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Brad Sneed illustration of John Brown

John Brown

A traveling exhibit exploring John Brown's life and legacy through the eyes of those who knew him.

*Now available for booking!

Next appearing at:

Watkins Museum of History

    Location: Lawrence, Kansas

  • Dates: September-October 2021
Visit venue website →

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Encountering John Brown exhibit rendering

Exhibit Information

Learn about this radical abolitionist through his encounters with key Civil War-era figures such as Harriet Tubman and Robert E. Lee.

“Encountering John Brown” explores the history of the man who helped start the Civil War through history, firsthand accounts, and vivid illustrations of the Americans, from widely recognized to largely unknown, whose lives were altered by their encounters with the man. Utilizing expressive portraits by artist Brad Sneed, the exhibit explores Brown’s story from childhood to his execution for his role in the raid on Harpers Ferry. From his abolitionist roots in Ohio to his role in the violence of “Bleeding Kansas” to his plan to start a slave insurrection beginning with the taking of Harpers Ferry, “Encountering John Brown” follows America’s most prominent abolitionist from cradle to grave and beyond.

Target Audience

Ages 10 and above

Content Tags

  • John Brown ·
  • Harriet Tubman ·
  • Frederic Douglas ·
  • Henry Wise ·
  • Osborne Perry Anderson ·
  • Henry David Thoreau ·
  • Timeframe: 1800-1861 ·
  • Civil War ·
  • Harpers Ferry ·
  • Slavery

Space Requirements

The John Brown exhibit is sized for approximately 1,500 sq ft. However, all exhibit components are freestanding and can be arranged in a flexible layout, so as long as you have 1,000 sq ft you should be able to display the exhibit.

The venue ceiling should be at least 8 feet tall.

Exhibit Elements

  • 6 large, free-standing panels with wooden bases
  • 10 medium, free-standing panels with wooden bases
  • 10 wooden reader rails
  • 1 reproduction "Beecher's Bibles" crate

Rental Information

  • Exhibit fee starts at $120/day
  • Exhibit renter pays inbound shipping
  • The rental duration for this exhibit is flexible
Reserve the exhibit!

Exhibit Shipping

Standard Shipping

This exhibit is shipped in several large crates and a few small crates via freight truck. Once delivered, your staff can assemble and install the exhibit with the provided instructions. Exhibit elements are relatively light weight, easy to assemble, and come with instructions and necessary tools.

*Choosing the Standard Shipping option lowers the total price of hosting an exhibit.

What's included

  • Exhibit panels & hardware

  • Easy to follow instructions

  • Tools for assembly

Want us to deliver and install the exhibit for you?

Learn more about our White Glove delivery service.

John Brown illustration in progress

Original illustrations by Brad Sneed

The significant people from John Brown's life are depicted through original illustrations by Brad Sneed. The artwork is displayed on large panels that stand just over seven feet tall. The result is a gallery of larger-than-life historical figures with a commanding presence.

Brad Sneed is a Kansas-based artist whose illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines, product packaging, and in books.

Encountering John Brown, image 1 Encountering John Brown, image 2 Encountering John Brown, image 3 Encountering John Brown, image 4

Public Relations Kit

Encountering John Brown - Coming Soon graphic

In order to help support the hosting venue, the exhibit includes logos and artwork to promote the exhibit on social media, a sample press release, a customized poster, an outdoor sandwich board, and front desk signage.

View available resources →

Exhibit Credits

Watkins Museum of History: Discover the Real Story

Founding Institution

Watkins Museum of History →