The exhibit features Vietnam War-era graffiti on bunk canvases salvaged from the USNS General Nelson M. Walker, a troopship that shuttled thousands of young Americans across the Pacific Ocean in 1966 and 1967. The canvases feature scrawled inscriptions, signatures, cartoons, and poems by young servicemen headed to combat in the Vietnam War.
In a 2007 press release, The United States Navy Memorial described the cache of canvas graffiti as "diverse and poignant in its simplicity. It included names and hometowns, dates they expected to leave the service, and day-by-day calendars to mark the voyage progress. There were messages of patriotism, politics, humor, anxiety, and love. They were written for personal comfort, or to be seen by other troops who would contribute."
The "Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam" exhibit was created by the Vietnam Graffiti Project, working in partnership with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
The Esther Thomas Atkinson Museum is located on College Road at Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. Hours: Tuesday - Friday, 12:30 PM - 4:30 PM and other times by appointment. For more information about the museum and other exhibitions and programs, please contact Lorie Mastemaker at 434-223-6134.