N E W S FROM
Tannenbaum Historic Park
, United States, Greensboro
New Exhibit: Patriotism by Design
Patriotism by Design: The Origin, Meaning and Adaptation of Our National Symbols
This new exhibit, curated by students from the UNCG Museum Studies program, explores the relationship Americans have with their National symbols. From 1776 to today, the American Flag, the Liberty Bell and the Bald Eagle have inspired patriotic pride and protest.
Americans share an immediate understanding and recognition of the Founding Fathers’ symbols of national identity. These prominent and persistent images help create a sense of belonging and unity among the citizens of the United States.
Representations of these icons are on collector’s plates, coins, decanters and household items, as well as clothing, neckties, jewelry, and medals from the Stoesen Bicentennial Collection.
The exhibit tells the story of the ongoing adaptation of National icons in times of celebration and crisis. Panels and display cases focus on the original Revolutionary era design concepts and follow changes in the symbols themselves and in their meaning over time.
Jessica Burlingame, Lindy Freitas and Jeni Skolaris are graduate students in Museum Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jessica, Lindy and Jeni have worked at Tannenbaum Historic Park for over a year on the sorting and cataloguing of the Stoesen Bicentennial Collection.
Their collaboration on Patriotism by Design has been a valuable experience for the students and for the park. When asked to comment on their often tedious and repetitive accessioning work, Jessica Burlingame said “This has truly been a fun and challenging learning experience for each of us. We feel like we are really preparing for our future jobs.”
Jessica is from Springboro, Pennsylvania and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a minor in History. She plans work in collection management at a history museum, perhaps in the southeast.
Lindy Freitas was born and raised on Maui in Hawaii. She attended Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon, for where she earned a BA in History with minors in Spanish and Political Science. Upon graduation next year, she hopes either to be a curator or historian in a museum, or to work in the education department at an aquarium or a zoo.
Jeni Skolaris hails from Chardon, Ohio. She earned her BA in History from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. She is planning to return North and pursue a career in museum education or collections management.
Creating the exhibit meant that these women wrote the text, picked the objects and determined the layout of graphics and artifacts. “We have worked with Jeni, Lindy and Jessica for almost a year and a half. This is a huge project for students and we have great faith in their abilities,” says Park Director Adrienne Byrd.
Jeni reinforces Jessica’s comments on their experience: “This is a real life preparation and a contribution to our chosen field.” Lindy agrees: “The months of collections work and this final exhibit has given us our first big professional accomplishment.”