See Our Exhibits

Current Exhibits

Our Story: Life in the Albemarle

The Albemarle is a unique place—half land, half water. Our ever changing relationship with the water has defined our way of life. Water is both a highway and a barrier, a source of livelihood and inspiration. The story of this place is Our Story, a tale of how our communities have adapted to challenges and opportunities of our unusual home. This is a long-term exhibit with no closing date.


North Carolina Shad Boat

The Official State Historic Boat of North Carolina was first built in the early 1880s by George Washington Creef of Roanoke Island. The shad boat on display here at MOA was built in 1904 by renowned boat builder and decoy carver, Alvirah Wright. This is a long-term exhibit with no closing date. 


River Bridge: Sunken Secrets 

This exhibition is based on excavations at a site along the Pasquotank River north of Elizabeth City. The site’s name comes from a bridge built before the Revolutionary War and noted by George Washington when he visited the area. At one time, ships could navigate to a customshouse and a set of warehouses, where workers unloaded and loaded cargo. Today, the only reminders of this once-important center of commerce include a few pilings and several vessels submerged just below the river’s surface, as well as a large collection of artifacts spotlighted in this exhibit.

Excavations at the River Bridge site over the past seven years have yielded over 10,000 artifacts that date from the middle of the 18th century to the early 20th century. The artifacts’ condition, and the fact that many items remain intact, makes the site unique. These objects provide a glimpse into colonial and Federal period trade patterns in eastern North Carolina.

The River Bridge site was first issued a permit number from the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology in 2011 with an objective to “explore a location in the Pasquotank River noted as an early colonial port.” The underwater excavations have yielded artifacts from pearlware, creamware, gray salt-glazed Westerwald stoneware, and earthenware dairy pans to case bottles and flasks, axes, faunal and botanical artifacts, shoes, shingles, and personal effects including chamber pots, scissors, and buttons.

River Bridge: Sunken Secrets, remains on view until March 2021.


Blue Lodges of the Albemarle

The Museum of the Albemarle will open its latest small exhibit, Blue Lodges of the Albemarle, on March 16, 2019.  This exhibition recognizes our Albemarle region’s Freemasons and the charitable works they perform in and around their communities.  A fascinating assortment of artifacts, from several Albemarle Masonic Lodges, reveal both the fraternity’s rich history in Northeastern North Carolina and their time-honored philanthropic heritage. 

Blue Lodges of the Albemarle, remains on view through January 4, 2020.


Clucker Plucker

This small lobby exhibition pairs local folk art with agricultural equipment for a tongue and cheek look at one of the world's most popular animals -- the chicken!

Clucker Plucker, remains on view until November 16, 2019.


The First Gulf War: The War to Free Kuwait

Opening on April 8, 2019. The Museum of the Albemarle invites you to view the traveling exhibit from the Museum of History, The First Gulf War features eight informational panels, filled with photographs, recounting the conflict that began when dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990. The resulting conflict became known as the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991, when the United States led the most diverse coalition of nations in recent history in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to oust Iraqi forces that had invaded Kuwait. The First Gulf War highlights Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, weapons of the Gulf War, and the liberation of Kuwait.

The First Gulf War: The War to Free Kuwait, remains on view until October 1, 2019.


Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos

Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos, on exhibit from June 7, 2019 until October 5, 2019, is on loan from the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The introduction of photography in the mid-1800s forever changed the way we record and remember our personal lives, as well as our community’s, state’s and nation’s history. Some images in Look Again show changes over time—in fashion, architecture, landscapes, technology, and society. Other images show faces, some well-know, others known not at all.

The large-scale reprints in the exhibit represent a variety of photographic processes, dating from the mid-1800s through the 1970s. Some of the original images were nineteenth-century daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. Others were first printed from turn-of-the-twentieth century glass-plate negatives. Many were taken on black-and-white roll film of the early 1900s while still others were captured on the new color film of the 1950s and later.

The photographs in Look Again are divided into four thematic sections: Telling Stories, Taking a Closer Look, Remembering Faces, and Capturing Moments. Each section focuses on stories and interesting details associated with each individual photo.

Wednesday, August 7, at 12:15 p.m. a History for Lunch—Look Again 2.0: More Photos (and Some Stories) from the North Carolina Museum of History—will be presented by Eric N. Blevins, photographer at the Museum of History in Raleigh. Blevins will share color and black-and-white images from the museum’s collection that did not make the cut for their exhibit Look Again.

This exhibit is free and open to the public.

Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos, remains on view until October 5, 2019.


Your Obedient Servant: James Monroe’s 1819 Presidential Tour of the Southern States

The Museum of the Albemarle will open its newest exhibit on August 1st, 2019. Your Obedient Servant: James Monroe’s 1819 Presidential Tour of the Southern States is a traveling exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of the historic presidential tour.

The exhibit showcases a portrayal of President James Monroe’s Bicentennial Tour of the Southern States, presenting a history of the Presidential Tour by focusing on relevant themes such as education, national defense, and national politics. The exhibit gives a glimpse into James Monroe’s pmresidency from 1817-1825, and the events of his public service career leading up to his two terms as the 5th President of the United States of America. Tour stops in the Albemarle region included towns such as Edenton, Plymouth, Elizabeth City, and near Nags Head.

The traveling exhibit is a joint project of The James Monroe Museum and The Papers of James Monroe, bot of which are administered by the University of Mary Washington (UMW) in Fredericksburg, and students in the UMW Museum Exhibitions course.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Your Obedient Servant: James Monroe’s 1819 Presidential Tour of the Southern States, remains on view until September 30, 2019.