Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage unveiled its newest exhibition, Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm on January 8, 2015. This exhibition, timed to celebrate the bicentennial of Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans, represents a hundred-year shift in the way the institution interprets the seventh President by turning a lens on the man himself. Born for a Storm formed the centerpiece of eleven days of public and private celebrations, drawing the attention of the public, the media, and scholars and fellow museum professionals nationwide.
The primary goal of the exhibition is to be the public face of the institution’s commitment to keeping Jackson, the man and his legacy, at the center of every interpretive effort. The exhibition also addresses a number of objectives, including creating an intellectual and physical “turning point” for the organization that can bridge the past and future. It presents Andrew Jackson in a more human and complex light than previous exhibits, revealing a significant but flawed figure in our nation’s history. It also seeks to provide a strong educational foundation that entices people into wanting to learn more and offers meaningful engagement with important topics that are relevant today. Born for a Storm tells the Jackson story beyond the presidency and commemorates the Battle of New Orleans by presenting it as a metaphor for the United States and its people. It also reconsiders the difficult history of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, and presents one of the most comprehensive and balanced interpretations of this topic available at a museum today. By embracing controversy and diverse viewpoints, this exhibit promotes open dialogue and partnerships with other organizations while attracting new visitors.
As a reviewer noted:
The new permanent exhibit at The Hermitage, Tennessee’s oldest historic house museum, is a revelation. A revelation not only of the new directions that the professional staff at The Hermitage is taking this established, well-regarded historic site but also a revelation of how twenty-first century Americans think about and look at this pivotal American president.