Opening of the special exhibit "Jacob Riis: How the Other Half Lives"
Date & Time: Friday, April 6, 2018. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The turn of the 20th century is best remembered as a two-sided coin. On one side, the close of the 1800s birthed modern America as we know it today. Industrialists like Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller built the first large corporations. Inventors like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell remade the American lifestyle through their innovation. On the other side, extreme poverty made life difficult for immigrants and the lower classes. Rather than call this period the nation’s “Golden Age,” Mark Twain sarcastically dubbed it “The Gilded Age,” noting the era’s unnecessary opulence for too few and excessive want for too many. Jacob Riis was a Danish-born American photographer who decided to use his talent with a camera to peer behind the gilded veneer of high society to expose the harsh realities of living in New York City at the turn of the century. A social reformer and early muckraker in the tradition of Upton Sinclair and Ida Tarbell, Riis traveled into tenements, factories and sweatshops to document the day-to-day lives of the city’s many poor immigrants and laborers. This is a traveling exhibit created by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ touring program, NEH on the Road. It contains several of Riis’ life-size photographs and personal artifacts, as well as multimedia features and interactive stations. In the spirit of Jacob Riis’ passion to give a voice to the voiceless, the exhibit will include photographs and testimonials of those struggling locally in Sandusky County and Northwest Ohio in order to foster a conversation about hardship in the 21st century. Admission is included with the price of a regular museum ticket. Members are admitted for free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with the exception of holiday hours and closings. This exhibit will be on display through May 25, 2018.