American Civil War Museum

Not a “typical” Civil War museum, The American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA, uses the power of personal narratives to transform visitors’ understanding of this important conflict which tore the nation in two. Solid Light’s design intertwines the wartime narratives of real soldiers, civilians, and African Americans, both enslaved and free, to create intimate moments of personal connection within the epic sweep of events such as Emancipation.

The American Civil War Museum draws visitors into the complexities of the war with powerful multimedia that pair the narratives, performed by vocal actors, with evocative period images, reenactments, sound effects, and music. These come alive in unusual “theaters” such as a house frozen in mid-explosion during the Battle of First Manassas and a “cave” for the Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Visitors can also delve deeper into key Civil War events and personalities on interactive, touch-screen timeline pillars.

Solid Light’s unconventional storytelling methods throughout The American Civil War Museum present the complex issues of the Civil War in a new way for today’s audiences.

Read the article in Smithsonian Magazine.

Read the article in the Washington Post.

“Building this new museum is about building a new ideology about how we do history. It’s a celebration of the legacies that each of us brings to the table, but pivoting it for new audiences who are asking a whole new set of amazing questions.”

Christy Coleman
CEO, American Civil War Museum