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Democracy, dinosaurs and Dylan: Durham Museum’s 2019 exhibit schedule covers some ground

September 20, 2018

The Durham Museum’s lineup of 2019 exhibits includes a meditation on American democracy, a showcase of the political power of rock music and a reintroduction to the world’s most popular dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurus rex.

The new slate of temporary exhibits will begin in March of next year, after the conclusion of the museum’s two current exhibits, “Thomas D. Mangelsen: A Life in the Wild” and “Fighting for the Good Life: Nebraskan Memories of World War I.”

The 2019 exhibits are:

American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith

March 2 through June 23

Based on a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History, “American Democracy” aims to educate visitors on the origins of democracy, suffrage movements and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. The exhibit will feature artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution and state historical societies.

The traveling exhibit debuts at the Durham before moving on to 12 other cities. Museum curators will supplement the exhibit with local artifacts from its own collections.

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After Promontory: 150 Years of Transcontinental Railroading

March 30 through July 28

Next spring marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met in Promontory, Utah, to celebrate the completion of the first railroad to join East and West Coast.

The new Durham exhibit documents what happened in the decades after, as other railroads built competing transcontinental routes, which pushed out Native American tribes, eliminated the open range and changed the West forever. The display, a collaboration between the Durham and the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, features historical and recent photographs that explore the lasting impact of the railroads on the landscape.

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Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family

June 8 through Sept. 1

This new exhibit shows we’re still learning more about everyone’s favorite dinosaur.

“Tyrannosaurs” is the world’s first exhibit showing a newly revised tyrannosaur family tree. The exhibit shows that tyrannosaurs came in all shapes and sizes and explores how they became the world’s top predator.

Created by the Australia Museum, “Tyrannosaurs” features more than 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens and an array of fossils and casts.

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Louder than Words: Rock, Power & Politics

Oct. 12 through Feb. 2, 2020

For much of recent history, rock music has reflected most of the country’s most important debates: Civil rights, LGBTQ issues, feminism, war, censorship and more.

This exhibit, created by curators from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Newseum, examines how these debates took shape in music through photographs, interactive displays and video interviews with figures like Bono and Jimmy Carter.

The exhibit also features several artifacts from music history, including Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner” Fender Stratocaster from Woodstock; an acoustic guitar belonging to John Lennon; original Village People costumes; and handwritten lyrics from Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Green Day.

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