Press Release


Exhibition on cultural history of fences and land use opens December 27.

CHICAGO—Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C, the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will bring “Between Fences,” a portable five-kiosk exhibition designed especially for small museums and historical societies, to Murphysboro, Illinois. The exhibition opens on Tuesday, December 27 at the General John A. Logan Museum (1613 Edith St.), and will remain on display until February 3.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 10:00 A.M. at the Logan Museum. Brief remarks are planned by Representative Mike Bost, Murphysboro Mayor Ron Williams, and Logan Museum Director Mike Jones. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. That evening, at 7:00 P.M., Professor Debra Reid of Eastern Illinois University will present “To Embrace or Breach: Fence Meanings and Metaphors.” Reid will explore why we create the boundaries that mark our landscapes and our lives. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

The Logan Museum will host a series of events in conjunction with the exhibition’s stay. Upcoming events include “On Both Sides of the Fence: John A. Logan and Racial Equality” on January 26 at 7:00 P.M., a lecture byDr. John Y. Simon of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. On February 3 at 7:00 P.M., theTrico High School performing arts class will present “Fences, Conflicts, and Impossible Dreams,” a musical and dramatic performance of the literal and figurative meaning of fences at the Liberty Theatre, 1333 Walnut Street. Refreshments served. Free admission. For further details on these events please contact the Logan Museum at (618) 684-3455 or

“Between Fences” is a cultural history of fences and land use. By focusing on this dominant but often overlooked feature of the American landscape, this exhibition examines how neighbors and nations divide, protect, and define themselves through the boundaries they build. Through photographs and artifacts, “Between Fences” evokes the multiple meanings of these everyday icons, allowing audiences to investigate early settlement patterns, town architecture, transportation systems, contemporary and historical immigration, and civility among neighbors.

“Between Fences” is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MOMs) program, a partnership between the Smithsonian and State Humanities Councils. MOMs serves the needs of small-to-medium-sized communities by bringing Smithsonian-quality exhibitions to local museums, historical societies, libraries, and community centers that traditionally have limited access to traveling exhibitions due to space and cost limitations.

Murphysboro is the third stop on a six-town tour for “Between Fences;” the exhibition will continue the tour through Bushnell, Mt. Vernon, and Mahomet in 2006.

For more information about “ Between Fences ” please call (312) 422-5580 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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