message:
Presented to the people of Minnesota by Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America.
This flag of your state was carried to the Moon and back by Apollo 11 and this fragment of the Moon’s surface was brought to Earth by the crew of that first manned lunar landing.
The display is presumed to have been received by the Office of the Governor, but for reasons which remain uncertain it was transferred to the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs where it remained for 40 years. In 2010 the display was discovered in a storage area by staff of the Minnesota National Guard, who transferred it to the Minnesota Historical Society in November, 2012.
Adam Scher, Senior Curator
For more details, view the Moon Rocks in our Collections Online database.
Join us for an evening to celebrate the completion of the Mondale Papers project and learn more about the Public Affairs Collections of the MHS. Speakers will talk about the importance of the Collection, and Mr. Mondale and Gary Eichten (of Minnesota Public Radio) will have a conversation about his life in public service.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Location: Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, MN.
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE. Registration Required. Reserve tickets here: www.mnhs.org/mondaleevent
Call 651-259-3015 for more information
Please note: All tickets will be held at will call 30 minutes prior to the event. No tickets will be mailed.
Ded Uŋk’uŋpi—We Are Here art exhibit opened at the James J. Hill House last weekend. 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the largest mass execution in the history of the United States. On December 26th, 1862, 38 Dakota warriors were sentenced and hung as a result of the U.S./Dakota war. This timely and important group exhibit features works by 20 Native American artists whose work responds to the legacy of these events.
Work by eight of the artists has been selected for purchase as part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s permanent collection. The painting above is titled “The Crow is to Die For!” by Dwayne Wilcox.
Joe Allen, Angela Babby, Karen Beaver, Todd Bordeaux, Julie Buffalohead, Avis Charley, Gordon Coons, Jim Denomie, Michael Elizondo Jr., Evans Flammond, Charles Her Many Horses, Dakota Hoska, Henry Payer, Charles Rencountre, James Star Comes Out, Maggie Thompson, Jodi Webster, Gwen Westerman, Dwayne Wilcox, Bobby Wilson
Dakota Artist and Scholar Gwen Westerman Wasicuna said the following about the exhibit:
“With a stunning mix of humor and anger, hope and despair, this collection expresses the array of complicated responses to a brutal history. While the thirty-eight executed Dakota are prominent, other essential aspects of culture and tradition are also present, including the strength of Dakota women, the role of horses and honor, and the ever-present landscape of the homeland. Whether incorporating new interpretations of traditional forms of beadwork, winter counts, and horse masks, or employing diverse contemporary techniques in glass, found objects, and photography, the messages here are as diverse as the artists themselves. The stories depicted contribute to a broader understanding of the impact of these historical events and the power of art to tell a difficult story. Abstract, realistic, and representational, these pieces help us see the transformative capacity of trauma and healing, destruction and regeneration, and above all, representation and memory.”
This exhibit will be on view during Hill House hours until January 13, 2013.
In this election year, we have an opportunity to look back at one of the greatest statesman produced by Minnesota: Hubert H. Humphrey.
Thanks to a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission) we are working on digitizing all of Humphrey’s speeches. He was well-known as a fantastic orator. When complete, this project will provide a tremendous resource for students of all ages as well as people interested in the politics and history of our state and nation.
The intent with this project is to update the finding aid with those speech texts that have been digitized each month. People can look forward to the 1941-1947 speeches being available this September.
Together, the Northern Pacific and Great Northern manuscript collections make the Minnesota Historical Society one of the great centers for railroad research in the entire nation. Acquisitioned in December 1968 and October 1972, the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railroads, respectively, became two of the largest collections that the Society houses. An astounding number of records have been processed and conserved in the intervening time, leading to thousands of boxes, volumes, and drawings being made accessible for research purposes.
The availability of inventories for these collections has, until recently, only been available in the Society’s reading room, but now you can explore the multitude of records on line! Documenting all facets of the railroads’ development and the communities they served, these finding aids allow for more convenient browsing, faster searching, and the discovery of related materials that may have been overlooked before.
That’s right! Minneapolis to Minot, Grand Forks to Great Falls, and Sand Point to Seattle, all stops along the railroad to research are now available on line. Travel the rails to Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, finagle your way through financial records, peruse photographs, consider correspondence, muse over maps, delve into drawings, bring blueprints to bear, and inspect indexes. We’re not just blowing steam here, take a look for yourself, and come explore the history of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads:
Great Northern: http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00901.xml
Northern Pacific: http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/01010.xml
In October 2011, the Minnesota Historical Society acquired this Colt Army Model 1860 revolved used by Mathew Marvin of Company K in the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. A native of upstate New York, Marvin made his way to Winona, Minnesota, in 1859, where he clerked in a store. At the outset of the Civil War, he was among the first to enlist at Fort Snelling in April 1861.
Marvin’s military career was mixed. While he rose through the ranks from Private to First Sergeant, he also suffered three wounds. The first was in battle at First Bull Run, the second was in camp due to an accidental discharge from another soldier’s gun, and the third occured during the 1st Minnesota’s celebrated charge at Gettysburg. That wound, caused when a bullet passed through the length of his foot, effectively ended his service and troubled him for the remainder of his life. After recuperating with his parents in Illinois, Marvin eventually returned to Winona, where he was active in veterans’ affairs. He died, at age 64, in 1903, and was buried in Winona’s Woodlawn Cemetery.
Marvin’s revolver passed on to his daughter, Mabel, who in turn gave it to a collector shortly before her own death in 1955. The collector took it with him to Nebraska, where it was auctioned this past fall. Now the gun not only returns to Minnesota, but also joins Mathew Marvin’s frock coat, canteen, personal papers and diaries, already in the Society’s collections. It’s a magnificent addition, and all the more fitting as we commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
Former Objects Curator