Old State House Museum offers free traveling exhibits for schools, museums and others

Old State House Museum - Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Traveling exhibits, mini-exhibits on loan, are a mainstay in the museum world. Old State House Museum has quite the collection of traveling exhibits, which can come in handy when another organization needs something fresh to enhance its own collection. 

“Drawing on Arkansas Politics” is one of nine traveling exhibits that the Old State House has available to loan. These exhibits come disassembled and packed in cases, so that so that an organization can pick up the cases to take them to the location where the exhibit will be shown. Each exhibit comes with instructions on how to assemble it. Some exhibits, such as this one, are accompanied by a video.

When the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society opened the Gallery of History in El Dorado last year, it featured the “Parnell Political Collection” that included an original cartoon autographed by well-known Arkansan George Fisher.

That same cartoon is featured on the Old State House Museum’s “Drawing on Arkansas Politics” traveling exhibit, so “Drawing on Arkansas Politics” fit perfectly with the gallery’s vision, according to Jack Wilson, business manager for the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society. So, the society borrowed it from the Old State House Museum.

“It was a really good addition to the show because it works so well with the Parnell collection,” Wilson said. “It was very well received.”

The Old State House Museum originally researched the information in the “Drawing on Arkansas Politics” exhibit to fill a gallery adjacent to the “A Circus Hitched to a Tornado” exhibit. When the gallery was changed, the content from “Drawing on Arkansas Politics” was used to create the traveling exhibit, a two-sided panel display that explores Arkansas politics from the perspective of cartoonists, like Fisher, Jon Kennedy, Roger Harvell, Tommy Durham, Vic Harville and Jon Deering.

“With all the bright colors and cartoons, ‘Drawing on Arkansas Politics’ is very attractive,” said Gail Stephens, exhibit director at the Old State House Museum. “Because it features both Republicans and Democrats, it has a broad appeal.”

The other traveling exhibits include “Arkansas Department of Correction;” “Arkansas, Arkansaw: A State and Its Reputation;” “Badges, Bandits, and Bars: Arkansas Law & Justice;” “Civil War Arkansas, 1861-1865;” “Civil War Arkansas, 1861-1865;” “Different Spokes;” “From Rangers to Troopers: 75 Years of the Arkansas State Police, 1935-2010;” “Growing up in Arkansas: Things You Need to Hear” and “Lights! Camera! Arkansas!” Most of the exhibits are accompanied by a video that can be played on a DVD player or downloaded from the museum’s web channel.

More information on each exhibit is available here.

All the traveling exhibits can be borrowed for free, so they are really good option not only for other museums, but for schools, libraries and other organizations with limited travel or budgetary capacity.

“We love to tell the story of Arkansas’s history and heritage,” Stephens said. “These traveling exhibits are a great way to share it with people who normally wouldn’t have access to Little Rock.”


The Old State House Museum’s traveling exhibits would be a great addition to your classroom design, library arrangement, historical society event or museum gallery! Please contact Marie Brown-Bealer at 501-324-8645 or via email at for more information.