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Lincoln exhibit to open at the Branigan

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War, a traveling exhibition opening at the Branigan Cultural Center on December 6th, examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War—the secession of Southern states, slavery, and wartime civil liberties.

An exciting new exhibit and series of educational programs are coming to Branigan Cultural Center.

Lincoln Exhibit at the Branigan

Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents, but his historical reputation is contested. Was he a calculating politician willing to accommodate slavery, or a principled leader justly celebrated as the Great Emancipator? This exhibition provides no easy answers. Rather, it encourages visitors to form a nuanced view of Lincoln by engaging them with Lincoln’s struggle to reconcile his policy preferences with basic American ideals of liberty and equality.

This exhibition develops a more complete understanding of Abraham Lincoln as president and the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis. The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.

A number of family and adult programs will accompany the exhibit, providing visitors with an in-depth understanding of life during the Civil War era in New Mexico and beyond. Lectures by historians Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley and Christopher Schurtz will provide a comprehensive look at issues surrounding the Civil War and its influence on our nation today. Family workshops will explore different aspects of life for children and families in the Civil War era, including holiday decorating, the language of the fans, dolls, games and storytime and art activities linked to the Civil War. The museum will also hold books clubs, a film screening, and period music at the opening reception for the exhibit. For a full list of activities, see their webpage at or their Facebook page.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at

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