The loss of Lincoln

Staff Reports

INDIANAPOLIS — Coinciding with the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln’s death, a new exhibit is opening at the Indiana State Museum on Saturday.

“So Costly a Sacrifice: Lincoln and Loss” features more than 100 rarely seen artifacts and documents that will help visitors in understanding Victorian America’s view of human mortality, how people of the time period dealt with loss and how they made sense of what was happening around them.

Visitors can explore how Hoosiers and the American people lived through the shared experience of the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War and what was without a doubt the funeral of the century.

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The exhibit features objects from the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection as well as the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites’ core collection. It will include items that people kept to help them through the process of loss, mourning and memory.

Hoosier connections to the exhibit are the inclusion of the last portrait painted of Lincoln and a Confederate artillery shell that hit Colonel Eli Lilly’s troops near Chattanooga.

The exhibit also features a graphic of the famous Bixby letter, presumably written by Lincoln himself to Lydia Bixby, in condolence for the deaths of her five sons, “so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom.”

The exhibit runs at the Indiana State Museum at 650 W. Washington St. in Indianapolis through July 5.

Exhibition gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The first Tuesday of each month is Community Tuesday, and admission is half price.