Museums to Go

Museums-to-Go traveling panel exhibits explore the humanities through historical images and lively text.  These easily handled, small-scale exhibits are adaptable to a wide variety of locations.

Borrower Information

Institutions and organizations serving adult audiences may borrow the exhibits for one- or two-month showings in a publicly accessible place. Libraries, museums, civic organizations, business lobbies and shopping malls are among the many locations that qualify. Groups without display space are encouraged to sponsor the exhibits in collaboration with other organizations.

Museums-to-Go exhibits are free of charge to qualified organizations within Kentucky. Borrowers are required to pay only for shipping charges. To eliminate the shipping costs, borrowers may make arrangements to pick up and return the exhibits to Kentucky Historical Society, 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort.

The exhibits generally are shipped at the beginning and end of each month. Unless other arrangements are made, the exhibits will be shipped via UPS. To schedule a Museums-to-Go exhibit, call 502-564-1792.

Borrowers must unpack and install the exhibits, ensure their safekeeping while on display and repack them in the original shipping containers for their scheduled return to Frankfort.

Check Out Our Current Exhibits!

The Clays of Kentucky
In the entire scope of Kentucky history, only a few families have played an influential role in public life over many decades. The Clay family is one of those. From the settling of Kentucky in the late 18th century to the close of the 20th century, Clay family members have made important contributions in business, politics, agriculture and women’s rights. This poster-panel exhibit contains images and documents rarely before seen in public.
Number of pieces: 8 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″ (approx.)

Civil War in Kentucky
Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Dr. James M. McPherson summarized Kentucky’s role during the American Civil War (1861-1865): “It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the Confederacy would have won the war if it could have gained Kentucky,” McPherson writes, “and, conversely, that the Union’s success in retaining Kentucky as a base for invasions of the Confederate heartland brought eventual Union victory.”
Number of pieces: 5 self-standing panels, each 48″ x 96″

Corsets, Croquet, and Crusades: Kentucky Women’s Lives, 1889-1914
The turn of the 20th century was a time of change for American women. The technological advances, economic development and social turmoil that seized the nation affected every facet of life – from the clothing people wore to the causes they embraced. This exhibit celebrates the joys, hardships and challenges Kentucky women faced during this exciting era, whether they conformed to traditional women’s roles or challenged them. It introduces Kentucky’s leading female reformers and explores emerging and diverging lifestyles.
Number of pieces: 9 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″

Discovering Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln had a perfectly ordinary childhood. Born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky, he lived in a one-room log cabin, did chores, hunted, played and rarely went to school. These were all common experiences for frontier children in the 1810s and 1820s. Kentucky played a primary role in forging Lincoln’s family and political life. Although he left the Bluegrass State as a boy, his wife, in-laws, and many of his friends, law partners, political associates and mentors were Kentuckians. During the Civil War, Lincoln’s relationship with his native state was crucial to Union chances for winning the war.
Number of pieces: 5 self-standing panels, each 48″ x 96″

Kentucky Quilts: Images of Quilts from the Collection of the Kentucky Historical Society
The Kentucky Historical Society has many wonderful quilts in its collection. They range from well-worn everyday quilts to those that are visually stunning and show little sign of use. Each quilt is a unique document of the maker and the time in which it was made. Sometimes these fabric scrapbooks contain treasured bits of cloth from party and everyday dresses, ties, or children’s clothing – memories lovingly stitched together.
This exhibit contains full color images of 15 quilts, including family quilts, crazy quilts and log cabin quilts. Images show examples of various techniques quiltmakers used, including pieced, appliqué and trap unto. The exhibit profiles several quiltmakers.
Number of pieces: 9 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″

Lewis & Clark: Kentuckians and the Corps of Discovery
Kentucky had numerous connections to the Corps of Discovery that explored the Louisiana Purchase and Oregon Country with Meriwether Lewis and William Clark between 1803 and 1806. This exhibit examines some of them, including Kentucky being a recruiting ground and departure point for the Corps, and a Frankfort newspaper being the first to carry news of the Corps’ return.
Number of pieces: 9 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″
The exhibit is a collaborative project of the Kentucky Historical Society, The Filson Historical Society and the Kentucky Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission.

Life Along the River: An Ohio River Portrait
The story of the Ohio River is the story of the people who live and die, labor and play along its banks. Through their photographs, stories and family and creative traditions, these Kentuckians share with us the history and folklife that they have preserved and paint for us a personal portrait of their lives. The exhibit was condensed from an award-winning, major exhibit the Kentucky Historical Society produced with funding support from the Kentucky Humanities Council. It includes dozens of photographs and quotes from Kentuckians who have felt the great river’s impact in their lives.
Number of pieces: 9 poster panels Size of panels: 24″ x 36″ (approx.)

The Life & Legend of Daniel Boone
“Many heroic exploits and chivalrous adventures are related to me that exist only in the regions of fancy. …” – Daniel Boone quoted by “A Travelor” Detroit Gazette, 7/4/1823
Daniel Boone is a mythic hero of the modern age. Although historical records document his activities, many of the people who have interpreted him have discarded the facts to create a hero that embodies their personal visions and agendas, starting as early as the 1784 publication of John Filson’s “autobiography” of Boone. Who was the real Daniel Boone? This exhibit explores the visions past biographers and artists imposed on the man and introduces Boone’s real life as modern scholars understood it.
Number of pieces: 10 poster panels Size of panels: 24″ x 36″

The L&N Railroad
The Louisville & Nashville Railroad, described as the most significant internal improvement in Kentucky during the 19th century, grew to become one of the most significant rail lines in the United States. From its beginnings before the Civil War through its 1986 merger with CSX, the L&N played a major role in the history of Kentucky. In this exhibit, images and text examine that history.
Number of pieces: 9 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″ (approx.)

Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement
After the modern civil rights movement began in the mid-1950s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., emerged as the major voice for the movement nationally. Under his leadership, the tactics of non-cooperation with unjust laws, persistent demonstrations and nonviolent responses to physical assault became the guiding principles of a mass movement designed to arouse the nation’s conscience. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his advocacy of non-violence. This exhibit examines the events and personalities of the civil rights movement from 1955 to King’s assassination in 1968. Dozens of stunning photographs and numerous quotes from Dr. King’s most important speeches complement this important exhibit.
Number of pieces: 20 poster panels, each 19″ x 40″ (approx.)

A Matter of Opinion: The Editorial Cartoons of Hugh Haynie
“By expressing my opinion perhaps others will search their own, and if I cause one other person to think and examine his own views, then there is a reason for doing what I do and the way I do it.” – Hugh Haynie
The 31 editorial cartoons in this exhibit highlight Hugh Haynie’s illustrious career at the Louisville Courier-Journal. Newspaper owner Barry Bingham Sr. hired Haynie in 1958 and he emerged as one of the leading political cartoonists of his time. Haynie’s award-winning artwork and viewpoints enraged and engaged readers for 38 years. He fit style to circumstance and mood to event, and was equally adept at depicting a social issue, an obituary or the spirit of a holiday.
Number of pieces: 8 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition: Kentuckians and World War II
World War II was a watershed moment in U.S. history, and for Kentuckians, life changed drastically between 1941 and 1945.
The exhibit examines what took place, and why, both on the home front and overseas. It tells the story of the incredible spirit and efforts of Kentuckians and their sacrifices and hardships, joys and sorrows. This exhibit, created by the Kentucky Historical Society and funded by the United States Department of Defense, contains color photographs of artifacts and images from the collections of the Kentucky Historical Society’s museums.
Number of pieces: 9 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″

Visions of the Rural South: The Photography of Doris Ulmann
Pioneering female photographer Doris Ulmann recorded some of the most famous faces of the 1920s and 1930s in her hometown of New York City. However, she discovered her most personally satisfying work far away from her Park Avenue portrait studio – in rural America. In 1930, Ulmann expressed a passion for having her pictures “serve some social purpose,” and produce “a lasting thing for the world.” She began summer sojourns into southern Appalachia, carefully studying the faces of the region’s inhabitants. Ulmann’s photographs reflect the character and beauty of people who lived in rural America – that they were industrious and prosperous in their simplicity and that they were devoted to family and friends. Her photographs suggest that these Americans had their priorities well aligned and that they had cultivated these values in another century from ancestors who were the true American pioneers. The exhibit features 32 of Doris Ulmann’s photographs and text that describes her motivations and legacy.
Number of pieces: 8 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″

Women Working For Change
Women Working for Change documents the contributions that Kentucky women have made to the cultural, intellectual, medical and political life in Kentucky from post-Civil War years to the middle of the 20th century. It draws from the best examples of photographs from statewide repositories to illustrate the activities of women in these four areas. The exhibit includes often-neglected minority groups and presents both urban and rural women. It highlights the achievements of well-known women, but also includes the contributions of less famous women.
Number of pieces: 8 poster panels, each 24″ x 36″