Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum to open temporary exhibit featuring costumes from DreamWorks Studios' Lincoln

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"Clouds and Darkness Surround Us: The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln" will be on display starting February 12, 2015. The exhibit features costumes from the DreamWorks film Lincoln as well as artifacts, replicas and memorabilia from the museum's collection.

The temporary exhibit features costumes from the DreamWorks Studios film Lincoln including this one worn by Sally Fields.

The exhibit looks at how Mary Todd Lincoln found herself in the Executive Mansion not so much as First Lady, but as a captive of circumstances.

Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will open a special exhibit in conjunction with DreamWorks Studios at 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, 2015. “Clouds and Darkness Surround Us: The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln” features costumes from the DreamWorks film Lincoln.

The exhibit examines the tragic events in the life of Mary Todd Lincoln. It looks at how this woman found herself in the Executive Mansion not so much as First Lady, but as a captive of circumstances beyond her control. Using original and replica artifacts and located in the Kincaid Gallery in the ALLM, the exhibit will give visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy history and Hollywood.

The centerpieces of the exhibit will be three costumes from Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln. The costumes are on loan from DreamWorks Studio’s archives. Costume designer Joanna Johnston earned an Academy Award nomination for her work on the film where she helped stars like Sally Fields (as Mary Todd Lincoln), Daniel Day Lewis (as Abraham Lincoln), Gloria Reuben (as Mary Todd Lincoln’s confidant Elizabeth Keckley), Tommy Lee Jones (as Thaddeus Stevens), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Robert Todd Lincoln) and others dive into their characters through period dress. The display will be enhanced with artifacts, replicas and memorabilia from the ALLM collection.

Based on the best-selling book, Team of Rivals, by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lincoln was written for the screen by Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominated writer Tony Kushner. It was produced by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy and released in theaters in 2012. Lincoln earned 12 Academy Award nominations, winning in the categories of Best Actor, for Lewis, and Best Production Design. The film focuses on President Lincoln’s tumultuous final months in office, during which he pursues a course of action to end the Civil War, unite the country and abolish slavery.

The exhibit will open as LMU celebrates Founder’s Day in honor of Lincoln’s birth on February 12, 2015. The temporary exhibit will be on display in Harrogate, Tennessee through November 20, 2015.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.

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Kate Reagan
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