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Changing Exhibits

Under the Arctic: Digging into Permafrost

Opening September 21, 2019 – January 12, 2020

The Upcountry History Museum will invite visitors to explore real Ice Age fossils, ancient ice cores, climate change, and engineering challenges posed by thawing permafrost when it hosts Under the Arctic, Digging Into Permafrost.

Organized by the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI), in partnership with the University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute and a Native Alaskan advisory team, the 2,000 square foot immersive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) exhibition transports visitors to the Arctic using the sights and smells of the world’s only permafrost research tunnel.

Sixteen miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska, behind the door of a shed on a frozen hillside, is one of the world’s most remarkable research facilities. The underground Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility offers a unique opportunity to view and study 40,000-year-old frozen soil, along with the ice, plant material, bacteria, fossils, and bones frozen within it. Dug by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s to study permafrost excavation, the tunnel now supports a wide and growing body of scientific research related to numerous topics, among them: climate change.

Few people have the opportunity to enter the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility, but thanks to the Under the Arctic exhibition, visitors will experience first-hand what it is like to journey underground, back to the Pleistocene.

Designed for families, life-long learners, and school groups, Under the Arctic has a special emphasis on reaching audiences ages 9-14, as they step into the shoes of climate science researchers. The exhibition’s research stations introduce students to diverse STEM-based careers.

In addition to the 30-foot long walk-through replica of the tunnel, visitors join the research team to learn from hands-on experiments, interactive models, and exciting games that explore the causes and consequences of climate change.

Through engaging experiences, visitors of all ages explore how the dramatic permafrost landscape provides clues to our past, present, and future, as well as consider realistic ways they can positively impact the environment and establish professional careers within the STEM field.

Sponsored by:  Jolley Foundation, International Paper, Fluor, GE, WSPA News Channel 7, and HDR


Down the Rabbit Hole: Imagining Alice’s Wonderland

June 15, 2019 – October 20, 2019

The Upcountry History Museum in partnership with Walt Disney Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Walt Disney Family Museum, Charles M. Schulz Museum, Daura Gallery at Lynchburg College, and renowned artist Charles Santore, will invite visitors to fall down the rabbit hole to discover an immersive enchanted world that draws together a remarkable collection of original Alice In Wonderland materials.

Inspired by real events and a real child, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was dreamt up on a summer’s day in 1862, by Charles Ludwidge Dodgson, who later assumed the pen name Lewis Carroll. It is said that Carroll’s Alice books were the origin of all later children’s literature. In Alice, for the first time, readers found a realistic child taking part in a story whose intention was entirely fun. Both children and adults loved them at once, and 157 years’ later have never stopped doing so. It was not only Lewis Carroll’s words that captured readers’ imaginations; John Tenniel’s illustrations brought the story to life and remain in our collective consciousness to this day. Tenniel’s artwork provided the original image of Alice along with the amazing characters that she met in Wonderland.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Imagining Alice’s Wonderland, a 1,200 square foot exhibition, organized by the Upcountry History Museum, will explore the kaleidoscope of artistic re-imaginings of Alice from the 1860s to the present. Original Alice paintings, drawings, illustrations, set designs, puppets, film costumes and props will reflect diverse artistic interpretations. From Tenniel’s original Victorian illustrations to costumes, props and sets from Walt Disney Pictures Academy Award winning live action film Alice in Wonderland, the exhibition will examine multiple perspectives of one of literature’s greatest paradoxes that continues to inspire imagination, creativity, and discussion. Rich with visual interpretation, the exhibit will take visitors on Alice’s journey through the cultural, technological and societal shifts that have compelled artists, filmmakers and fans to return to the Alice tales again and again.

Sponsored by: WSPA News Channel 7


Love a Vet: Honoring Our Military Veterans

July 6, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Since its inception in 1983, the Upcountry History Museum has committed to honoring the sacrifices, courage, and patriotism of the men and women who have worn a military uniform. Dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating the legacy and dignity of all United States military veterans,
the museum shares the stories of America’s conflicts.

The Museum annually honors those who served and their families through military exhibitions, recording and preserving local veteran’s oral histories, participating in the national Blue Star Museum program, delivering military history lectures, and hosting Veteran’s Day and Armed Forces Day events.

The Museum, in partnership with the Hunterdon Healthcare Foundation and the 52 Reasons to Love A Vet charitable organization, will host the national traveling exhibition Love A Vet: Honoring Our Veterans, July 6,
2019 – January 5, 2020.

Through art and artifacts the Love A Vet exhibition, and its related programming, will encourage the public to appreciate the sacrifices made by veterans and their families and educate on the challenging issues that
veterans face upon their re-entry into civilian life.

The exhibit features 40 paintings, drawings, and prints by a diverse group of contemporary illustrators; many of whom have been involved in the military themselves. Nationally recognized artists represented in the exhibit include Gail Anderson, art director for Rolling Stone magazine; Steve Brodner, political cartoonist; and Mike Wimmer, illustrator for Disney’s Lion King. Upstate artist Tina LeMay, is featured in the exhibition. A Clemson University Alum and Creative Director for Student Affairs at Clemson University, LeMay’s contribution to the exhibition is dedicated to the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families.

The Love A Vet project was founded by Ella Rue, an award-winning graphic designer and artist, whose son is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan wars. Ms. Rue established the 52 Reasons to Love a Vet nonprofit and its
companion traveling exhibition to generate awareness and to help veterans further their education and assist with medical, dental, or mental health resources following their return home.

A primary goal of the project is to raise an additional $10,000 specifically for underwriting museum admission for veterans, active duty military personnel and their families during the exhibit’s 6-month display.

Sponsored by: 3M, Lockheed Martin, and WSPA News Channel 7


Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined

August 31, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Throughout the nineteenth century as Americans pushed west toward the Pacific, they were fascinated by westward expansion in North America. Printed imagery – lithographs and engravings – played an important
role in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding about the West and its inhabitants.

Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined, a special exhibition organized by ExhibitsUSA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores the potent imagery of these popular prints, produced in the decades following President Thomas Jefferson’s acquisition of 828,000 square miles from Napoleon, King of France in 1803. Known as the Louisiana Purchase it set the stage for great exploration and discovery,
migration and settlement, in addition to struggle and conflict.

Western expansion was one of the most transformational elements in American life throughout the 19th century. Convinced that God wanted the country to extend to the Pacific coast – an idea called “Manifest Destiny” – many American citizens, including painters and printmakers, moved west.

The Imprinting the West exhibition includes over 48 works of art that examine westward expansion. Prints and engravings created by artists, including George Catlin, Frederic Remington, John J. Audubon, Albert Bierstadt and many more, shaped perceptions of the West and its Native American inhabitants, some of whom were dislocated by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Several artists documented the so-called “vanishing race,” while others portrayed the western landscape. Much of this imagery was created with an east coast or international audience in mind, and it both drew and promoted fantasies about Native Americans and the west as much as it documented reality.

Whether real or imagined, these images and the exhibition examine the birth of the West as an idea in American popular culture.

Sponsored by: Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Mary Lawson and Mr. Hayne and Mrs. Anna Kate Hipp


Call of Loan or Donation of Objects

Do you have a treasure in your attic? The Upcountry History Museum – Furman University is actively collecting artifacts related to the history of the Upcountry and upcoming special exhibitions. Please contact the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University regarding the possible loan or donation of objects and memorabilia via email at info@upcountryhistory.org.