Roger Williams Memorial — New Exhibit To Be Installed

Coming soon, “New and Dangerous Opinions.” No word on whether our old friend here will have a role to play in the new installation. And while this weirdly tarted-up mannequin (eyeliner?) has grown on me over the years, it’s quite tall and, ironically,* visitors must always be looking up his nostrils. (I believe the statue originally stood guard in a bank and was donated.)

I always tweak this image because in addition to the nostrils, there is always a smoke detector or inelegant structural element in the shot. It just doesn’t look old-timey. Of course we have no idea what Roger Williams really looked like. Maybe he did wear eyeliner. Maybe that’s why he was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At any rate, the Roger Williams National Memorial has announced a temporary closing for part of January for an exciting new project.

The visitor center at Roger Williams National Memorial will be closed January 3-27, 2017 to allow for the installation of new interpretive exhibits. The new exhibits, titled New and Dangerous Opinions, are the first major change in the visitor center in twenty-four years. The provocative and interactive exhibits focus on Roger Williams and the new and dangerous opinions that were the cause of his banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 and illustrate how Williams’s words and beliefs are just as relevant in the country, and the world, today. The memorial grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

For updates and to follow the progress of the exhibit installation check out their Facebook page. The press release also announced the upcoming winter hours — we can only hope the new administration doesn’t plunge the National Park System into permanent winter.

In addition, starting January 30, 2017 and going through March 28, 2017, the visitor center will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Visitor Center hours during this period will be Wednesday-Sunday, 9am-4:30pm.

*Roger Williams famously wrote in 1670 “Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.”

The Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 North Main Street, (directions)

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