Exhibiting America explores the varied ways that the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History – under different names over the years – conveyed the story of America to millions of annual visitors in its first 137 years. While NMAH’s size and prominent location in the nation’s capital have usually meant its leaders aspired to grand visions, often the realities of exhibition development have tempered and reshaped its exhibitions in unexpected and provocative ways. Exhibiting America takes readers through five distinct eras, describing and analyzing the museum’s major exhibitions. To mark the start of a new era for the museum, Allison and Peterson offer reflections on trends and continuing challenges for the National Museum of American History.
Publication Date: February 18, 2021