Saturday, March 28, 2009
sponsored by Graue Inc.

Civil War 'tableau vivant' at presidential museum

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[March 28, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is famous for its lifelike figures depicting people from the mid-1800s, but on April 4 some new figures will be added that are even more lifelike.

HardwareThe presidential museum will present a Civil War era "tableau vivant," a popular form of 19th-century entertainment, at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. in the central plaza. During a tableau performance, the live actors strike a pose and remain motionless -- they neither move nor speak, but stand frozen and silent in a dramatic scene, often from history or a famous painting.

The members of the local Civilian Relief Society of the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment Reactivated will present a stirring patriotic-themed tableau vivant. A narrator will read a poem, and each verse will be punctuated with a touching scene illustrating the poem. Done with Civil War settings and attire, the Civilian Relief Society will stage their tableau as it might have been enjoyed by the Lincolns and their friends.

Tableaux vivants were a popular form of entertainment in the 19th century. Adaptable to many venues both large and small, they were even performed in the parlors of private homes.

Paid museum admission is required to experience the tableau vivant.

For more information on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit

[Text from Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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