National WWI Museum and Memorial Opens Two New Main Gallery Exhibit Upgrades

Phased updates to the Main Gallery will continue into 2025 and are the most expansive changes to the Main Gallery since the 2006 opening

Contact: Karis Erwin, National WWI Museum and Memorial, 816.888.8122,

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The National WWI Museum and Memorial announced two Main Gallery exhibit areas that will open to the public on Tuesday, May 7. “Epilogue: A World Transformed” and “Into the Trenches” will reopen to feature new technology and stories showcasing the enduring impact of WWI. These renovations tell new and interesting narratives from WWI and create a richer and more immersive visitor experience. 

  • Epilogue: A World Transformed: “Epilogue: A World Transformed” is the final physical space visitors encounter in the Main Gallery. Projected using state-of-the-art technology on the back and side walls of the Epilogue room, a narrative environmental film surrounds guests with large-scale, floor to ceiling imagery, spoken word, sound design and music to provoke an understanding of the outcomes, continuing effects and challenges experienced in the 20th century and today, set off by the events of WWI.
  • Into the Trenches: Guests can now step inside the trenches and immerse themselves in five different trench settings. Additional cast figures and props, created using 3D scans of live models, have been added to enhance the experience.  A new short, animated film details war plans like the Schlieffen Plan, which envisioned a quick-moving offensive leading to a rapid victory. A second video shows archival materials of destroyed trenches and the true terrors of trench warfare.

Visitors celebrating Memorial Day at the Museum and Memorial will be some of the first to view these new spaces. From Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27, the Museum and Memorial will offer free General Admission for Veterans/Active-Duty Military (plus spouses and dependents with ID) and half-price general admission for the public.

“We are thrilled about the reopening of “Into the Trenches” and the new immersive video in “Epilogue.” Visitors who have experienced these two exhibit areas in the past will be blown away by the upgrades to technology and the way that we tell the stories from WWI,” said Dr. Christopher Warren, Vice President of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

The original designer of the Main Gallery, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, is also the designer for this newest round of Main Gallery updates. The exhibition designer and fabricator for "Into the Trenches" is Taylor Studios Inc. Donna Lawrence Productions is the creator and producer of the "Epilogue" film and RLMG is the creator and producer for the two films in "Into the Trenches." Electrosonic is responsible for the AV design and integration in both spaces. 

This phase of construction follows the updates that opened in Nov. 2023 to “America Mobilizes,” the interactives tables and more, plus the recent renovation to the Lower Level that opened in May 2023, featuring the Berman Family Gallery and Open Storage Center.

The next projects scheduled to open (in fall 2024) are:  

  • Casualties (Hospital): A replica bombed-out church repurposed to treat the wounded will give visitors a peek into the workings of a field hospital and the realities and innovations of battlefield medicine in WWI.
  • Battlescape (Crater): A new immersive film will be projected onto the inner surface of a recreated battle crater, allowing visitors to view deeply affecting scenes that depict the horrors of WWI artillery.
  • The Renault FT17 Tank: The Renault FT17 will be repositioned for a full walk-around view of the tank. At interactive stations guests will learn about it with a 3D model.

Phased construction will continue into 2025. The Museum and Memorial will remain open and guest impact is anticipated to be minimal.

Media interested in an advance preview should reach out to Karis Erwin, Vice President of Marketing and Guest Services, at or 816.888.8122 to arrange a visit.

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 impact 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