Louisville's Frazier History Museum Hosts SPIRITS OF THE PASSAGE Exhibition thru 6/16

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The Frazier History Museum invites guests to experience one of the most powerful and important exhibitions it has ever displayed. "Spirits of the Passage: The Story of the Transatlantic Slave Trade" explores the power of the human spirit through a display of nearly 150 historical objects covering more than 350 years.

The 4,000 sq. ft. exhibition, on display through June 16, 2013, is in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and the turning point it represented for thousands of enslaved people at a pivotal point in the American Civil War. It's the first exhibition of its kind to examine the entire history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the 16th through 19th centuries, while also presenting the most up-to-date research and discoveries to the public. These include the latest marine archaeological discoveries, new research on key African societies and an exploration of the slave trade's modern day legacies.

Produced by the Frazier Museum in partnership with the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Fla., "Spirits of the Passage" allows guests to see authentic artifacts from the wreck of an actual slave ship, such as restraints, tools, plates and trade goods, as well as dozens of other objects from West African societies that show the uniqueness of the individual cultures they represent. These include religious objects, bronze- and beadwork, pottery and jewelry. These compelling artifacts, along with maps, paintings and illustrations, create a provocative picture of this tragic era, while also engendering a sense of pride in the legacy of strength these enslaved people left behind.

"'Spirits of the Passage' represents a wealth of new scholarship on a topic that often gets reduced to data and charts," said Frazier Museum Executive Director Madeleine Burnside, a slave trade historian. "What's so rare about this exhibition is how we delve into the details of this haunting world event-with real stories about specific people and coordinating artifacts."




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by Barry Kostrinsky