Ohio Historical Center shows 'Controversy' 03.16.2011

Written by David Green.

“Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See” will open April 1, at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus, Ohio. The exhibit is an innovative departure from previous exhibits, focusing on a limited collection of objects.

“Controversy” will feature objects from the permanent collection of the Ohio Historical Society including the electric chair from the old Ohio Penitentiary, a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, a sheepskin condom, a cribbed cage that restrained patients at a state mental institution, and a thumb mitt once used to prevent children from sucking their thumbs.

“Objects are not controversial—they are neutral,” said Sharon E. Dean, Ph.D., director of Museum and Library Services. “We give objects meaning by projecting our own memories, emotions or prejudices onto them. Each object represents a part of Ohio’s history and we encourage visitors to this exhibit to find their own ways to connect to the objects.”

The exhibit is limited to visitors age 18 or over, or those accompanied by an adult.

A special exhibit admission fee of $5 will be charged in addition to the regular admission charge. The exhibit is on display from April 1 to Nov. 20, 2011.

The Ohio Historical Center is one of 58 historic sites and museums administered by The Ohio Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that serves as the state’s partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, natural history, archaeology and historic places.

For more information, call 800/686-6124 or visit www.ohiohistory.org/controversy.

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