Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marian Anderson: Artist and Symbol

Where: National Museum of American History

When: through September 7, 2014

This is the latest display in the Museum's section devoted to African-American themed exhibits.  I think of this area as a preview of what we can expect when the National Museum of African-American History and Culture opens next year.  I'm really looking forward to having a new museum to visit.

Assuming that everyone is familiar with the story of how the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Marian Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall, I won't go into that in detail.  This ensemble is what she wore when she sang on Easter Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial.  This is the 75th anniversary of the concert, which one cannot help but see as foreshadowing Martin Luther King's speech at the same site years later.

It's a lovely skirt and jacket - one realizes that she was not a large woman, looking at her clothes.  One often sees proof of how far we have to go to realize a truly race-blind society, but it's displays like this that remind us of how far we have come.

Verdict: Stop by on your way to see the 1863-1963 show or when you're in the museum to see something else.

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