Smithsonian Prepares You for the Inauguration

To honor the new President-elect as he enters office, the Smithsonian will feature special exhibits

By Paige Fullmer
|  Thursday, Apr 2, 2009  |  Updated 8:41 AM CDT
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Smithsonian Prepares You for the Inauguration

Exterior view of the main entrance of the White House

To honor the new President-elect as he enters office, the Smithsonian will feature special exhibits to offer visitors a chance to take a look into the lives and times of the nation’s presidents.

Events will be as follows:

President Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball
Smithsonian American Art Museum
This exhibit will celebrate Lincoln’s second inaugural ball that was held on March 6, 1985. The exhibition will feature ephemera from the ball and will be on view through Jan. 18, 2010.

Presidents in Waiting
National Portrait Gallery
This exhibit includes portraits of the 14 vice presidents who became president. It will be on view from Jan. 20, 2009 through Jan. 3, 2010.

America’s Presidents
National Portrait Gallery
This exhibit is one of the key exhibits at the Portrait Gallery. It has an extended display consisting of multiple images of the 43 presidents.

One Life: The Mask of Lincoln
National Portrait Gallery
The exhibit will allow viewers to view Lincoln’s portraits as he moves from congress to president, giving viewers a look into the many dimensions of the man. It will also feature a chance to view the original cracked-plate portrait of Lincoln by Alexander Gardner.

First Ladies at the Smithsonian
National Museum of American History
This exhibit gives you a taste of the first ladies of America. Featuring dresses, china, personal possessions, and portraits the exhibit will give you a taste of what it means to be the first lady of the U.S.

Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life
National Museum of American History
This exhibit will feature more than 60 historical artifacts from Lincolns’ life. Including his iconic top hat from the night he was shot, each artifact will give viewers the personal story behind the piece.

America’s New Birth of Freedom
National Museum of American History
Featuring 10 rare and important documents that are on loan from the Lincoln Library in Illinois, the exhibit will give viewers a rare look into Lincoln’s thinking. The exhibit will also feature letters expressing Lincoln’s views on the emancipation. On view until March 2009.

The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden
National Museum of American History
This exhibit will explore the personal, public, ceremonial and executive actions of the 43 presidents. It boasts of more than 900 objects to help bring to life the role of the president.

They Came as Sovereign Leaders
National Museum of the American Indian
Focusing on Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade and the six great chiefs who participated in the parade, this exhibition will give a look into Roosevelt’s inaugural committee and the six Native leaders. On exhibit from Jan. 14, 2009 through Feb. 18, 2009.

Philatelic Gallery
National Postal Museum
The museum will feature an exhibition of 11 certified plate proofs for postage stamps honoring Lincoln in 1959. These are on view through Oct. 2010.

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