Contact: Karis Erwin, National WWI Museum and Memorial, 816.888.8122, email@example.com
KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Lower Level of the National WWI Museum and Memorial will reopen to the public on Friday, May 19. Following a year of renovations, the Lower Level features the new Bergman Family Gallery and Open Storage Center – approximately 4,000 square feet of storage and a 190-foot “coastline” of window cases that allows the Museum and Memorial to display objects and artifacts otherwise unavailable to visitors. This is the most extensive renovation to the Museum and Memorial since its opening in 2006.
The Museum and Memorial began collected in 1920 shortly after the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. Today, it is the most comprehensive collection of WWI artifacts in the world and continues to grow as objects representing nations from across the world are added almost week. The collection boasts over 350,000 items and only a small percentage are on view for the public, making open storage a valuable way to share more with visitors.
The Lower Level also features an updated R.A. Long Learning Center, Ellis Gallery and Edward Jones Research Center, as well as additional spaces for small groups and students to learn about the collection and the impact of WWI. The feature exhibition in Ellis Gallery, Mail Call, also opens on Friday, May 19.
“The Bergman Family Gallery and Open Storage Center allow us to display objects and artifacts otherwise behind closed doors and unavailable for visitors to view,” said Matthew Naylor, President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. “But this is just the beginning! The completion of this project is the first of many upgrades and renovations to come.”
The Lower Level renovation kicks off a multi-year strategic effort to provide critical upgrades to Museum and Memorial spaces, make the Museum collection more accessible to the public and create a more immersive and rich visitor experience. Renovations to the Main Gallery will begin in the fall and will be complete by 2025. Visitor impact during construction is expected to be minimal.
Admission to the Lower Level is included with the purchase of a general admission ticket to the Museum.
About the National WWI Museum and Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impacts on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum and Memorial takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, MO., the National WWI Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.