Vienna exhibits focus on women’s rights and the Great War
As the Freeman Store and Museum prepares to open its doors March 1 for the 2018 season, it also is opening two new exhibits with a focus on war and women’s rights.
In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Historic Vienna, Inc.’s 2018 main exhibit, located on the second floor, is entitled Home Front – The Great War and Vienna. The exhibit features information, images, models, and artifacts, including uniforms, equipment, and documents, from “the war to end all wars.” The exhibit also will include a diorama of the fearsome trenches that were ubiquitous on World War I battlefields as well as a graphic display of awards and decorations.
“It’s really neat that we were able gather and can share with the community real 100-year-old stuff that was actually there on the battlefields and in the ambulances of World War I,” says HVI President Anne Stuntz.
“Vienna didn’t have an awful lot to do with the war,” notes one of the HVI curators, Mike Berger. “Seventy-three men with a Vienna address fought in the war,” which the United States did not enter until 1917.
However, the names of two Vienna soldiers who lost their lives in World War I will ring familiar to those living in the community today. The exhibit tells how George Dyer and Clarence Gunnell, for whom Vienna’s American Legion Post is named, lost their lives.
The hallway exhibit downstairs in the Freeman House will focus this year on The Women’s Rights Movement through Cartoons. The exhibit features more than 50 political cartoons and other images collected from newspapers, postcards, and other publications from the 1850s onward. The cartoons focus on the right to vote as well as other women’s rights for which Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought, including rights related to parental custody, property, employment and income, divorce, economic health of the family, and birth control.
“We tried to include cartoons that made a statement about what people were really thinking about at the time,” says exhibit curator Leigh Kitcher.
All are invited to an opening reception from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, March 4. The exhibits will be accessible when the Freeman Store and Museum, located at 131 Church Street NE, is open from 12-4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.
World War I postcards, pins, and notecards will be available for purchase at the store. The pins feature a poppy, a reminder of the great human cost of war and a universal symbol of military remembrance, or an image of Uncle Sam from the iconic “I Want You” poster by James Montgomery Flagg.