“Utopia” told the story of the Giessen Emigration Society, a group of 500 individuals, who decided to emigrate from Germany en masse in 1834 and to re-settle on the American frontier. Comprised of dreamers and visionaries, the emigrants strove to establish a democratic German-speaking state on U.S. soil.
As evident by the exhibit name, their goal was never realized, though these immigrants quickly integrated and shaped American society by supporting the Abolitionist movement and becoming involved in local and national politics.
Utopia’s interactive showcase, comprised of documentaries, text, and an array of photographs, thoroughly depicts the Giessen Emigration Society’s journey to the U.S. via Bremerhaven and Baltimore to their settlement in present-day Missouri, and their long-lasting contributions to American society.
In the spirit of the original voyage, “Utopia” has traveled from Gießen via Bremerhaven to Baltimore, where the exhibit producers were greeted with a special event at Locust Point on Sept. 1, 2014 to revisit their original arrival point in America. On its way to its final destination in Saint Louis, Missouri, the exhibit stopped in Washington, DC at the GAHM.
The GAHM hosted an opening reception on Sept. 6 with a special introduction by the exhibit’s artistic directors, Peter Roloff and Oliver Behnecke.