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Past Exhibitions

The Tsar and the President

July 12 - October 12, 2008

The year is 1861…

Abraham Lincoln has just been inaugurated as the 16th President of the United States, Fort Sumter has been bombarded and surrendered to Confederate forces and the stage has been set for a war that will tear the nation in two. Meanwhile, half a world away, the Manifesto liberating 20 million serfs is being promulgated in Russia. The leader behind one of the greatest legislative acts in that country’s history: Tsar Alexander II, a man whose liberating reform would soon be mirrored by President Abraham Lincoln in the United States.

Almost 150 years later, a new traveling exhibition, The Tsar and the President, documents the parallel lives and diplomatic ties of President Abraham Lincoln and Russian Tsar Alexander II. Come experience the story of two men who never met, yet worked together to change the world. Walk through each leader’s early years, path to office, vow to liberate and tragic assassination. Separated by upbringing, class, rise to power and half a world, but united by a shared vision and conviction for equality, experience the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Alexander II in a story of the Civil War you’ve never heard.

The Tsar and the President is organized by the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, Washington, DC.

“The exhibit … is, indeed, a revelation, not only for a better understanding of their [Lincoln and Alexander II] times, but of our own.”
Professor James M. McPherson, Civil War Historian