Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam" exhibit in Oklahoma City

A fascinating exhibit, "Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam," is schedule to open October 13 at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  The exhibit will feature original and recreated graffiti from inside the General Nelson M. Walker troopship, which carried American soldiers from the west coast to Vietnam.

According to a report in the Oklahoman:
Corie Baker, spokeswoman for the museum, said she got the idea to bring the traveling exhibit to Oklahoma City when when she saw a special on TV about the decades-old graffiti. Her late father also was a decorated Vietnam veteran.
“These graffiti images feature what the soldiers were thinking at the time,” Baker said. “Kind of like messages back home throughout the war.”
The exhibit's website, which includes stories of individual soldiers, some great audio clips, and a wealth of historical information, explains:
Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam presents the stories, through graffiti left on a troopship’s bunk canvases, of young American soldiers and Marines going to Vietnam during the 1960s. Their stories reflect the attitudes and events during a turbulent decade of our nation’s history—the 1960’s.

The exhibit was developed by Art and Lee Beltrone of Keswick, Virginia, founders of the Vietnam Graffiti Project (VGP). When the graffiti aboard the troopship General Nelson M. Walker was discovered in 1997, the VGP was created to preserve examples of the historic canvases by removing them from the ship and placing them in museums throughout the country. The Walker was destined to be scrapped and everyone feared the historic canvases would be forever lost.
After the jump, you can see two videos from the exhibit's website.  One details the history of the troops aboard the Walker.  The other is a CBS News report about the exhibit.  There are also several pictures from the exhibit's website and from The Oklahoman.

Videos from the exhibit's website:

Photo from the exhibit's website:

Photos from The Oklahoman:

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