Presidential museum set to get 'Lincoln' movie exhibit

2013-10-29T00:00:00Z Presidential museum set to get 'Lincoln' movie exhibitKurt Erickson Lee Springfield Bureau nwitimes.com
October 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SPRINGFIELD | A bit of Hollywood soon will be making its home in Illinois’ capital city as part of a new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

As the result of discussions first reported by the Lee Enterprises Springfield bureau, the library has landed key sets, costumes and props from the Oscar award-winning movie “Lincoln” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

The exhibit, most currently on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, includes Lincoln’s office, where much of the movie takes place, as well as Mary Todd Lincoln’s bedroom, a stethoscope used in the scene of Lincoln’s death and gloves worn by Day-Lewis in the movie.

Costumes include a selection of Mary Lincoln’s dresses, Lincoln’s suit and a uniform worn by their son, Tad.

“It is an honor to have this exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum,” Spielberg said in a statement released Sunday by the museum. “When we visited for research on the film, it was our thought that there might be an opportunity to bring such an exhibit to Springfield, and that is now a reality.”

“This is a case where history and Hollywood come together to everyone’s benefit,” said Amy Martin, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which operates the museum.

The exhibit, expected to open in early 2014, will for the first time expand the presidential museum into a separate building.

Springfield’s Union Station, located across the street from the museum, will house the movie exhibit. The 116-year-old structure currently serves as a tourist information center and box office for the museum, which opened in 2005.

Under a new configuration, the visitors’ center is moving to the Old State Capitol State Historic Site. Ticket sales for the museum will move to the Lincoln Presidential Library building on the southeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets.

The sets and costumes are on loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studios. This will allow the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to present the display at minimal cost to visitors.

The cost of moving the exhibits is being paid for without tax dollars through the museum’s foundation.

During its run at the Reagan library, which ended in September, officials there said the exhibits were a major draw. In addition to the movie pieces, that display also included some additional historic material from the Lincoln museum collection.

Children can tour the special exhibit at Union Station for free when accompanied by a paying adult. The cost for adults is $5.

Adults also have the option of buying the new “full experience” package allowing them to tour the entire presidential library and museum and the new movie exhibit for $15. That’s $3 more than the basic museum admission price, which is not changing.

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