We Shall Not Fail: The Inspiring Leadership of Winston Churchill at the Morgan Library
A new exhibit at The Morgan Library, “Churchill: The Power of Words,” opened with a lecture by Winston Churchill's own granddaughter, Celia Sandys. The exhibition and lecture serve to illuminate our history, our struggles, and the people who shaped them.
The shadows of the World Wars in the last century are receding. The lives won and lost during those battles are fading and today’s generation is too far removed to internalize the events that are now lines in a textbook, Sandys said. The exhibit invigorates an interest in history and promotes a public discussion to make sure that the past is not forgotten. Both the lecture series and the exhibition aim to connect the viewer on a personal level to one of the most influential orators of the 20th Century, Winston Churchill, who was the prime minister of the United Kingdom during the second World War.
The exhibit includes personal correspondence as well as working outlines of Churchill's most famous speeches. The display cases and frames lining the walls house notebooks and papers once belonging to Churchill. His loose handwriting, the blotches of ink, crossed-out words, and notes on the edges of time-weathered pages show the author’s humanity. The viewer is able to see the process, the laborious construction of the words that became famous during his life. No longer a phantom of history, Churchill is revealed as a man with a gift for expression.
Jennifer Raab, the president of Hunter College, stressed the importance of preserving history in order to move forward. She introduced the series of lectures on Churchill at the opening of the exhibition, which will continue at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House.
Sandys said that the words Churchill spoke to his citizens decades ago are still applicable today. During the events of 9/11, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani quoted Churchill, as did President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair, Sandys said.
Although historical circumstances change, people everywhere face a similar obstacle of how to keep hope alive in a time of turmoil, Sandys said. Churchill's ability to construct and deliver powerful speeches made him an effective leader for inspiring hope.
The exhibition runs through September 23, 2012. #
Lina Cherkasova is a recent graduate of Hunter College with a major in art.