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Traveling Exhibition - THEM: Images of Separation

View the Traveling Exhibit "THEM"

"THEM: Images of Separation," is a traveling exhibition that showcases items from popular culture used to stereotype different groups. The negative imagery -- found on postcards, license plates, games, souvenirs and costumes -- promoted stereotyping against such groups as Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and poor whites, as well as those who are "other" in terms of body type or sexual orientation.

The exhibition follows up the success of the "Hateful Things" exhibition, comprised of artifacts from Ferris' Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery. Ferris professor of Social Sciences David Pilgrim said "THEM" responds to questions he received from people who saw the previous exhibition, which focused specifically on imagery demeaning to African-Americans.

"In the past we had people ask why did we not have objects that dealt with groups other than African-Americans," Pilgrim said. "For this show, we took our direction from Martin Luther King's famous quote, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' This is the next logical step for the Jim Crow Museum."

Through six three dimensional and 32 framed pieces (some with multiple items, such as postcards), "THEM" tackles some of the most contentious, cultural hot-button issues: anti-Arab sentiment, Holocaust denial, "don't ask, don't tell" and immigration.

The exhibition also includes items demeaning to African-Americans, but that is only a part of the exhibition's larger picture. "I'm hoping 'THEM' shows discrimination and stereotyping is not just a black/white issue -- it's more pervasive than that," said Pilgrim.

Quotes about the Exhibit. 

~ “We need to see this. It can’t be censored. Thank you for showing us. I’m sure it has inspired all of us.”

~ “Thank you for sharing this. It is a bit hard to look at and sometimes comprehend. But it needs to happen, I’m grateful to those who made this happen.” 

~ “This gave me a lot to think about – awful to see – but needed to be shown. Thank you for the work you do. It is places like this that make change possible.”

~ “So impactful. Wish more people can see this. Thank you for sharing.”

Exhibition and Museum Contacts

For information on booking Traveling Exhibits, including scheduling and hosting costs, contact Lisa Kemmis at [email protected] or (231) 591-5873.

God Hates Fags poster

Exhibition includes

  • 38 pieces
  • Didactic Panels

Installation requirements

  • Minimum linear wall space of 150 feet
  • Minimum floor space of 300 square feet
  • Proper lighting and security

Exhibition period

  • Minimum 1 week
  • Maximum 6 months
  • Museum staff members do not travel with the exhibition. Sponsoring institutions must provide qualified persons to unpack, install, and re-pack the exhibition. Unless specified, hanging structures or other exhibit furniture is not provided with the exhibition.

Host institution fees

  • A $500.00 non-refundable deposit to book the exhibit is required. Reservations for the exhibit are on a first come, first served basis. An invoice for the reservation fee will be sent immediately following the booking.
  • The rental fee is $1000.00 per week. Upon receipt of the reservation fee, the museum will send a Traveling Exhibition Service Contract that must be completed and signed, along with an invoice for the rental fee. This fee must be paid in full prior to the exhibition being shipped.
  • All shipping costs. The sponsoring institution is responsible for arranging and paying the cost for transporting the exhibition from and returning it to Ferris State University. A professional shipping company must be used; trucks must be equipped with a power lift gate (preferred) or a ramp (at minimum). A climate controlled truck is required for shipments over one hour away from Big Rapids, Michigan. A minimum one week period is allowed on each side of the scheduled exhibition dates for shipping/pick-up and return; there is no charge for this period.
  • Insurance covering the exhibition during shipping to and from the sponsoring institution as well as during the exhibition period is required. A complete inventory list with total value of the exhibition will be sent with the Traveling Exhibition Service Contract. A certificate of insurance is required to be on file with the museum prior to shipping.