If you are looking for one word that would describe the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago, it would be none other than ‘unique’. A Veterans Museum in general would be a collection of artifacts of war that have been accumulated through history but this museum is far from that; it is a collection of human experiences of war and its expression through art.
The National Veterans Art Museum is located in the Indiana Avenue found in Chicago’s South Loop. The building is made up of 3 floors of exhibit space, each with a collection of deeply moving artifacts. At the entrance you will be greeted with over 58000 dog tags. These hang from the ceiling in a graceful fashion representing all the US soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam. The museum has some remarkable pieces of art work from over 250 different artists. Each piece speaks volumes of which over 2500 pieces stand. It is indeed one Museum that will tug your heartstrings with the impact of war and the emotions it arouses.
The Museum was formed out of the efforts of the Vietnam Veterans Art Group. In 1996 they established a proper museum to display this deep art work and since then became the only one of this nature. The Museum was set up to enable deeper understanding of war and its impacts through the eyes of the veterans. These feelings expressed through art has the most raw and authentic nature and tells tales too deep for words. The museum is an exhibition of both a military and an artistic heritage and forms a bridge between civilians and veterans through the universal language of Art. It is a showcase of deep sophisticated emotions and experience that veterans can use as an outlet for expression.
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