Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More On Lincoln Pullout

Lincoln Museum doors to close at end of June
Prized exhibits will be shifted, loaned, gifted
Link (JG)

"Many of the collection’s documents will remain at the Fort Wayne site and will be converted to digital form, which will allow researchers more easy access to them, Brown said.

Citing declining local attendance figures, Brown said the collection’s dispersal to other sites will better match the Lincoln Financial Foundation’s mission for the items, which is to ensure they get maximum exposure and remain accessible to the public."


"Overall yearly attendance at the museum is about 40,000, Brown said. Museums in larger cities often boast six-figure attendance figures.

Brown also emphasized that Lincoln Financial Group’s commitment to the Fort Wayne community, citing the company’s lease renewal on its headquarters, which extends to 2019. She also cited that the company provided land to be used for the Harrison Square development."
‘Shining star' faced attendance ills
Link (JG)
"Much of the Lincoln Museum’s extensive collection – a treasure trove for historians that includes 18,000 books and 350 documents signed by Lincoln, among other rarities – will be digitized or sent to other museums around the country, possibly making it more difficult for researchers to access them all."
Lincoln Museum to close June 30
Foundation plans to move key artifacts to other museums
Link (NS)
"The announcement Monday that the Lincoln Museum is closing has supporters of the nearly 80-year-old Fort Wayne icon asking why the $20 million collection cannot remain in Fort Wayne.

“We will not be in the business of managing a museum,” said Priscilla Brown, vice president of Lincoln Financial Group. Lincoln's charitable arm, the Lincoln Financial Foundation, owns and operates the private museum in Renaissance Square, 200 E. Berry St. The museum is touted as the world's largest private collection of Lincoln memorabilia."


"Lincoln Foundation board members will begin meeting soon to decide the process for dispersing items. All nine members live in the Philadelphia area, where Lincoln moved its national headquarters from Fort Wayne in 1998."


"Brown said the decision to close does not imply the foundation or Lincoln Financial Group is not committed to Fort Wayne. The foundation has given $27 million in grants to Fort Wayne community organizations and projects in the past five years and will grant another $3 million this year, said Sandra Kemmish, director of the foundation. The foundation has given $60 million to six communities in the past five years.

Brown also pointed out that Fort Wayne is Lincoln Financial Group's largest employee base, with 1,850 employees, up from 1,500 three years ago, mostly due to growth of the annuities business. "
Museum's closing ‘a tragedy' for city
Former Lincoln Scholar here says it's “cultural vandalism”
Link (NS)
"“I think this is a tragedy for Fort Wayne and a tragedy for the Lincoln community nationwide and worldwide,” said Gerald J. Prokopowicz, author of “Did Lincoln Own Slaves?” published in 2008."


"“Closing the museum is an act of cultural vandalism by people who have no concept of the historical responsibility with which they have been entrusted,” he said in an e-mail. “It's a blow to Fort Wayne, to the worldwide community of Lincoln scholars, and to anyone with respect for and interest in our nation's greatest president.”"


"Lincoln Foundation officials also cited competition from other museums with more hands-on offerings as a reason for declining attendance.

Prokopowicz took issue with that. He noted that the museum has plenty of hands-on exhibits, and said when it opened in 1995, some traditionalists criticized it as being too high-tech."
Reaction to the Lincoln Museum closing
Link (NS)

We can still give history a special place in Fort Wayne
Link (NS)


Scott B. said...

I think it is of little consolation that Lincoln signed a renewed 10 year lease on their building. 50 years might have shown true commitment, 10 years just means they will reevaluate if they want to stay.

Also, if LFG (i.e. Jefferson Pilot) is not in the business of running a museum, why did they not give the museum over to The History Center?