What to expect
The new exhibition takes a more chronological approach to Truman’s life. Whereas the previous display began at what is arguably the climax of Truman’s story—his unexpected ascension to the presidency, the end of the war in Europe, and the introduction of the atomic age—the new exhibit builds anticipation toward those events.
“Now, you get the opportunity to understand Truman’s background, where he came from, what he valued, and how that influenced the decisions that he made leading up to the presidency and afterward.”
“You were separating the man, almost, from the presidency,” Cassie Pikarsky, with the nonprofit Truman Library Institute, said of the previous exhibit. “Now, you get the opportunity to understand Truman’s background, where he came from, what he valued, and how that influenced the decisions that he made leading up to the presidency and afterward.”
Pikarsky also promises a more hands-on and immersive museum experience than before.
Take the cracked, 14-foot-tall globe, documenting the “hard problems of peace” that Truman faced after the close of World War II. Outside the globe, you’ll see the postwar struggles playing out across the world. Inside the globe, you’ll see what individual families were experiencing at this time.
Or take the famous Thomas Hart Benton mural, Independence and the Opening of the West, inside the museum. This mural has been a part of the Truman Library since it opened in 1957. Now, it includes an interactive exhibit to further explain the mural and its origin and development.
Throughout the exhibition, visitors can expect videos, touch screens, flippable books, quizzes, and more.
“From kids to adults, there’s something for everyone to experience and understand that history better,” Pikarsky said.