Abilene in the 1920s, an exhibition at The Grace Museum in Abilene curated by Dr. Amanda Biles at Abilene Christian University, was selected to be featured on the website of the North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM).
Biles is the director of public history and assistant professor in the Department of History and Global Studies and also a board member for the Grace Museum. She proposed the idea of an exhibition focusing on the decade of the 1920s, and ultimately helped bring it to fruition with artifacts from the ACU Museum and The Grace Museum. The exhibition features a decade of significant change and growth for Abilene with an increase in technology, businesses, buildings and railway use. Each of the three major universities in Abilene – ACU, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University – were all founded or expanded significantly in this decade. Infrastructure boomed, and Abilene was on the rise. The exhibition includes clothes, photographs and several artifacts.
“The ACU Department of History and Global Studies helps tell the important stories of our campus, our community and our world,” said Dr. Gregory Straughn (’94), dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I’m especially proud of Dr. Amanda Biles’ exhibition with the Grace Museum, and the well-deserved recognition it received. Providing context and insight for our community is an important part of public history, and Dr. Biles does an excellent job telling the compelling story of our city from a century ago.”
This is Biles’ first ever featured exhibition on the NARM website and will be showcased virtually around the globe with cultural institutions in Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and hundreds more in the U.S. The exhibition will be on display at The Grace through July 2024.
“I want people to get a chance to better understand what life was like in our city in the 1920’s,” Biles said. “This is a really cool piece of ACU history because the exhibition talks about the move from the old campus to the new campus, and it features some fantastic pieces of ACU history. I would just love for people to get to see what life was like for students back in the 1920’s.”
Learn more about the Department of History and Global Studies.
— Connor Mullins
Jan. 5, 2023