Maryland Humanities Launches Statewide Tour of Smithsonian Exhibition At Allegany Museum

January 25, 2017

The Way We Worked Opens In Allegany County on February 4

(Baltimore) – Maryland Humanities is pleased to announce that its statewide tour of The Way We Worked, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, will open in its first of five stops at the Allegany Museum in Cumberland on February 4. The Western Maryland Heritage Association welcomes the public to Allegany Museum on Saturday, February 4th at 3:00 p.m. to celebrate the opening of The Way We Worked and its companion exhibit highlighting Allegany County’s work history.

Allegany Museum’s companion exhibit, How Our Working Lives Have Changed: Allegany County, 1877-2017, will explore the community’s development of safe workplaces, compensation for work-related death and injury, and the acceptance of unions through three dioramas: B&O and the Great Strike of 1877, Labor Day Marches and the Development of Unions, and The Celanese Corporation and the struggle for Union Representation. In addition to Allegany Museum, five other locations in Cumberland will be displaying companion exhibitions. The C. Gilchrist Gallery and Museum will host a display of historical glass and showcase how glass is made today. Visitors to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Visitor Center will experience exhibits recreating the working lives of canal boatmen, mule drivers, boatyard workers, and lock tenders. The Gordon-Roberts House Museum will focus on servant and domestic life and work in 19th and early 20th-Century Allegany County. Photographs, artifacts, and spoken word will recreate the kitchen, scullery, and servants’ chambers. The Frostburg Museum will highlight the history of coal production, and Mountain City Traditional Arts will conduct tours of local farms for students.

“We are thrilled to showcase the unique working conditions in our community over the decades and how individual workers inspired coworkers to collectively improve worker safety. Current workers owe a lot of gratitude to these pioneers in the labor movement,” said Victor Rezendes, Vice President of the Allegany Museum.

“We’re delighted to bring The Way We Worked to five small communities across the state and celebrate Maryland’s diverse and engaging work history, from the paper and steel mills of the 19th Century to the technology boom of today. We hope you’ll join us in exploring the rich local history unearthed through each community’s companion exhibit and programming,” said Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities.

The Way We Worked will be on view at the Allegany Museum February 4—March 24, 2017. The Allegany Museum is located at 3 Pershing Street in Cumberland, Maryland. Learn more at


The Way We Worked is the fifth Museum on Main Street (MoMS) project brought to our state by Maryland Humanities.  The traveling exhibition, adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, explores how work became such a central element in American culture by tracing the many changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years. The exhibition draws from the Archives’ rich collections to tell this compelling story. Each host site develops a companion exhibit and educational programs for their communities for a seven-week period that tells their local work story.

Local host sites unearth stories and develop community partnerships to bring the Smithsonian traveling exhibition to life through the lens of their own community history.


The Way We Worked Maryland Tour

February 3–March 24, 2017 Western Maryland Heritage Association, Cumberland, Allegany County
March 31–May 20, 2017 Sumner Hall (G.A.R. Post 15), Chestertown, Kent County
May 26–July 15, 2017 Carroll County Farm Museum, Westminster, Carroll County
July 21­­–September  9, 2017 Brunswick Heritage Museum, Brunswick, Frederick County
September 15–November 4, 2017 Salisbury University Art Galleries, Salisbury, Wicomico County


About Museum on Main Street
The Way We Worked has been made possible in Maryland by Maryland Humanities. The Way We Worked is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide.  The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service  brings high-quality traveling exhibits to small communities through their own Main Street museums, historical societies, and other cultural venues.  Residents enthusiastically engage with exhibition content, and diverse community members come together to share and celebrate their heritage. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Maryland Humanities is a statewide nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. For more information, visit

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