Ford’s Theatre is best known as the place where Abraham Lincoln was shot, but a new Center for Education and Leadership across from the theatre explores the aftermath of his assassination and his enduring legacy.
Along with our interactive partner Unified Field, Northern Light had the pleasure of producing two touchscreen interactives which live on beautiful 40″ displays. One traces the 1600 mile, 14-day journey of Lincoln’s funeral train from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, IL through archival photographs, drawings, and mourning memorabilia. The second allows visitors to explore various objects found on John Wilkes Booth when he was captured and killed, including the diary he kept during his 12-day flight from justice.
Northern Light also produced a video projection and audio soundscape depicting the capture and death of Booth, which plays in an object theater representing the tobacco barn in Port Royale, VA, where federal troops finally caught up with Booth. Northern Light produced two immersive ambient audio programs; one soundscape recreates mournful scenes on the streets of Washington in the hours after Lincoln’s death. The other, which plays in a recreation of the railroad car that carried Lincoln’s casket, features authentic music that was played at Lincoln’s many funerals throughout the country, including an original recording of “All people that on Earth do dwell.”
Northern Light produced an original video for the center’s Leadership Gallery; this film incorporates interviews with Academy of Achievement honorees, wonderful original animation and inventive captioning to emphasize the leadership characteristics that Lincoln embodied. Another video exhibit artfully presents the various ways that Lincoln’s image and identity have been appropriated in art, advertising, politics, film, toys–and virtually every other imaginable medium– in the century and a half since his death.
The museum wanted more than a patriotic salute to Lincoln; they sought a media piece that would engage and provoke consideration. From this vision came this dynamic six-screen videowall which features four young spoken word artists speaking directly to camera, their faces intercut with images that span from the Civil War to the current day.