February 2019 Newsletter
“When was the last time a museum left you with such introspection?” It’s a question that a recent visitor posed on social media, after just having an unforgettable experience at President Lincoln’s Cottage. We aim to provide that kind of transformative experience every day, to each and every visitor. It is a value reflected in one of our four tenets, which states, “We promote and engage in conscious reflection, which is necessary for effective action.” Together we can keep President Lincoln’s Cottage a Home for Brave Ideas past, present, and future. Thank you for your encouragement of and investment in our mission.
This month marks the end of our 10th anniversary year of opening to the public. It was a year of wide-ranging accomplishments, including:
- Winning DC’s Best Museum Off the Mall, for the second year in a row
- Publication of Phase 1 of our groundbreaking, three-part neuroscientific study on the visitor experience
- Launching our all-new Lincoln’s Toughest Decisions multimedia program for students
We capped off the year by sharing original research and scholarship, courtesy of an African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund grant, on Mrs. Anna Harrison Chase, a formerly enslaved woman who had come to Washington, DC for freedom in her youth. In the 1930s, when she was in her 90s, she made a pilgrimage to the Cottage on foot, to sit within the walls of the place where she understood President Lincoln had developed the Emancipation Proclamation. The stories we choose to tell say much about our values, and hers is a remarkable and inspiring story of courage, hope, and resilience. Every visitor takes their own path to the Cottage, but what they have in common is that they were drawn here together, to this beacon of hope, this reminder of our national ideals.
The next ten years will undoubtedly hold many surprises, a fact of life we have always embraced alongside continuous change, as well as great promise. I’m pleased to announce that this year we’ll be launching our first two digital programs, a new podcast titled “Q&Abe” and a distance learning program called “The Open Fields Project.” We are planning a redesign of exhibit and gathering spaces to increase our high-impact, responsive programming. Finally, we are taking the crucial step of ensuring President Lincoln’s Cottage is here for future generations by establishing a fund to provide the resources to make that possible. We invite you to join us in this effort, tying your legacy to Lincoln’s.
If you’ve visited the Cottage in the last few weeks, you might notice something missing from the south side of the building: the stairs! Don’t worry, it’s just temporary. Due to years of rust on the cast iron finish, we are in the middle of refurbishing and repainting. Senior Preservationist Jeff Larry explains more here.
Vote President Lincoln’s Cottage the “Best Museum off the Mall”
We’ve won for two consecutive years; help us defend our title!
The Washington City Paper has started its Best of D.C. Readers’ Poll for 2019 and we’re asking you — our colleagues, members, friends, and visitors — to help name President Lincoln’s Cottage as the “Best Museum off the Mall” again. Voting ends March 3 at 11:59 PM.
Voting is easy. It takes only a minute, but it requires you log in with your email and zip code.
Thank you for your support!
Lincoln Ideas Forum
WHEN: April 12
TIME: 1 PM – 4 PM
This spring President Lincoln’s Cottage will explore the pressing issues around voting rights for the fifth annual Lincoln Ideas Forum. Join us as we bring together experts, scholars, and the public in an exploration of the historic contexts of citizenship, voting rights, and the Constitution, alongside the contemporary repercussions of debates over who gets elective franchise.
This program is FREE and open to the public. Register now!
This program is presented in partnership with the Constitutional Sources Project. Speakers include Aderson Francois (Georgetown University), Robert Tsai (American University), Elaine Weiss (Author), and Jason Torchinsky (Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC). For more details on the speakers, click here.
Cottage Conversation: DC Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French
WHEN: April 25, 2019
Join us as Harold Holzer discusses his new book, DC Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French.
Cottage Conversation: The Presidents
WHEN: May 23, 2019
Join us as Susan Swain from C-SPAN discusses the new book The Presidents, which is organized in the order of the results of C-SPAN’s 2017 Historians Survey on Presidential Leadership.
Bourbon & Bluegrass: June 1 & 2, 2019
Stay tuned for more details. Questions in the meantime? Bourbonandbluegrass@lincolncottage.org
Staff Spotlight: Welcome Development Assistant, Brittany Turner
Join us in welcoming the new Development Assistant, Brittany Turner, to the President Lincoln’s Cottage team! External Communications Coordinator Jenny Phillips sat down with her to chat about her new role, Lincoln, and of course, Harry Potter. Read the interview here.
Museum Store Update
This month we have two updates from the Museum Store. First, this spring we’re launching an opportunity for visitors to give back to the veterans that live right across from the Cottage.
Many of you know President Lincoln’s Cottage shares the grounds with the Armed Forces Retirement Home, home to 200 veterans right here in Northwest Washington, D.C. Out of 200 residents, only 25 are women. To honor our special history and relationship with the Home, we’re offering an opportunity for visitors to purchase a gift for a veteran. Your donated gift will come with a complimentary card so you can write a special message, just in time for the Ladies Tea program, the only program all year dedicated to celebrating the women in residence. Stop by the Museum Store for our special display, and to purchase a gift.
We’re also excited to announce a new product: a Mad Libs postcard so you can give the gift of a tour to a friend! We know that the best way to find out about a great place is by word of mouth. Purchase this Mad Libs postcard, tell your friend about your experience, and they receive one tour on you, at half the price! We’ll provide postage and mail it from the Cottage. See the Museum Store, or call 202-829-0436 ext 0 for details.
News and Awards
- President Lincoln’s Cottage was the 1,000th member to sign up for AASLH’s STePs Program.
- Illinois Public Media visited the Cottage just in time for Lincoln’s birthday. Listen to their episode of the 21st Show here.
- Mommy Nearest, the DC Line, and the Portrait Gallery all plugged our special Presidents Day program where children made Lincoln hats.
- Mental Floss included President Lincoln’s Cottage on their guide to “a dozen presidential homes, one road trip.”
- Fodor’s Travel listed President Lincoln’s Cottage as a great alternative to visiting the mall.
- President Lincoln’s Cottage staff member Zach Klitzman joined fellow historians on last week’s FEDtalk’s broadcast for their annual Presidents Day episode.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.