Painted portrait of man seated with a dog.

On exhibit in The Berlin Wall: A World Divided are several items on loan from the Maine State Museum including the uniform worn by Samantha during her visit to the Artek Soviet Youth Camp and a selection of images.

The Maine State Museum has recently joined with museums from around the world to bring a new exhibition – The Berlin Wall: A World Divided  – to international audiences.

The exhibition was organized by a Spanish company, Musealia, in partnership with the Berlin Wall Foundation. The Maine State Museum is lending several items from its Samantha Smith collection to be displayed in a 26,000 square foot space in the exhibition’s first venue in Madrid, Spain. The Samantha Smith pieces will join 300 artifacts, including a 65-foot section of the Berlin Wall, that examine the Cold War before and after the wall’s falling in 1989.

The exhibition’s organizers contacted the Maine State Museum in order to include Maine’s celebrated child peace activist, Samantha Smith. In addition to the Artek uniform worn by Samantha, the museum lent images and a beautifully decorated Fedoskino lacquer box presented to her by Soviet leader Yuri Andropov.

Samantha Smith visiting the Soviet Union in 1983

Samantha was the girl from Manchester, Maine who, as a ten-year old in 1982, wrote to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, questioning his commitment to world peace. Shortly after receiving the letter, Andropov invited Samantha and her parents to tour the Soviet Union, which they did in a highly publicized two-week visit. The Maine State Museum’s collection includes objects and photographs from that visit.

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided opened in Madrid, Spain on November 9, 2023, 34 years to the day after the Berlin Wall came down, thus opening free passage between East and West Berlin, and signifying the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. The exhibition in Madrid is presented at the Fundación Canal, an impressive 26,000 square foot space located in a former 19th century underground water reserve in the Madrid, Castellana district. From Madrid, The Berlin Wall: A World Divided will travel to fourteen cities in Europe, North American, Asia, South Africa, and Australia.

Click here for more information on the exhibit The Berlin Wall: A World Divided

Click here to watch a short video about the exhibit.

Revisit our 2022 video on CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca’s visit to the Maine State Museum to learn more about Samantha Smith.

Images of the exhibition The Berlin Wall: A World Divided in Madrid, Spain, courtesy of Musealia:

Maine State Museum