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Exhibits (Bits of History)

Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmaker, a conversation with Patricia Phillips Marshall, curator of decorative arts at the North Carolina Museum of History

Thomas Day was a free man of color who owned and operated one of North Carolina’s largest cabinet shops prior to the Civil War. The museum’s exhibit Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmakershowcases furniture crafted by this accomplished artisan and entrepreneur from Milton, Caswell County, and explores the extraordinary story of a man who succeeded and flourished despite shrinking freedoms for free people of color in antebellum North Carolina. Approximate run time: 27 minutes

Reconstruction and the Struggle for Racial Equality, a conversation with Brooks Simpson, PhD, professor American history, Arizona State University

Simpson’s edited collection of more than 120 speeches, newspaper and magazine articles, letters, and other period writings provides a sweeping view of the hope and despair that existed during the tumultuous period in American history following the Civil War, a time known as Reconstruction. Approximate run time: 37 minutes.

Ernie Barnes and the Merger of Art and Athlete, a conversation with Luz Rodriguez, trustee of the Ernie Barnes Estate

Noted for his unique style of elongation and movement, artist Ernie Barnes was the first American professional athlete to become a noted painter. His work as an artist led him far from his home in Durham, yet his childhood roots remained a constant influence as shown in an exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History, The North Carolina Roots of Artist Ernie Barnes (June 29, 2018–March 3, 2019). Approximate run time: 29 minutes.

Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina, a conversation with Leonard Rogoff, curator and historian for the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina

The exhibit documents and presents more than 400 years of Jewish life in North Carolina. Produced and organized by the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina (JHFNC), Down Home chronicles how Jews have integrated into Tar Heel life by blending their own traditions into southern culture, while preserving their ethnic and religious traditions. Approximate run time: 28 minutes.

Everyday Artistry, a conversation with Diana Bell-Kite, North Carolina Museum of History

Bell-Kite, curator of the exhibit Everyday Artistry, talks about how ordinary utilitarian objects can eventually be viewed as works of art. Approximate run time: 17 minutes.

History of the Harvest, an interview with Duane Martin, PhD, agronomist with Syngenta

The museum’s new outdoor exhibit, History of the Harvest, features plants and crops that examine the past, present, and future of agriculture both locally and globally. Approximate run time: 24 minutes

John Lawson’s Exploration of the Carolinas, a conversation with Jeanne Marie Warzeski, North Carolina Museum of History

John Lawson an English explorer, surveyor, and naturalist, journeyed through the Carolinas backcountry in 1701 and 1702. To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the publication of Lawson’s A New Voyage to Carolina, the North Carolina Museum of History opened a new exhibit, A New Land, "A New Voyage": John Lawson’s Exploration of Carolina.” Warzeski, curator of colonial and antebellum history, discusses John Lawson’s contributions to history and natural science. Approximate run time: 22 minutes.

The Real George Washington, a conversation with Carol Cadou, senior curator, and Sabrina Hiedemann, exhibition coordinator, at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens

Few figures in American history are as well-known and respected as George Washington. Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon is a traveling exhibition that examines Washington’s legacy and provides new perspectives on Washington aside from his more prominent careers as general and president. Approximate run time: 30 minutes.

Real to Reel: The Making of Gone with the Windan interview with collector James Tumblin

Former head of Universal Studios makeup and hair department, James Tumblin owns the largest private collection of memorabilia associated with the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. Approximate run time: 25 minutes

Rural Revival: Photographs of Home and Preservation of Placea conversation with photographer and historic preservation advocate Scott Garlock

Garlock uses photography to capture long-forgotten homeplaces, churches, schools, and other community landmarks. His love of history, architecture, and place comes together to help showcase, document, and—in some cases—save historic structures. Approximate run time: 27 minutes.

In Search of a New Deal, a conversation with Diana Bell-Kite, North Carolina Museum of History, and Emily Catherman, Historic Oak View Park

From 1935 to 1941 the Farm Security Administration’s photographic project provided an unparalleled documentary record of how the Great Depression and the New Deal affected rural North Carolinians. Diana Bell-Kite, associate curator at the North Carolina Museum of History, and Emily Catherman, park manager at Historic Oak View Park discuss the museum’s exhibit In Search of a New Deal, Images of North Carolina 1935-1941. Approximate run time: 30 minutes.

Stories of Stagville Plantation, a conversation with photographer and guest curator Brenda Scott

Scott talks about her efforts to document the places and people—past and present—of Stagville Plantation near Durham. Her work has resulted in thousands of photographs and oral histories of descendants of Stagville’s enslaved residents. Approximate run time: 24 minutes.

A Thousand Words: Photographs by Vietnam Veterans, a conversation with Martin Tucker

Photographer Tucker, curator of the traveling exhibit A Thousand Words: Photographs by Vietnam Veterans, talks about the exhibit’s creation. The exhibit, which completed its run at the North Carolina Museum of History in late April 2009. Approximate run time: 16 minutes.

Workboats of Core Sound, a conversation with Lawrence S. Earley, photographer

Earley traveled throughout the Core Sound region of North Carolina taking photographs of fishermen and the boats that have supported a way of life for generations. He discusses the struggles, rewards, and future of a community whose fate is tied to the ocean. Earley’s photos are featured in the exhibit Workboats of Core Sound. Approximate run time: 24 minutes.