What would life be like without teachers, doctors or firefighters? Every day Americans are hard at work on farms, factories, in homes or at desks keeping our communities thriving. The Winona County Historical Society, in cooperation with Minnesota Humanities Center, will explore the professions and the people that sustain American society when it hosts “The Way We Worked,” a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. “The Way We Worked” will be free to view December 15 through January 26 at the Winona County History Center with an opening reception December 17 from 5-7 p.m.
The Winona County Historical Society and the surrounding community have been expressly chosen by the Minnesota Humanities Center to host “The Way We Worked” as part of the Museum on Main Street project—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.
“The Way We Worked,” adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives and Records Administration, explores how work has become a central element in American culture. It traces the many changes that have affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years, including the growth of manufacturing and increasing use of technology. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections, including historical photographs, archival accounts of workers, film, audio and interactives, to tell the compelling story of how work impacts our individual lives and the historical and cultural fabric of our communities.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring “The Way We Worked” to our area,” said WCHS assistant director, Jennifer Weaver, “It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region’s history, and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community.” The Winona County Historical Society will also be showing the “Winona Works” project that explores the workforce of Winona County today. In partnership with Winona State University students and Project FINE, the supplement exhibit ties local stories to the larger national history of work.
“The Way We Worked” is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation and local host institutions. To learn more about “The Way We Worked” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit www.museumonmainstreet.org. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
Learn more about this exhibit, related programs and more visit www.winonahistory.org or call the Winona County Historical Society at 507-454-2723.