I received a good deal of feedback in response to my latest piece at The Daily Beast. In it I explore the recent announcement by the SCV that they intend to build a new museum in relationship to their growing alienation from the Museum of the Confederacy.

A number of people were upset by the title of the piece. Let me be clear that I have absolutely no control over the titles and tag lines for my essays. Those decisions are made in house at TDB and have everything to do with maximizing hits. That said, I thought it was clever as a play on the ‘Lost Cause.’ And, of course, SCV are losers in the sense that they celebrate the losing side of a losing cause. Enough said.

I also want it to be clear that I understand the status of the museum given the recent merger with the American Civil War Museum. For the purposes of the essay I wanted to treat the MOC as a separate institution as much as possible given the focus of the exhibits in the Richmond branch, which I visited this past summer.

About Kevin Levin

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10 comments add yours

  1. When I read that you were submitting an article that discusses the MoC museum and the SCV museum, my first reaction was a bit of chagrin. A few days before your announcement, I had done an abbreviated – and in comparison after reading your excellent article – lame attempt to do the same thing on a forum. After jotting down a few notes and putting up a few quotes, I walked away with the most optimistic conclusion that I could muster:

    “Indeed, whatever artifacts that will go into the new museum will thankfully be preserved. Perhaps the SCV museum will undergo the same growth, evolutions, and reflections as the MoC, so that ultimately, it will accomplish what any museum hopes to do: preserve the relics of the past and represent history.”

    What I was not clear about even after spending time at the Moc website & the American Civil War Museum site was

    1. Is the old MoC Richmond site near the hospital completely shut down as an artifact display?

    2. Is the Moc collection going to be displayed as a collection in the new Tredegar location?

    • 1. The Richmond site is still open. It includes a main exhibit that tracks the history of the Confederacy as well as a wonderful exhibit featuring Confederate flags.
      2. I assume many of the artifacts will be utilized in various ways at the Tredegar site once the new building is completed, which I suspect will be fabulous.

    • Shoshana,

      To add further clarification to Kevin’s reply, the White House and Museum of the Confederacy at 1201 East Clay Street in Richmond (near the hospital) remain open. As we get closer to the opening of our new museum at Historic Tredegar (May 2018), we will close the museum galleries at Clay Street so that we can transfer the collection to the new facility. The White House of the Confederacy will remain open throughout the construction process.

      Regarding the collection itself, artifacts will be displayed at the new museum in a brand new exhibit that is in the development stages now. You can follow our progress by visiting our website at ACWM.org, through our social media channels, or by becoming a subscriber to our e-newsletter.

      I hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have about the museum.

      • Thank you very much for the reply. I have followed the lectures and presentations by John Coski about the history of flags as presented from the MoC. I was hoping that the unique perspective and artifacts contained at the MoC would not be dispersed, or lose their impact by no longer having a separate area of display.

        I look forward to following the progress of the new museum.

  2. “A number of people were upset by the title of the piece. Let me be clear that I have absolutely no control over the titles and tag lines for my essays. Those decisions are made in house at TDB and have everything to do with maximizing hits. That said, I thought it was clever as a play on the ‘Lost Cause.’ And, of course, SCV are losers in the sense that they celebrate the losing side of a losing cause. Enough said.”

    It’s more than “maximizing hits.” It’s long-standing practice in print journalism, when newspaper editors wrote headlines and cut off stories according to the space available on the printed page. (That’s why, among other things, news stories are written in their peculiar style, structured with the most important elements up front and other details in decreasing order of significance farther down, so that the editor can cut it off anywhere necessary without having to rewrite it.)

    Sure, headlines are also written to attract the readers’ attention (e.g., “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar”), but it’s rare that the author of a piece ever gets have input in that, or even see it before it goes to press.

    • I used to work at a newspaper where the editor was fond of saying “the New York Times prints all the news that’s fit to print. We print all the news that fits.”

      Best
      Rob

      • The single most useful writing course I ever had was an undergrad course called “writing for the media,” that dealt with writing for newspapers and magazines. Not literature, but practical writing for the purpose of getting published, and paid for it. My first professional feature came out of that, before I graduated.

        Also, years before most people ever heard of the Internet or e-mail.

  3. When did Southern men get to be so darn soft? So, someone called you a loser. Cry me a river.

    For such prideful and militaristic people, they are so easily wounded. 😀

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