Current Special Exhibitions


The Four Freedoms: Real and Imagined

In the January 1941 State of the Union Address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt identified "Four Freedoms," essential human rights that should be universally protected: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. American artist Norman Rockwell later illustrated these rights as aspects of daily American life. Rockwell's paintings were mass-produced on magazine covers and propaganda posters to promote the war effort, becoming the face of the Four Freedoms.

The Four Freedoms: Real and Imagined explores and contextualizes the Four Freedoms by comparing the ideals depicted by Rockwell with people's lived experiences in the United States during World War II. You're invited to step into a recreation of the dining room in Rockwell's iconic Freedom from Want image and re-imagine the scene.

This exhibition was conceived, curated, and installed by Westminster College Museum Studies students. It is made possible, in part, by the Anson Cutts Gallery Fund for America's National Churchill Museum.



Winston Churchill: A Passion for Painting

A self-proclaimed pastime painter, Winston Churchill did not put brush to canvas until the age of 40. Although he received no formal training as an artist, he pursued his hobby with characteristic passion, and it became a lifelong interest.

A 1920 essay, which later became the basis for his book Painting as a Pastime, serves as Churchill’s personal credo on the creative process and recounts the origins of his interest in painting. The essay describes how, in 1915, Churchill was pressured to resign his position as First Lord of the Admiralty following a disastrous campaign in the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. "I had great anxiety and no means of relieving it," he wrote. With "long hours of unwonted leisure in which to contemplate the frightful unfolding of the war," he turned to painting as a means to clear his mind and relieve his stress — an antidote that served him throughout the remainder of his turbulent career.

A Passion for Painting brings together in one gallery all the Churchill paintings in the collection of, or on loan to, America’s National Churchill Museum. It includes remarkable new acquisitions Beach at Walmer, painted in 1938 on the eve of World War II, and Firth of Forth, depicting the coast of Scotland around 1925.

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Catherine Churchill (1968-2022), whose contributions to the study of Churchill paintings were many and brilliant. Made possible, in part, by the Anson Cutts Fund.


Highlights from the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Collection

This exhibition includes selected items from the collection of Churchill Fellows Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout of Wisconsin. A recent gift to the Museum, The Trout Collection includes sculptures by Oscar Nemon, works by Sarah Churchill, and other items related to Winston Churchill assembled over the course of several decades. The exhibition is on view in the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout, Sr. of Wisconsin Gallery. 

All Conquering, Undefeatable: Major General Harry Hawkins Vaughan

Harry Hawkins Vaughan was born on November 26, 1893, in Glasgow, Missouri. In 1916, he graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. With the United States' entry into WWI, Vaughan was commissioned second lieutenant in the Field Artillery and was assigned for military training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During training, Vaughan befriended another officer, future U.S. President Harry S. Truman. They were both assigned to the 129th Field Artillery Regiment within the 35th Division and sent to France. After serving overseas, Truman made him the first vice presidential military aide in 1945; he continued as military aide to the president when Truman succeeded Franklin D. Roosevelt, and remained in the post until the end of Truman's presidency in 1953. It was through Vaughan that Truman signed Westminster College's invitation to Winston Churchill in 1945, sealing the deal on the lecture that would be known as the Iron Curtain Speech.

The Museum Studies Collections and Archives class has worked with ANCM to curate this exhibit on the vast life and career of Vaughan. Drawing from the Museum's collection of objects and archives donated by Vaughan and his family, the exhibit highlights the power of his position, his noteworthy cohort, and his highly acclaimed military career. 

Located in the Museum's Clementine Spencer-Churchill Reading Room.

Vaughan and ROTC: In conjunction with the Harry Vaughan install, a supplementary install will be in place April 13-16, 2023 for Alumni Weekend. Vaughan was instrumental in implementing an ROTC program at Westminster College and the exhibit will pay tribute to that history and the men and women who participated in that program. 




“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill