History on Display

History on Display: The Great War As It Unfolds

December 12, 2014

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST INCLUDES A DANGEROUS TIME SUCK. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK Recently my friend and writing buddy Evelyn Herwitz introduced me to a fascinating You Tube channel. The Great War follows World War I in real time in weekly summaries that combine the style of a news reel with personal commentary by […]

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History on Display: En Guerre

October 31, 2014

I’ve spent most of this week in a small carrel in Regenstein library, head down and fingers flying as I try to push my way through a mini-proposal for a book I’d like to write.* It’s not my favorite way to work. Instead of getting up at the end of a stint to make a […]

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History On Display: Amazing Grace, the Musical

October 18, 2014

Earlier this week, My Own True Love and I took a chance on the “pre-Broadway world premier” of a musical by a new composer/playwright based on the historical story of John Newton (1725-1807), the slave trader turned Anglican minister and abolitionist who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”.  At a minimum, we knew there would be […]

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History on Display: Railroaders

May 14, 2014

What with one thing and another,* My Own True Love and I haven’t made it to many museums in the last few months. Last week we made an exception. The current exhibit at the Chicago Historical Society Chicago History Museum looked too good to miss. Some of our favorite things– history, art, and railroads–together in […]

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A Treasure Trove for History (And Film) Buffs

May 2, 2014

If you’ve been hanging out in the places I hang out on line, you already got the word:  British Pathé has put its 85,000 historic newsreels on YouTube.  My first reaction was “Cool.  That’s a great resource for people who write about the 20th century.”  Then I looked a little closer. The company’s founder, Charles […]

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History on Display: Lost Kingdoms

April 26, 2014

On my annual visit to New York for writerly stuff, I always try to squeeze in a visit to a museum or that mecca for all book lovers, the Strand Bookstore. This year, with my office over-flowing with books and a move on the horizon, I promised My Own True Love that I would stay […]

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Road Trip through History: The Colchagua Museum

February 2, 2014

We might not have gone to the Colchagua Museum in Santa Cruz, Chile, if one of our local hosts hadn’t recommended it so strongly.  The guidebooks described it as a private collection that had been turned into a museum–something I always approach with the caution.  Private collections fueled by a personal passion often create a […]

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History on Display: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair

January 10, 2014

Last Sunday My Own True Love and I cocked a snook at cold and snow* and headed out to Chicago’s Field Museum to see what we thought was an exhibit on the 1893 World’s Fair, aka the Columbian Exposition. We had neglected to read the subtitle for the exhibit: “Opening the Vaults”. As is often […]

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History on Display: Pritzker Military Library

November 15, 2013

My Own True Love and I are spending the day at a military history symposium at the Pritzker Military Library. In the morning, Tim O’Brien (author of The Things They Carried) and Karl Malantes (author of Matterhorn) are going to discuss literature, war, politics and the art of writing.* In the afternoon, major historians and […]

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History on Display: The Gettysburg Cyclorama

September 27, 2013

Cycloramas were the I-Max of the nineteenth century. Viewers stood in the center of a specially constructed auditorium, surrounded by a huge cylindrical oil painting of an exciting historic event or dramatic scene. Sometimes the exhibit included music or a narration of the events. With or without a soundtrack, when you went to see a […]

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