Last chance to explore 'Stories of Survival'


The powerful exhibit “Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory.” is closing this month at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to make way for a new exhibit on life in Illinois through the centuries.

The final day to see “Stories of Survival” is Jan. 22.

The exhibit, created by Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, features people who escaped acts of genocide and the objects they carried as they fled. Each object is also shown in a photograph that includes handwritten notes telling the survivor’s story.

People in the exhibit come from Germany, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia and more. Some managed to save toys, jewelry or beautiful dishes, while others escaped with nothing but a few battered pictures, identification papers or family recipes.

“This exhibit mixes hope and horror so powerfully. The stories are incredible, and the objects help us identify with people enduring something almost unimaginable,” said Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “We thank the Illinois Holocaust Museum for letting us bring the exhibit here, and we hope everyone takes advantage of the remaining time to see it.”

The next major ALPLM exhibit will be “Here I Have Lived: Home in Illinois.” It explores the many ways individuals and groups have chosen to build their lives in the prairie state.

Visitors will meet a Portuguese servant working for Abraham Lincoln, a former enslaved person establishing his own town, a future first lady, and a Sauk war leader who refused to be pushed aside by white settlers. The versions of “home” range from a Chicago bungalow to a Peoria brothel to an experimental dome.

“Here I Have Lived” was created by ALPLM staff using artifacts from the library’s own collection or borrowed from institutions around the state. It opens March 23. 

The mission of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is to inspire civic engagement through the diverse lens of Illinois history and sharing with the world the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. We pursue this mission through a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship built on the bedrock of the ALPLM’s unparalleled collection of historical materials – some 12 million items from all eras of Illinois history.

For more information, follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory.” is a project of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and photographer Jim Lommasson. The Holocaust Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice, and indifference.

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