KNOXVILLE -- Knox County Public Library, in partnership with the East Tennessee Historical Society, received two Awards of Excellence last week from the Tennessee Association of Museums (TAM) for educational programming and publications surrounding its recent exhibit on Abraham Lincoln. The exhibit and associated programs took place in the East Tennessee History Center from Nov. 20, 2011 through Jan. 13, 2012.
The awards come after much work on the part of a team lead by Library Curator Adam Alfrey. The scope of the project included a nationally touring exhibit titled Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War, made possible by a competitive grant through the National Endowment of the Humanities, American Library Association, and the National Constitution Center.
Supplementing this exhibit was an exploration of the themes of Lincoln in East Tennessee, which included a rare, original copy of the Gettysburg Address from the holdings of the McClung Collection. Other artifacts and documents that comprised the supplemental exhibit were borrowed from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate and the Andrew Johnson Home in Greeneville. Additionally, the Masks of Lincoln, which was made available by the Smithsonian Institute and the National Portrait Gallery and sponsored by the Friends of the Library, is still on display at the South Knoxville Branch Library through April 2012.
Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War illustrates how Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery, and civil liberties—all questions our country's founding charter left unanswered. Each section of the exhibit features information about a different aspect of Lincoln's presidency. Most importantly, the exhibit showed visitors why Lincoln's struggle with the Constitution still matters today.
The publication that received the Award of Excellence was designed by library graphic designer Andrew Hock, and edited by library fund development officer Elizabeth Abbott Dake. Educational programming that received an Award of Excellence included lectures, book discussions, movie screenings, educator workshops, and children's activities throughout the course of the exhibit. A committee of Library and Historical Society Staff developed the curriculum and included Elizabeth Abbott Dake, William Hardy, Lisa Oakley, Adam Alfrey, and Mary Pom Claiborne.
Additionally, the East Tennessee Historical Society was honored by the Tennessee Association of Museums, receiving four Awards of Excellence and one Award of Commendation for exhibitions, programs, and special events held during 2011.
Awards of Excellence were presented to ETHS in the following categories:
Temporary Exhibition — Tennessee Turned: Earthenware and Stoneware Made in East Tennessee 1800-1900
Audio-Visual Film — Molded by Hand, Hardened by Fire: The Wood-Fired Pottery of Peter Rose
Audio-Visual Exhibition Component — A Conversation with Carole Wahler and Christopher Cross
Special Recognition — 1834 Society for Leadership Giving