Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

MAKING OF . . .
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is the first Experience Museum of its kind. From the beginning, the creation of this museum was a unique process. Instead of first designing the architecture of the building and then the contents within, the Visitor Experience was designed first by BRC Imagination Arts, under the direction of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and then the building was commissioned to house the immersive “experience” exhibits that present the unique life and times of Abraham Lincoln.


Scholarship Meets Showmanship

Its creation is an excellent example of "scholarship meets showmanship."  From the beginning, scholarly guidance and input from a team of more than 36 historians, scholars, teachers and historical advisors, as well as 41 other organizations, were integral participants. Key themes and events were established. From these, rigorously researched stories were developed to give the themes, events and historical objects context. Employing state-of-the-art technologies, and borrowing techniques from Hollywood, Broadway and theme parks, the fully immersive exhibits came to life.

Each item, every detail, all facts were thoroughly researched and their production scrupulously executed. Visitor flow patterns and capacity were analyzed. Every aspect of this museum was given importance making the Visitor Experience not only educational and entertaining, but inspiring as well.

Tha Log Cabin

The Log Cabin

The original one room boyhood log cabin home of Lincoln no longer exists. It was decided that an authentic typical cabin that could have been found on the American frontier in the early 1800s had to be located. >more

 

Lincoln Forensic Study

Lincoln Study

The museum designers wanted to accurately present Lincoln three dimensionally, not only in his thirties and older but also at earlier ages, for the immersive exhibits. >more

 

What Were They Wearing?

What Were They Wearing?

Each piece of clothing, whether painted in a mural or worn on three-dimensional figures, were meticulously researched, right down to the buttons, belts, and undergarments. >more

 

Immersive Exhibits

Campaign 1860

How to clearly explain the complex and messy four-way 1860 presidential campaign to a modern audience? The result of this posed question is one of the more daring and imaginative exhibits in the museum.  >more

 

Civicl War Map

The Civil War in Four Minutes

In order to inform and illustrate the scale and scope of the Civil War, the museum’s Civil War in Four Minutes was created. It is a large animated map which plays out the progress of the war with continuously shifting battle lines and flare-ups that mark specific major battles. >more

 

Whispering Gallery

Whispering Gallery

To physically illustrate Lincoln's unpopularity and communicate the pressures upon the them, a dark, crooked, unsettling hallway was constructed through which the visitors pass. >more

Emancipation Proclamation - Illusion Corridor

Emancipation Proclamation - Illusion Corridor

The Emancipation Proclamation was anything but the obvious thing to do at the time. It was extremely controversial. Even the northern states were against it.  >more


Page last updated: July 7, 2009