Visiting exhibits that hit home

“Memory portraits” by Gina Johnson.
Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff/File 2009
“Memory portraits” by Gina Johnson.

Operation: Home Ties

Pembroke Town Hall, March 2010

On the seventh anniversary of the war in Iraq, Pembroke honored the state’s fallen soldiers with this somber but touching traveling tribute wall. Artist Gina Johnson of Woburn has created detailed pencil “memory portraits” of Massachusetts soldiers who have given their lives since 9/11. Johnson conceived the idea in late 2007, after seeing an online tribute to Massachusetts fallen heroes. The portraits also are presented to the families of the fallen.


In Our Family

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Milton Academy Greenleaf Hall, April 2013

Families come in all forms. This is the central theme of this traveling show created by Family Diversity Projects in Amherst, which presents candid photos and stories from 20 families. The goal is to combat stereotypes and bullying, and explore diversity and tolerance. Represented are immigrants; interfaith and multiracial families; adoptive and foster families; divorced families and step-families; single-parent households; lesbian and gay parents and their children; multi-generational households, and families dealing with mental and physical disabilities.

Anne Frank: A History for Today

John T. Nichols, Jr. Middle School in Middleborough, October 2013


The story of Anne Frank has captivated the world since her Holocaust diary was published in 1947. This exhibit, on loan from The Anne Frank Center USA in New York, is typically presented more than 300 times a year, and is specifically geared to students age 11 to 18. It tells not only Frank’s story, but the history of the Holocaust and World War II, emphasizing themes such as tolerance, human rights, respect, and religious, cultural, and ethnic differences around the world.

See the Signatures: People Who Attended the First Thanksgiving

Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth,
Nov. 28 and 29, 2013

In autumn 1621, some 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans were believed to have gathered for the first Thanksgiving in Plimoth. Little is known about what occurred, as only two primary sources – Edward Winslow and William Bradford – documented the occasion. But this past Thanksgiving offered a rare treat: documents with signatures of nine prominent figures who attended the first Thanksgiving, including Bradford, Myles Standish, and Massasoit. Also on display was one of the rare original copies of “Mourt’s Relation” from 1622, which contains a short description of the event that inspired the modern-day feast.