W.H. Over Museum to host Smithsonian exhibit

W.H. Over Museum to host Smithsonian exhibit
The W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion has been selected as the first of six institutions in South Dakota to host the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit "Between Fences." Nancy Hodgson, education coordinator at the W.H. Over, is program director for this exhibit in Vermillion. Steve Bucklin, history professor at USD, serves as state scholar for the tour in South Dakota.

"Between Fences" is a visual cultural history of fences and land use that examines how neighbors and nations divide and protect, offend and defend through the boundaries they build. Focusing on every region of the United States, the exhibit's subjects include the defining of home, farm, and factory; the settling of the United States; the closing of the range in the South and its meaning to former slaves; and the making of fences, including a look at why Abe Lincoln became known as a rail splitter.

The exhibition examines human relationships on an expanding scale: neighbor versus neighbor, gated communities, and the Mexican and Canadian borders of the United States. "Between Fences" tells American stories through diverse fence types.


The W.H. Over Museum will develop public humanities programming to coincide with the theme of "Between Fences," such as lectures, displays, local exhibits and contests. Area schools and community groups of all ages will be encouraged to participate.

"Between Fences" will open on Sept. 20 at the Over Museum in Vermillion and run through Nov. 2. A local planning committee is currently being formed and will begin monthly meetings in February. Watch for further announcements of preliminary activities.

The showing of "Between Fences" has been made possible in Vermillion by the South Dakota Humanities Council. "Between Fences" is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. The W.H. Over welcomes community sponsors to provide additional support.

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