The Filson has two exhibits in its newly renovated space: (1) "Called to Arms: Kentuckians in the First World War," which covers the evolution of World War 1 and is located in the Nash Gallery and (2) “The Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston Mountain Photograph Collection, 1882-1905,” photographs of Kentucky’s Appalachian region taken during the Kentucky Geological Survey and after in the late 19th and early 20th century and is located in the Owsley Brown II History Center. A tour of these exhibits is given daily at 2:00 p.m.

Called to Arms: Kentuckians in the First World War – This exhibit will focus on The Great War both abroad and at home. The exhibit covers the evolution of World War I, both locally and globally, by telling stories of local mobilization, sharing perspectives from the trenches, showcasing advances in military technology of the times, and sharing stories from the home front.

Guided tours of these exhibits are available daily at 2 p.m. Tours are free and open to the public. Additionally, WWI exhibits will be open 30 minutes before all on-site WWI programming at The Filson. A list of our upcoming programs can be found at

The Rogers Clark Ballard Thruston Mountain Photograph Collection, 1882-1905 – The Mountain Photograph Collection primarily comprises photographs taken in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia. In 1882 Thruston was hired as a geological assistant under Albert Crandall of the Kentucky Geological Survey. The Survey’s goal was to explore and record the natural resources in Appalachian counties. The photographs in this exhibit were produced during the mid-1880s when Thruston and Crandall worked for the Kentucky Geological Survey, and from the 1890s through the early 20th century when Thruston continued to work and document Appalachia during his time with the Kentucky Union Land Company. The counties featured in this exhibit include: Bath, Bell, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Carter, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Knox, Letcher, Pike, Whitley, and Wolfe in Kentucky, and Wise and Lee in Virginia.

Past exhibits have included:

Selling the War: Posters from WWI – This exhibit will take a more visual approach to the war, featuring original lithographic World War I propaganda posters commissioned by the United States Committee on Public Information's Division of Pictorial Publicity. This exhibit was on display from Apr. 7-June 15, 2017. “Selling the War: Posters from WWI” was sponsored by YMCA of Greater Louisville.

To the Polls! Presidential Campaigns and Elections – A timely exhibit, To the Polls is a collection of election memorabilia dating back to our country’s founding. Newspaper clippings, photographs, posters, broadsides, buttons, and even a pair of bobbleheads, these artifacts give an overview of the ways in which courting voters has evolved. The exhibit is organized by periods of expanding suffrage, with each new demographic gaining the right to vote changing how politicians approached their campaigns. Visitors will not only see items from each of these periods, but will learn about both the admirable and less admirable aspects of the democratic process.

Moments in Time: The Power of Pictures - The Filson’s photograph collection is composed of more than 100,000 photographic prints, negatives, slides, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes and includes work by both professional and amateur photographers. This exhibit documents photography from the mid-19th century to today, with the bulk of images depicting life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It demonstrates the diversity of the Filson’s photograph and film collections in both format and content. From candid snapshots to carefully composed portraits, these images tell stories of life in Kentucky and the surrounding states. The images in the exhibit were selected with consideration of aesthetic value as well as subject matter, uniqueness of format, and ability to surprise.