First New Permanent Exhibit at Lenawee Historical Museum in more than ten years
A new exhibit about Lenawee County’s role in the anti-slavery movement and Underground Railroad will be open to the public beginning on Tuesday, July 3 at the Lenawee Historical Museum, 110 E. Church St., Adrian.
“The anti-slavery movement and Underground Railroad in Lenawee County had a major impact on the national stage of history,” said Ray Lennard, board member of the Lenawee County Historical Society. “We decided to add a permanent exhibit to recognize this important part of our community’s history.”
The Anti-Slavery/Underground Railroad Exhibit is the first new permanent exhibit at the museum in more than ten years. Lenawee County Historical Society board members have been working on research for the last four years, with input from community members, while raising funding to cover the cost. Spaces to Experiences of Grand Rapids, Michigan designed and installed the exhibit space.
The exhibit showcases the roles local educational institutions had in the anti-slavery movement including the Raisin Institute, Woodstock Manual Labor Institute and Adrian College and the key community members involved including: Laura Haviland, Prior Foster, Elizabeth Comstock and Asa Mahan.
There is no cost to visit the museum, which is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Photographic reproduction of portrait from Michigan Capitol, gift from Dr. Grew
Valerie Marvin, Historian and Curator, Michigan State Capitol, presented a framed reproduction of the Gov. Croswell portrait from the Capitol on Tuesday, June 5, to the Lenawee Historical Museum.
The Capitol’s new Croswell portrait was unveiled on November 13, 2017, by the Governor’s great-granddaughter and only living heir, Dr. Priscilla Croswell Grew. Dr. Grew is a longtime supporter of many Croswell related entities, including the Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter of the DAR and the Croswell Opera House in Adrian. Members of the DAR and the Lenawee County Historical Society also attended the unveiling.
Not long after, Dr. Grew commissioned Risner to create and frame two photographic reproductions of the portrait to be gifted to the Lenawee County Historical Museum and the Barnum DAR chapter. Both institutions received their new Croswell portraits on June 5.
The framed photographic print is a reproduction of an original oil painting of Governor Charles Croswell created by Capitol Artist in Residence Joshua Adam Risner. Prior to the creation of this work of art, the Capitol Portrait Collection did not include a portrait of Gov. Croswell, who numbered among the Capitol’s missing governors—that is, governors not represented by a portrait in the building. The new piece honoring Governor Croswell is only the second work commissioned by the Michigan State Capitol Commission in an attempt to eventually procure portraits of all the state’s former governors.
Croswell was chosen for this honor for two reasons. First, he holds a special place in state history as the first governor to serve in Michigan’s present Capitol, which opened to great acclaim on January 1, 1879. Secondly, there is a rich archive of Croswell images held by a number of institutions in Michigan—including the Lenawee County Historical Society and the Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. These images were used to inform and inspire the oil portrait.
The Croswell painting is one of four historically inspired oil portraits created by Risner since he joined the Capitol’s staff in 2016. He’s also painted period appropriate portraits of Governor Kinsley Bingham, Representative William Webb Ferguson, and Representative Cora Reynolds Anderson. (Of these four works, three are located in the Capitol: Bingham, Ferguson, and Croswell. Anderson’s portrait hangs in the House Office Building.) Biographical information about Risner and additional information about his art can be found at http://www.joshuaadamart.com/.