Muscatine Art Center Offers Free Admission on Smithsonian Magazine’s Seventh Annual Museum Day Print
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Monday, 19 September 2011 09:04
--Museum Day 2011 Poised to be Largest to Date--


Muscatine and the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Commemoration


Muscatine, Iowa—On Saturday, September 24, 2011, the Muscatine Art Center will participate in the seventh annual Museum Day. The Muscatine Art Center will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide to open their doors free of charge to all visitors who download the Museum Day Ticket from Museum Day is a celebration of the dissemination of knowledge to anyone and everyone interested, without a price tag, emulating the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities.


With support from CITGO, Museum Day 2011 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. In 2010, museum goers downloaded 227,747 tickets resulting in more than 500,000 museum-goers visiting over 1,300 venues in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.


The Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa has an exhibition on view through January 29, 2012 detailing the role the citizens of Muscatine and Muscatine County played in the Civil War. The exhibition will include the unveiling of original letters penned by Muscatine soldiers Daniel J. Parvin and Charles T. Ruger. These letters provide a remarkable first-hand account of the daily life of a soldier. On September 21, 1861 Daniel James Parvin said goodbye to his wife Sarah and their infant son Fred and enlisted as a private in the Union Army, Iowa 11th Infantry, Company H, in Muscatine, Iowa. Mr. Parvin wrote 117 letters to his wife and other family members back in Muscatine from the time he left home until the time he returned in the fall of 1864 after sustaining a critical injury in the Siege of Atlanta.


To make history come alive for students and other visitors the Art Center will be re-creating a battlefield campground using Civil War artifacts. As part of this campground there will be a laser projected 3-D image of an actor dressed in Union Army uniform portraying Daniel Parvin and reading portions of his letters to the audience. By pushing a button visitors may experience every-day camp life including: writing and receiving letters, sickness and medical services, army food, pay and discipline, guard and picket duty, and much more. Visitors will also learn of Parvin’s emphatic opinions of contemporary people and events, including his opinions of Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant, the Emancipation Proclamation, the advent Union black regiments, Southern sympathizers in the North and the Confederate cause in general.

Other original material including Civil War rosters, mustering-in rosters and personal artifacts belonging to half a dozen Muscatine soldiers are included as is a Civil War flag made by the Methodist Church Ladies Aid of Wilton Junction (now Wilton), Iowa.


The Museum Day Ticket is available to download at A list of participating museums is available at Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people to participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Smithsonian magazine Museum Day 2011 and links to participating museums’ and supporters’ sites, please visit

About Smithsonian Media
Smithsonian Media comprises Smithsonian magazine, Air & Space, goSmithsonian, Smithsonian Media Digital Network and the Smithsonian Channel. Smithsonian Media’s flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, is one of the nation’s largest magazines with a circulation of more than 2 million and nearly 7 million readers. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2010.


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