Saturday, November 22, 2008

National Museum of American History reopens


The National Museum of American History (the Kenneth E. Behring Center), of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, re-opened after considerable renovation with new exhibits on Friday Nov. 21, 2008.

There is so much in the new museum as to defy brief description. The main website is this. The crowds were extreme. Some parts of the exhibit were inaccessible due to lines.

One the third level, the exhibit “The Price of Freedom”, however, moved quickly. It takes the visitor through United States military history from the Revolutionary War all the way to 9/11. The Revolutionary War section has a “Puppet Theater” that features a satirical drama about colonial politics and taxation without representation. The placard about the theater says “Give Me Liberty” to refer to Patrick Henry’s famous speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond.

There is a major musical instrument collection on the other side of the third floor. Music from a Haydn quartet was piped into the collection room. There was a small electric piano jazz performance, and another percussion performance at ground level.

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