MONTEZUMA — A traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian will present the stories of those who served the U.S. in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at the Stauth Memorial Museum now through June 22.
The exhibition, "100 Faces of War," will show the American military in the 21st century with its diversity and will reflect the complexities of the country and the current times.
Organized in collaboration with artist Matt Mitchell, "100 Faces of War" will feature 100 oil portraits of Americans representing a cross-section of home states, military branches, jobs and backgrounds.
Written specifically for this exhibition, each painting will include a candid, unedited, firsthand account of war.
The writings include emails, letters sent to loved ones and poems that show more than 100 different and personal ways of documenting the human experience of war.
Mitchell, who did not have any connection to the military, felt compelled to connect with veterans in a meaningful way when he read an article in a local newspaper about an Iraq veteran coming home.
He started painting the portraits of those who served and collecting their personal statements from 2005 to 2014.
According to Stauth Museum, visitors will come to know the veterans’ courage, fears, warmth and humanity through this exhibition as more than 2 million Americans have served in the theaters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 through 2014.
Also on June 15, there will be a Quilts of Valor presentation at 2 p.m. of 10 quilts to area veterans as a local addition to the exhibit.
"100 Faces of War" is an exhibition organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
The Stauth Museum asks to call in advance for groups of five or more, with tours and groups welcome by appointment.
Contact 620-846-2527 for information or to set up a tour.
Hours for the Stauth Museum, 111 N. Aztec Street in Montezuma, are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
They are closed on Sundays, Mondays and all major holidays.
Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted to help pay for the exhibit.
Visit http://www.stauthmemorialmuseum.org for up-to-date exhibit and museum information.
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