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Past Exhibits

Explore past Ohio Historical Connection exhibits

Going, Going, Gone? Endangered and Extinct Species 

July 2014 - April 26, 2015
Explore how species become endangered and extinct and how you can make a difference. It features one of the last known wild passenger pigeons, Buttons, who was found in Ohio and is a part of the Ohio History Connection’s permanent collection.

Faces of Appalachia: Photographs by Albert J. Ewing

January 2014 - August 3, 2014
During the 1890s and early 1900s Ewing traveled central West Virginia photographing people and their surrounding environment. He created an enduring record of Appalachian life at the turn of the of the last century. See a selection of these remarkable portraits and examples of Ewing's original glass plate negatives.

Over Here, Over There

Over Here, Over There uses visible storage to bring many objects into view. With a jeep at the entrance to set the tone, the exhibit also features an array of uniforms from several wars. Walls of mementos, from photographs and flags to medals and clippings, remind us that we each use different techniques for attempting to capture that elusive quality that helps us remember a loved one. What do you save? What did your parents’ generation save?


Explore the Ohio History Center's latest exhibit, Transformation. Discover the stories of five objects and how mere “things” can bring about transformation and change, from life to death, from unknown to famous, from existing to extinct.

Controversy 2: Pieces We Don't Talk About

February 29, 2012 - August 4, 2013
Ohio History Center, Columbus 

The Ohio History Center invites guests to explore a new exhibit that examines perceptions of race stereotypes from a historical perspective. In Controversy 2: Pieces We Don’t Talk About, visitors are encouraged to reflect on how stereotypes influence personal identity.

War of 1812: Ohio On the Frontline

July 4 - December 30, 2012
Ohio History Center, Columbus 

Despite the name, the War of 1812 did not begin and end in 1812. It went on for nearly three years, from 1812 until 1815. Fought against Great Britain, it was our first major war as a new nation and Ohio -- especially northwest Ohio -- was a key battleground. The war paved the way for expanded settlement and the growth of Ohio into the state we know today. It was a War of 1812 battle -- the Battle of Fort McHenry -- that inspired our national anthem.

This exhibit features artifacts and archival materials showcasing Ohio's pivotal place in the War of 1812.

VSA Ohio's 2012 Accessible Expressions Ohio Exhibition and Tour

July 4, 2012 - September 30, 2012

VSA Ohio, the state organization on arts and disability, empowers individuals with disabilities, creatively and inclusively, through the arts. VSA Ohio coordinates Accessible Expressions Ohio (AEO), a statewide, juried, visual arts exhibition and tour adding to the richness of cultural diversity throughout Ohio. This exhibit may be the most diverse art show you see this year. The work is mischievous, clever, thought-provoking, beautiful, and whimsical. The artists tell their stories through camera lenses, fabric, pencil, wood, and more. Learn more about VSA Ohio.

The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute From the Civil War to Iraq

July 1, 2011 - May 27, 2012

This dramatic exhibition of photographs captures the essence of the American soldier over 150 years –ever since the birth of photography when the camera became a notebook to history. More than 100 enlarged photographs in the exhibition cover America in conflict during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, Boxer Rebellion, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan and the Iraq War. The American Soldier: A Photographic Tribute From the Civil War to Iraq captures the danger and frustration, the humor and beauty, the camaraderie, death and victory that the American soldier has encountered throughout history.

Controversy: Pieces You Don't Normally See

April 20, 2011 - November 20, 2011

Controversy: Pieces You Don’t Normally See is the first in a series of installations that lets compelling objects from our permanent collection speak for themselves. Explore your reactions to these items from Ohio’s history: the electric chair, a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood, a sheepskin condom, a thumb mitt and a human cage—by definition, inanimate objects that have ignited real, raw emotion.


May 1, 2009 - February 27, 2010

Discover the stories. Feel the passion. Experience 200 years of culture and history through the artwork, music and words of African American artists. The works of art in this exhibition are on loan from the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Rockwell's America

November 1, 2008 - March 15, 2009

Rockwell's America provides an unforgettable opportunity to literally step inside the pages of history as seen through the eyes of an American icon. With life-sized recreations of Rockwell's most famous scenes, dozens of hands-on displays, and all 322 of his original covers from The Saturday Evening Post, it is the largest Norman Rockwell touring exhibit ever created.

Spotlight on Milton Caniff

October 25, 2007 - March 1, 2009

Milton Caniff is best-remembered for his popular comic strips Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon and Male Call. His innovative artwork and well-written prose remains the standard for realistic, well-researched storytelling. On display are many of his childhood and professional artifacts including photographs, toys, furniture, an extensive weapons collection, and art supplies.

Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs

April 25, 2008 - September 14, 2008

The exhibition, Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs, shows us with stunning clarity what it means to be human. The pictures draw us in and connect us emotionally to the people whose stories have defined our time.

Each of the photographs, reproduced for this exhibition in large format, won a Pulitzer Prize between 1942 and 2007: Babe Ruth’s last day as a Yankee, the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the student-National Guard conflict at Kent State, the World Trade Center attack.

Once Upon A Dime: The World of Money

September 1, 2007 - April 1, 2008

JPMorgan Chase presents Once Upon A Dime: The World of Money. The exhibit starts thousands of years ago and takes you right up through today’s world of electronic finance. Digital Diva, a spunky, cartoon docent, guides you into the realm of electronic dollars. You’ll peek into a bank vault filled with all different kinds of "money," follow the story of money from barter to digital dollars, become an inspector and discover how governments around the world have developed anti-counterfeiting measures, and explore ways to spend, save, and invest your own hard-earned cash. You can’t afford to miss it!

First ladies: Political Role and Public Image

May 12, 2007 - July 29, 2007

The exhibition, featuring gowns and clothing, personal belongings, White House furnishings, and campaign keepsakes, examines the demanding duties of presidential wife and national hostess and how her role has changed from ceremonial partner to one of international celebrity and recognized political power. First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, is organized by the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, and SITES.

Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers

February 8, 2007 - April 22, 2007

Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers, created by The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, is one-of-a-kind exhibition organized into six perspectives: Firsts, Olympians, Game Makers, Barrier Removers, More Than Sports Champions, and Superstars.

This exhibit is guaranteed to appeal to athletes and sports fans of all ages. Come explore these famous athletes’ personal items as you catch a glimpse into their love of sports, their relationship with the media, and the impact they’ve had on society-at-large.

Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood

May 29, 2006 - September 4, 2006

Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood explores play and entertainment, invention and innovation, along with social and industrial history. Kid Stuff beckons you to touch, race, twist, and play your way throughout 10 areas of recognizable themes which may bring back memories by their names alone! This fun-filled exhibit was organized by the Berkshire Museum.

Ohio's Garden Path: the Flowering of Our Landscape 

April 1, 2005 - 2011

Owning a plot of land with a little garden and a house is part of the American dream. As Americans we value our personal space, and once settled upon a site, we set about to create our own version of Eden - selectively planting grooming and changing the landscape to suit our sense of style. The gardens we create are often a reflection of our origins, values, fashions and a response to technological and social change. Explore these fundamental beliefs in the new exhibit, Ohio's Garden Path: the Flowering of Our Landscape.

Moments in Time

March 18, 2004 - December 31, 2004

View over 225 images from our collections - from antique photography to digital files. See Ohio caught on film!

A Stitch in Time: 200 years of Ohio Quilts

2003 - 2004

From the Ohio History Connection permanent collection, these quilts best represent the craft, their creators, and their relationship to Ohio. This exhibition of quilts stand as silent testimony to Ohio quilters and the quilt traditions begun and practiced here for the past 200 years. For the quilters of today and tomorrow, they give inspiration and encouragement to continue creating Ohio's great quilting stories.

American Originals: Treasures from the National Archives

May 24, 2002 - September 2, 2002

A traveling exhibit of rare documents that have been identified as having permanent value to the United States government. American Originals showcases original documents that have charted the course of American history.

Ohio Originals

March 1, 2002 - 2003

Ohio Originals features more than 100 artifacts and manuscripts spanning prehistoric times to the 1970s.

Kilroy Was Here!: 1940s Revisited 2000 - 2005

The exhibit allows visitors to reflect on the profound changes that occurred in American culture--and on the great personal sacrifices Ohioans and all Americans made--as a result of our involvement in WWII. The multidimensional exhibit also looks at lighter side of American life in the 1940s including music, sports, movies, and other aspects of the era's popular culture.

Kilroy Was Here! features life-sized family scenes from before, during and after WWII, complemented by videotaped recollections of Ohioans who lived during the era. The songs of decade accompany an in-depth 1940s timeline that vividly portrays the changing times with a large collection of objects and graphics. Visitors are invited to relax in an interactive period living room, where they can play games, try on '40s-style clothing and read magazines and newspapers from the period. At interactive kiosks nearby, they can also test their knowledge of news, sports and popular tunes of the day. Special evening events, lectures and a monthly series of family programming further enlivens this trip back in time.

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