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Lincoln for Presidential Library

Lincoln Hollywood

Key sets, costumes and props from the award-winning movie “Lincoln” are coming to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, where they will be on display for many years to come. Children can explore the exhibit free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

The exhibit, “Lincoln: From History to Hollywood,” will present Lincoln’s office, where much of the movie takes place as the president ponders how to pass a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, and a vignette of Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, the setting for emotional confrontations between husband and wife.

It will be displayed at Union Station, just across the street from the presidential museum. The station will serve as an annex to the presidential museum, where visitors can tour the exhibit and see video presentations about the movie. The exhibit opens early in 2014.

“Lincoln,” directed by Steven Spielberg, earned Academy Awards for Daniel Day-Lewis as Best Actor and Rick Carter for Best Production Design.

“The portrayal of the 16th President owes much to research done at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “I am pleased to offer the public the chance to see these set pieces and costumes from the movie first-hand in Springfield.”

“It is an honor to have this exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum,” said Steven Spielberg. “When we visited for research on the film, it was our thought that there might be an opportunity to bring such an exhibit to Springfield, and that is now a reality.”

The sets and costumes are on loan from Spielberg and DreamWorks Studios. This will allow the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to present the display at minimal cost to visitors.

Children can tour the special exhibit at Union Station for free when accompanied by an adult. The cost for adults is just $5.

Adults also have the option of buying the new “full experience” package allowing them to tour the entire presidential library and museum and the new movie exhibit for $15.  That’s just $3 more than the basic museum admission price, which is not changing.

The costumes include a selection of Mary Lincoln’s dresses (which will change annually), Lincoln’s suit and a uniform worn by their son Tad. Props in the exhibit include the stethoscope used in the scene of Lincoln’s death, historically accurate papers and magazines used in his office and gloves worn by Daniel Day-Lewis as he portrayed Lincoln.

“The movie ‘Lincoln’ introduced millions of people to a new part of the Abraham Lincoln story and did it in a way that was both entertaining and historically accurate. Now, this exhibit will allow us to continue building on the momentum created by the movie,” said Amy Martin, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which operates the presidential museum.

“This is a case where history and Hollywood come together to everyone’s benefit,” Martin added.

The “Lincoln” sets and costumes have been on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library as part of a major Abraham Lincoln exhibit there – one that included many items from the collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

No tax dollars are being used to pay for moving the exhibit from California to Springfield. That expense is being covered by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

“The foundation is thrilled to help the presidential library take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Carla Knorowski, CEO of the foundation. “The ‘Lincoln’ movie exhibit will give the library and museum a new tool for telling the Abraham Lincoln story.”

Union Station, built in 1897, was most recently used as a tourist information center for central Illinois and a box office for the presidential museum. The visitors’ center is moving to the Old State Capitol State Historic Site. Ticket sales for the museum will move to the Lincoln Presidential Library building on the southeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson streets.

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