The Berman Museum houses the more than 6,000 piece collection of Farley and Germaine Berman, as well as the over 1000 piece Asian Art collection from the Foo Family, and collection pieces from many other donors.
In the American West gallery, visitors discover the history of the exploration and colonization of the American West. View artifacts and weapons from the Revolutionary War through the Spanish American War. Observe our collection of Remington and Russell bronze sculptures. Children explore our hands-on frontier wagon and marvel at our life-size dioramas.
The Deadly Beauty gallery contains examples of rare and exotic weapons from around the world. Visitors can examine Berman’s collection of spy and combination weapons – remember, not all is as it seems! Other items found in the gallery include sets of medieval armor, Czech coronation set, and items that personally belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte. Do not leave without seeing the Persian Scimitar of Abbas I, encrusted with 1295 diamonds, 50 carats of rubies, a 10-carat emerald in the hilt and 3 pounds of gold.
In the Foo Gallery of Asian Art, guests admire ceramics, furniture, and sculptures from across the Asiatic world. Icons from Buddhism and Hinduism coincide with beautiful home furnishings. Children can smell exotic spices and try-on cultural clothing at our hands-on station.
Our World Wars galleries illustrate the dramatic times of WWI and WWII through artifacts and images. Guests can see items owned by Mussolini, as well as Adolf Hitler’s personal silver tea service. This hall also contains an extensive collection of machine guns, mortars, mines and bazooka/rocket launchers. Children explore a recreation of a WWI trench dugout and examine clothing and items from WWII in our hands-on trunk.
The Pearl Harbor room, a continuation of the World Wars Gallery, not only tells the story of the “date which will live in infamy”, but it also personalizes those that were lost during the attack. This exhibit focuses on the stories of three men from Calhoun County who were killed in the attack: William Francis Roberts, Frank Weaver Hindman, and George Washington Ingram. Listen to President Roosevelt address the nation, while examining keepsakes, photos, and the largest piece of the U.S.S. Arizona ever given.
Birmingham Holocaust Education Center’s (BHEC) exhibit Darkness into Life: Alabama Holocaust Survivors Through Photography and Art is now open in the Berman Museum’s changing exhibit gallery.
The BHEC describes Darkness Into Life as a “sensitive exhibit of photography and art that offers a special glimpse into the private memories of 20 Alabama Holocaust survivors, revealing stories of childhoods past, lost family and friends, despair and sadness, cruelty beyond belief, bravery, the joys of liberation, and new lives in Alabama. Through bold and thought-provoking images accompanied by educational narratives, one gains a richer understanding of the history of the Holocaust and its impact on these individuals and their families.” Included in this exhibit will be an ongoing script detailing the events of the Holocaust, as well as first-hand artifacts on loan from Mike Garrard of Gadsden, Alabama.
The Berman Museum is honored to be exhibiting Darkness into Life. Our founder, Farley L. Berman, was from a prominent Jewish family, and the strife of the Jewish people has always been a part of his story.
Darkness Into Life will be on display through October 11. During this time, Anniston’s Temple Beth-El’s exhibit Quiet Affirmation: An Alabama Jewish Community will be on display in the Berman Museum lobby.
For more information on Darkness into Life or the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, visit bhecinfo.org.