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Traveling exhibit on Sen. Byrd coming this spring

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — A traveling exhibit on the life and career of Senator Robert C. Byrd will open at the Parkersburg Art Center on May 22 as part of the WV Allied Art Exhibit.

It will remain on display and open to the public through June 19, according to the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education. The exhibit, titled “Robert C. Byrd: Senator, Statesman, West Virginian,” will premiere at Shepherd University in April, before heading out to venues across West Virginia and the nation’s capital during 2016 and 2017.

This is the first initiative in the two-year plan of events, conferences and publications, leading up to the commemoration of the centennial anniversary of Byrd’s birth in November 2017, according to a press release.

The exhibit shares the story of the longest serving United States senator, his early life and entrance into politics, his devotion to family and to West Virginia and its people, his public service and rise to leadership positions in the U.S. Senate, and the senator’s role as defender of the U.S. Constitution, a press release states.

“The exhibit also highlights Byrd’s role as a legislator who benefited the people of West Virginia and the nation,” said the Byrd Center, on the campus of Shepherd University.

The exhibit features documents and photographs from the extensive Robert C. Byrd Congressional Papers Collection, housed in the archives of the Byrd Center.

The exhibit is comprised of four free-standing fixtures. An introductory fixture displays information about the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education.

The second (main) fixture presents a narrative view of Byrd’s life and career, with three main sections: “From Coalfields to Congress,” “Party Leader and Statesman,” and “West Virginia’s Billion Dollar Industry.”

The third fixture highlights Byrd’s faith, his skill as an Appalachian fiddler, his historical scholarship, and his defense of the U.S. Constitution. A fourth fixture includes the many projects in West Virginia for which Byrd obtained appropriations.

The exhibit is designed to be versatile so that it can be displayed in a number of layouts and spaces, officials said.

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