War Stories: Hard Earned. Unforgettably Told.

An Exhibition: Soldiers’ Stories, Then and Now
On display
Sunday, November 11, 2012 - Sunday, May 26, 2013

From the American Revolution to Operation Enduring Freedom, troops have served on many fronts during U.S. history. Yet even people well versed in the names, places, and dates associated with a war might not know much about the day-to-day experiences of being a soldier. What was it like? How did they cope with the many challenges? How did their families handle them being so far away?

Created in collaboration with five student veterans living in the Philadelphia area, this exhibition places today’s stories alongside historic accounts found in the Rosenbach’s vast collection to provide a soldier’s perspective on war. Key themes include:

  • Descriptions of spaces soldiers inhabited, like humvees, cabins, and forts
  • The unexpected people soldiers met along the way, including civilians and fellow service people
  • The challenges of meaningful communication with loved ones back home.

Hear clips of soldiers discussing their everyday experiences on the front lines, tour virtual spaces reconstructed from their accounts, and begin to understand the realities of wartime from a soldier’s perspective.

Funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program.

This exhibition is part of War Stories, an ambitious new program that uses the Rosenbach’s vast collection of historic wartime letters and the experiences of today’s veterans to bring the voices of the military community, past and present, to life.

Artist Projects