Upcoming exhibits connect past to present
Submitted by Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Meet Ohioans who became U.S. citizens after being pushed out of their country into refugee camps because of their religious beliefs and culture. See gritty photos of what life was like in New York during the late 1800s and the staggering gap between wealth during the industrial age and poverty.
Learn how doctors treated patients during the same time period, when diseases like typhous and cholera regularly took lives. View photography techniques and learn how professional photographers choose their subjects, lighting and more.
All of these subjects and more will be covered this year through special exhibits at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in Fremont. These exhibits share stories of Hayes’ day and connect the problems he and his generation faced to issues of today.
“Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors: Photographs by Tariq Tarey”
This special exhibit features the stories of one of Ohio’s largest current- day refugee groups, the Bhutanese- Nepali community.
About 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepalis now live in Columbus and central Ohio after being forced to leave their native Bhutan and living for as long 20 years in a temporary camp in nearby Nepal. Their story is rapidly becoming part of Ohio’s history.
“Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors: Photographs by Tariq Tarey” shares their experiences and introduces viewers to this community. The exhibit showcases 30 photographs of members of the Bhutanese-Nepali community. Each photograph was taken by award- winning photographer Tariq Tarey and is accompanied by a narrative written by Doug Rutledge, which details each individual’s history.
The photographs emphasize the historic sequence of the Nhutanese-Nepal i refugee experience; from living and working in Bhutan, to being forced to leave, the experience of living in refugee camps in Nepal, to resettlement in Columbus, finding jobs, buying homes and finally becoming American citizens.
“Bhutanese-Nepali Neighbors” is open through May 25 in the lower level of the Hayes Museum. This exhibit was created through the Ohio History Connection and will travel throughout Ohio. HPLM is its first stop.
The exhibit is a good fit at HPLM because it connects concerns about immigration during President Rutherford B. Hayes’ time to modern immigration.
During President Hayes’ era, the United States saw an influx of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe who were more likely to be poor and Catholic or Jewish instead of Protestant, which was the dominant religion at the time in the United States, said Dustin McLochlin, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums curator.
“This shift in immigration caused many to question what cultural and economic problems this new stream of immigrants might cause,” McLochlin said. “Just as people witnessed a concern over disruptions in mainstream American society in Hayes’s final years, we are witnessing these concerns today.
“The Bhutanese-Nepali are a great example of how an influx of people (in this case, refugees) integrate into a new society, and how other people, their American ‘neighbors,’ perceive these individuals, whether on a cultural or economic level.”
Through vibrant imagery of the Bhutanese-Nepalis, Tarey and Rutledge seek to humanize the Bhutanese-Nepali immigrants’ stories.
“We want to get museum visitors looking at the refugees in these portraits to see them as equals,” Tarey said. “We want them to say, ‘This could be my uncle’ or ‘This could be my neighbor.’”
The exhibit is sponsored by William Rutherford and Nancy Gaines Platt. Members are admitted for free. Admission for non-members is included with the price of a regular museum ticket.