“Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” Traveling Exhibition Open House

Karl Mundt Library

“Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World,” a traveling exhibition opening at the Karl Mundt Library on the campus of Dakota State University on September 14, 2010, tells the remarkable story of the man who began his life as a poor printer’s apprentice and ended it as a revered elder statesmen known throughout the world for his wisdom, wit, and resourcefulness. Benjamin Franklin’s achievements in diplomacy, science, philanthropy and other fields profoundly influenced the path of a new nation and continue to inspire us more than three hundred years after his birth.

The public is invited to attend a reception marking the opening of the exhibition Tuesday, September 14 from 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Karl Mundt Library. Christopher Lowell, in the role of Benjamin Franklin, will mingle with guests, and do a short program followed by a question and answer period.

Franklin descendents Dr. Richard Bodman and Anne Bodman are special guests, along with Dr. Steven Bucklin, humanities scholar for the exhibition and professor of history at the University of South Dakota. All will be present at the reception and available to answer questions.

“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition, “said Rise Smith, a librarian at DSU and project director for the local exhibit. “Benjamin Franklin’s life is the quintessential American success story. His dedication to the welfare of the community, and his belief that overcoming society’s challenges required mutual action, collaboration and generosity on the part of all citizens, offers us inspiration as we face many difficult issues in contemporary American society. Benjamin Franklin has much to say to 21st century Americans.”

The exhibit “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” draws upon original documents in the collections of the American Philosophical Society, The Franklin Institute, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania, other museums and libraries, and private collectors. Photographs of handwritten and printed documents, objects owned by Franklin, maps, paintings and drawings provide a colorful background for Franklin’s story. The traveling exhibition was curated by Rosalind Remer, Ph.D., executive director of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, and Page Talbott, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary and chief curator of the original “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” exhibition.

The library is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Contact 605-256-7128, or rise.smith@dsu.edu or visit www.departments.dsu.edu/library/benjamin-franklin.aspx for more information. “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” will be on display at the library until October 22, 2010.

"Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” was organized by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, Philadelphia, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition for libraries has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. Additional programs are funded by a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The traveling exhibition is based on a major exhibition of the same name mounted by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Franklin’s birth. The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary is a nonprofit organization established through a major grant from The Pew Memorial Trusts to educate the public about Franklin’s enduring legacy.

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