The MHS Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Signing of the Emancipation Proclamation

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To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Massachusetts Historical Society will open two exhibitions on January 1, 2013.

Opening in the Society’s Presidential Gallery, Forever Free: Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation will focus on this momentous undertaking that changed a nation and will feature the pen Lincoln used to sign the document. The exhibition will also display a bronze cast made from a plaster study model of the Lincoln statue Daniel Chester French made for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. as well as broadsides, engravings, and manuscripts that tell the story of how the city of Boston celebrated Emancipation.

In the Treasures Gallery, Abraham Lincoln in Manuscript & Artifact will display documents and artifacts related to Abraham Lincoln including his famous 1855 letter to Joshua F. Speed explaining his evolving views on slavery. The exhibition will also feature casts of the life mask and hands of Lincoln made by Leonard Volk in the spring of 1860.

At 2:00 PM, MHS Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey and MHS Curator of Art Anne E. Bentley will present “The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation” and explain how this epochal event in American History became an extraordinary moment in Boston history.

The galleries will be open on January 1 from 12 PM to 4 PM. The exhibitions will be open through May 24, Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM.