2 New exhibits to arrive at Vulcan Park and Museum in celebration of the Alabama Bicentennial

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One example of the art from the talented class at Ramsay High School for Vulcan Park’s exhibit. Photo via Vulcan Park and Museum

Vulcan Park and Museum has partnered with the Alabama Bicentennial to bring 2 new exhibits to their Linn-Henley Gallery. Beginning on January 11, the gallery will showcase “Sharing Our Stories Through the Arts” which features art from Ramsay High School Students. Starting February 15, the exhibit will present “Alabama Justice: Cases and Faces That Changed A Nation,” which focuses on supreme court cases and justices based in Alabama that affected the nation.

What is the Alabama Bicentennial?

Citizens around the state are participating in Alabama 200, the Alabama Bicentennial celebration. Photo via Alabama 200

The bicentennial, named Alabama 200, is a celebration of 200 years of Alabama statehood. The celebration spans over three years: 2017, 2018 and 2019. The three years is a nod to Alabama’s history — it was formed as a territory is 1817, and officially became a state in December of 1819. The plan for Alabama 200 is to invest in schools and teachers, engage communities and encourage both residents and visitors to learn more about the state.

“The mission of Alabama 200 is to support, create, and execute events and activities that commemorate the stories of our people, place, and path to statehood. Between 2017 and 2019, ALABAMA 200 will engage residents and visitors in educational programs, community activities, and statewide initiatives that teach, inspire, and entertain.”

You can learn more about the Alabama Bicentennial here.

How is Vulcan Park and Museum Supporting the Bicentennial?

This year’s Alabama 200 theme is “sharing our story.” Vulcan Park and Museum has used this theme to connect with students from Ramsay High School to create an art exhibit in January. Beginning February 15, Vulcan Park and Museum will host the traveling exhibit, “Alabama Justice: Cases and Faces That Changed A Nation.” This exhibit was created by the Bicentennial with support from Auburn University.  

Exhibit Number One, “Sharing Our Stories Through The Arts”

The exhibits will be shown in the Linn-Henley Gallery in the Vulcan Center at Vulcan Park and Museum. Photo via Vulcan Park

“Sharing Our Stories Through the Arts” will be located in Vulcan Park and Museum’s Linn-Henley Gallery and is comprised of 14 works of art. The exhibit will begin on January 11 and run until February 10.  These pieces were created by the talented students of Ramsay High School’s studio art class. The students were tasked with creating a piece of art: share your story through art.

In addition to the artwork, the students were asked to include an oral history component. Each student interviewed someone in their family or community about their story in Birmingham. You will be able to hear these interviews by scanning a QR code with your phone. The interviews will then play through your phone as you walk throughout the exhibit, so don’t forget your headphones! Admission to the museum is as follows:  adults $6, ages 5 – 12 $4, FREE for members and children 4 and under.

Details:

Exhibit: Sharing Our Stories Through the Arts at the Vulcan Park Linn-Henley gallery

Dates: January 11 – February 10

Time: 10 AM – 6 PM; 7 days a week

Admission Fee: adults $6, ages 5 – 12 $4, FREE for members and children 4 and under.

Please keep in mind that Vulcan Park and Museum is a certified sensory-inclusive location and is accessible to all guests. You can get the full story here.

Exhibit Number Two, “Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed A Nation”

The Alabama Justice traveling exhibit comes to Birmingham after beginning its run in Auburn. Alabama Justice logo

This traveling exhibit created by Auburn University and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission is based on a forthcoming book by political science professor Dr. Steven Brown of Auburn University and will be on display in Vulcan Park and Museum’s Linn-Henley Gallery from February 15 through May 9. “Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation will tell the stories of eight Alabama-based landmark supreme court cases in addition to profiling three U.S. supreme court justices from the state. The cases cover issues such as civil rights, equal protection, city zoning and prayer in public schools. Each case has had national implications in the interpretation of federal law that we have today.

Cases highlighted include the following:

  • The Scottsboro Boys
  • Ollie’s BBQ (Katzenbach v. McClung)
  • Maxwell Air Force Base (Frontiero v. Richardson)
  • Mobile County Public Schools (Smith v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County)
  • Tuskegee (Gomillion v. Lightfoot)

The Supreme Court justices who will be profiled are John McKinley of Huntsville, John Archibald Campbell of Mobile and Hugo Black of Ashland.

Vulcan Park and Museum from the lookout of the vulcan statue. Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now

Details:

Exhibit: Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed A Nation at the Vulcan Park Linn-Henley gallery

Dates: February 15 – May 9

Time: 10 AM – 6 PM; 7 days a week

Admission Fee: adults $6, ages 5 – 12 $4, FREE for members and children 4 and under.

This exhibit is sponsored by The Birmingham Bar Association and the Birmingham Bar Foundation.

Birmingham Revealed Panel Discussion to Accompany Exhibit

On February 26, there will be a panel discussion to complement the exhibit “Alabama Justice: They Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation.” Attorney J. Mason Davis, Judge U.W. Clemon and others will discuss how the legacy of laws enacted during Reconstruction and the early 20th century constitutions of Southern States disenfranchised black people and set the stage for many of the cases in the exhibit, the marches of the Civil Rights Movement and the later reorganization of Birmingham’s city government. This thought-provoking evening will be moderated by Natalie Davis, Professor Emerita of Political Science at Birmingham-Southern College.  The panel is open to the public.

Details:

Date:  February 26

Time: 5-7 PM

Place: Vulcan Park and Museum

Admission: $10 general admission, $8 members

This Birmingham Revealed is sponsored by The Alabama Humanities Foundation.

The Alabama Bicentennial: A Perfect Partner for Vulcan Park and Museum

The iconic Vulcan statue at Vulcan Park and Museum. Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now

“We are elated about these two exhibits as it supports one part of our mission ‘to advance knowledge and understanding of Birmingham’s history and culture and to encourage exploration of the region.’ This partnership with the Bicentennial Commission allows us not only to educate on Birmingham’s history, but the entire state of Alabama.”

Jennifer Watts, Director of Museum Programs

These exhibits will bring Alabama history to the forefront while encouraging young people of Birmingham to explore their own histories as well. Make sure to stop by Vulcan Park and Museum January through May to learn more about our state and our city at their wonderful exhibits.

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