New Main Gallery Upgrades Debut Nov. 7

Modern photograph of a historical museum exhibit. A sculpture of a man dressed in WWI uniform struggles to lead several sculptures of mules through muddy terrain.

Timed to coincide with Veterans Day, the National WWI Museum and Memorial announced four major upgrades to the Main Gallery that will open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 7. “Prologue: Grand Illusions,” “Interactive Touch Tables,” “America Mobilizes” and “Move 'Em Out and Bon Voyage” will reopen to feature new technology and stories showcasing the enduring impact of WWI.

Visitors celebrating Veterans Day at the Museum and Memorial will be some of the first to view these new spaces. From Nov. 10-12, the Museum and Memorial will offer free General Admission for Veterans/Active-Duty Military and half-price general admission for the public.

“The Main Gallery upgrades opening November 7, as well as the projects that will take place into 2025, are the most expansive changes to the Main Gallery since opening in 2006,” said Dr. Christopher Warren, Vice President of Curatorial Affairs and Chief Curator of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. “Guests will experience upgraded technology and new and interesting narratives from WWI that will create a richer and more immersive experience.”

Phase I of Main Gallery upgrades are detailed below:

  • Prologue: Grand Illusions: Setting the stage for war, a map-based interactive and large-format media frieze brings a global perspective to the gallery by showcasing empires, strategic alliances and everyday citizens who would soon be in the midst of catastrophe.
  • Interactive Touch Tables: Four new interactive touch tables feature unique programming covering aircraft, communications, maritime and uniforms – with the overarching theme of wartime innovations.
  • America Mobilizes: The story of America’s great mobilization for the war – including Uncle Sam and a heavy emphasis on American patriotism – highlights the mood as Americans joined the war effort in 1917. The gallery also sets the stage for provocative stories of dissent.
  • Move 'Em Out and Bon Voyage: Draft mules pull the Museum’s caisson artifact, accompanied by their handler, and a mural and two new interactive displays highlight the integral role of animals in the war effort on all sides.

Learn more about the Gallery Refresh