‘A World Transformed’ exhibit on display at Knox College

From the Register-Mail:

History 347: Museums, Monuments and Memories is not your average history class.

Over the course of a semester, 14 Knox College students, three teaching assistants and a professor created a museum exhibit “The Second World War: A World Transformed,” which is on display through June 7 at the Ford Center for the Fine Arts.

“A lot of times with history classes, you’re always writing papers, doing research,” said Knox junior Ryan Larson. “With this, we got to work with our hands.”

Wearing a 40s-style, brown wool sport coat, Larson explained that all the students were “dressed to period” to set the scene; some of the costumes were provided by Prairie Players.

“I found this at Salvation Army for 81 cents,” said teaching assistant Margaret Spiegel, gesturing to her red, bandana-printed dress. She was a student of History 347 during the last time it was offered, which is every two years. The year she participated, their museum exhibit theme was the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, since 2008 was the 150th anniversary of the debates.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, so it was a fitting theme for this history class’s museum project, said professor Catherine Denial.

“All I did was tell them it had to be about World War II,” she said. “They brainstormed to figure out the rest.”

The students interviewed Knox graduates who lived during World War II to get ideas for their exhibit. Knox senior Jenny Pederson interviewed Jim Moser, who was signed up to be a cadet and serve in World War II but then the war ended, and he didn’t get to.