BRC Imagination Arts Puts Final Touches on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Newest Presidential Museum Uses Advanced Technology and Special Effects to Immerse Visitors in the Life of Abraham Lincoln

BURBANK, Calif. and SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ — BRC Imagination Arts, one of the world’s leading creators of distinctive and compelling experience attractions for museums, corporate visitor centers and heritage attractions, today began adding the final design touches to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum (http://www.alplm.org/), which is scheduled to open April 19, 2005 in downtown Springfield, Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum re-invents what is possible in museum design by combining impeccable scholarship with brilliant showmanship to communicate the remarkable life and times of Abraham Lincoln in unforgettable ways.

Using advanced state-of-the-art technology and special effects techniques borrowed from theme parks, Hollywood, and Broadway, BRC Imagination Arts (http://www.brcweb.com/) designed the museum’s interior experience, which features more than 40,000 square feet of immersive experience exhibits, special effects theatres and displays of original artifacts of Lincoln’s life and presidency.

“When the museum opens in spring 2005, visitors will be astonished to discover it is not filled with the usual rows of glass cases stuffed with memorabilia. Instead, they will enjoy an entertaining blend of showmanship and scholarship, full of special effects, world-class storytelling and dazzling high tech surprises,” said Bob Rogers, founder and chairman of BRC Imagination Arts. “History is too important to be left in the past. Lincoln’s story deserves the best, most captivating and accurate presentation in the world. With this museum, we strived to bring the subject alive while thrilling and educating the audience.”

Hired in 1998 by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Illinois Capital Development Board, BRC Imagination Arts has spent the last six years working with scholars, historians, teachers, and historical advisors, including some of the world’s foremost authorities on Lincoln’s life and presidency, plus 40 other organizations, to build the story of Abraham Lincoln from concept to construction to final creation. The final design touches of the museum’s exhibits are currently being put in place, as true to life replicas of Lincoln, his family, and colleagues, as well as historical items of the era, arrive and are set in their final place at the Lincoln Museum.

When it opens in April, visitors will be immersed in engaging and historical accounts of the drama, emotion and facts of Lincoln’s extraordinary life, from childhood through his assassination and funeral. Exhibits include:

The Journey is an immersive, walk-through experience that allows visitors to travel with Abraham Lincoln through the emotional and powerful personal events that shaped his life and forever changed the destiny of the United States. Along the way, visitors enter historically accurate and dramatic settings from Lincoln’s life. Visitors feel as though “they are there” as they personally experience events that Lincoln faced.

Featuring an encounter with Lincoln’s ghost, the dramatic and magical special effects presentation in Ghosts of the Library uses Holavision(R) to capture the exciting sense of mystery and discovery that scholars and curators feel as they approach a great research collection. Holavision(R) is a proprietary BRC Imagination Arts-owned technology that allows a live, on-stage actor to appear to control smoke and vapors around him or her, causing the vapors to condense and form images and ghosts that seem to interact with, and even respond to, the actor.

A contemporary portrayal of Campaign 1860, the presidential race of 1860, features a television newscast analyzing 30-second campaign commercials promoting each of that year’s four candidates. The history comes alive when placed in present-day media language.

In The Whispering Gallery, visitors walk through a twisted, unsettling hallway where they hear unkind words spoken about Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln during their early months in Washington. In twisted picture frames, cruel caricatures and harsh political cartoons attacking the presidential couple cover the walls, showing the great challenges Lincoln faced to lead our nation.

The Emancipation Proclamation, a special effects “illusion corridor,” features a gauntlet of dream-like images of angry people telling Lincoln how he should handle the issue of slavery. T he varying, sometimes racist, opinions remind visitors that Lincoln led a deeply divided nation that required great courage from its leader.

The Treasures Gallery, a soaring exhibit space, showcases authentic historical artifacts that were a part of Lincoln’s everyday life including his eyeglasses and shaving mirror, Mary’s music box, and Lincoln’s presidential portfolio (briefcase). Additionally, for the first time, on display for visitors to see, examine and appreciate will be the famous documents that changed the course of American history, including the Gettysburg Address (handwritten by Lincoln himself), and a signed original of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Designed with state-of the-art technology and special effects, the Union Theater features Lincoln’s Eyes, a dazzling three-stage surround experience that creates a portrait of Lincoln through the emotions in his eyes — sorrow, resolve, hope, vision, forgiveness and more.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum will also feature a children’s area, restaurant, gift shop, and a 4,500 square foot Plaza, sure to be one of the most popular gathering places in Illinois.

About BRC Imagination Arts

Founded in 1981, BRC Imagination Arts is the leader in the design, creation and production of innovative and immersive experience-based attractions for museums, experiential marketing, theme parks and cultural heritage sites worldwide. With offices in California, Amsterdam and the United Kingdom, BRC has been honored with over 250 international awards for creative excellence including two Academy Award nominations and nine THEA Awards for Outstanding Achievement in themed entertainment. BRC projects have consistently exceeded the expectations of clients and visitors, and have a proven track record of economic sustainability and the industry’s best record for on time, on budget performance. Clients include Ford Motor Company, General Motors, NASA, Disney, Warner Brothers and Universal Studios. The company is currently engaged in major projects in the U.S., China, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and Sweden. For more information, visit http://www.brcweb.com/.

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