Virginia: Marriage to Create New Civil War Museum

RICHMOND, Va. — A proposed museum about the Civil War may be in the capital of the Confederacy, but the just-announced name for it indicates that the time has come to unite the Union and the Confederacy, at least in the way the war is presented at a major museum.

The American Civil War Museum is the name for the future institution that will bring together theAmerican Civil War Center, whose mission has been to tell the Northern, Southern and the African-American side of the war, and the Museum of the Confederacy, which houses the country’s largest collection of Confederate artifacts.

A tagline was also created for the American Civil War Museum: “Confederacy, Union and Freedom.” According to a news release, the leaders of the two existing museums were assisted in the name and tag selection through a market research survey of members of heritage groups, museum supporters and the general public.

Th Museum of the Confederacy.

Th Museum of the Confederacy.

In a surprise move late last year, the two Richmond museums announced a joint venture to build a 30,000-square-foot museum on the campus of the American Civil War Center, about a mile from the Confederate museum.

The center, which opened in 2006 and has a limited collection of artifacts to display, is rich in open land, and Museum of the Confederacy, which opened more than a century ago and has more than 15,000 Confederate objects, had no space to expand.

The next steps include site and exhibit planning, design, construction and development of new marketing strategies. When completed, the museum will combine the best aspects of both museums.

The Confederacy museum has a vast collection of Southern artifacts from swords to uniforms, while the Civil War Center uses interactive exhibits to tell the story of the Civil War.

Construction of the $30 million museum is expected to begin this year and the opening scheduled for 2015.

-Washington Post/Associated Press