Iowa began setting the stage for the presidential election when the first caucus was held in 1972. With the next Iowa Caucus in February of 2016 fast approaching, the State Historical Museum of Iowa is launching its newest exhibit, First in the Nation: Shaping Presidential Politics Since 1972, to highlight the history of Iowa’s role as the first in the nation state. The exhibit features more than 160 objects from the museum’s collection. Here’s a step-by-step peek at what it took to get the exhibit ready.
1. Deciding the theme and scope of the exhibit
Of course, the theme is the Iowa Caucus, but what about the caucus do we want to feature specifically? Since the exhibit is housed in one of the smaller rotating galleries it was important to decide what story to tell and how to accomplish it. We decided to look at different milestones associated with the caucus. For example, we explored what it’s like to declare candidacy, visit the state, what happens the night of caucus, and more. Content experts and curators gathered information to tell the story of the caucus and investigate who has been involved in the event over the years.