Lee and Grant

By the end of the Civil War, most Americans considered either Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant to be a hero.

Since then, their reputations have risen and fallen, often in direct contrast to each other. Although much has been written about the Civil War careers of both men, few efforts have explored their lives and meaning over an extended period of time. How should we evaluate these two crucial figures in the twenty-first century?

Lee and Grant, an exhibition from the Virginia Historical Society, was originally developed in recognition of the 200thanniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee. The exhibition encourages museum audiences to explore such questions for themselves by tracing the lives, careers, and historical impact of these two Civil War generals in relationship to each other. Drawing upon a rich assortment of documents, letters, historic photographs, paintings, prints, and other materials from nationally significant collections, Lee and Grant offers a biographical comparison of the two men, providing a rare glimpse into how each man understood himself and his place in the world.

By examining, side by side, how these lives interconnected and converged and how each man’s image came to symbolize different things at different points in history, Lee and Grant lets museum visitors make their own decisions about how to assess the historical significance of these two famous Americans today.

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Lee & Grant toured April 2009–October 2011.

This exhibition has completed its tour and is no longer in circulation. This page is for archival reference only.

  • April 6–May 25, 2009 Kenosha Public Museums
    Kenosha, WI
  • June 16–August 11, 2009 Old Red Museum
    Dallas, TX
  • September 1–October 20, 2009 Capital University
    Columbus, OH
  • November 10, 2009–January 10, 2010 MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
    Little Rock, AR
  • January 28–March 16, 2010 Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council
    Texarkana, TX
  • April 6–May 25, 2010 Barrington Area Historical Museum
    Barrington, IL
  • June 16–August 11, 2010 Bravo Valley Museum of Natural HIstory
    Bryan, TX
  • September 1–October 20, 2010 Powers Museum
    Carthage, MO
  • November 10, 2010–January 10, 2011 Bell County Museum
    Belton, TX
  • January 28–March 16, 2011 Saint Mary's College of California
    Moraga, CA
  • April 19–October 20, 2011 National Archives Central Plains Region
    Kansas City, MO

Exhibition Details & Specifications

  • Curated By

    Dr. William M. S. Rasmussen, Lora M. Robins, Curator of Art, Virginia Historical Society; and Dr. Robert S. Tilton, Department of English, University of Connecticut, Storrs

  • Organized By

    Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA
  • Content

    46 objects, including military equipment, uniform coats, engravings, books, coins, medals, political campaign items, stereoview cards, commemorative items and souvenirs, flags, and contemporary materials, 10 display kiosks, 8 graphic wall banners, 3 I-pod storybooks, 2 tents, 6-10 hands-on interactives, 1 video component.

  • Duration

    7-week display

  • Rental Fee

  • Support

  • Shipping:

    The maximum out of pocket shipping expense is $1,000. Exhibitor will coordinate with M-AAA registrar for all outgoing transportation arrangements.

  • Security

    Moderate D

  • Square Feet


  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    13 crates, 2 bins, 1 tub/2,230 pounds

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by M-AAA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.