We’re always looking to improve the way we create exhibitions, and to find better ways to tell our stories. In an effort to minimize the handling of objects, we often turn to drawings and models to work out placement long before we ever touch a garment or object. The less we monkey around with artifacts, the longer they will survive to educate and entertain future generations. This is a responsibility all museums take very seriously!
To this end we’re starting to experiment with Google SketchUp, a 3-D modeling program that enables us to imagine the gallery virtually, and to place and move around the objects in a way much more like “reality” than a small model can allow. While still in the early phases, we’re looking forward to learning how to turn photos of objects into drawing components, and to be able to see the interaction of things in cyberspace. Then, when we install in the real world, we can move the artifact once and let it be, reducing both effort and risk. Yay technology! Watch this space for future developments as we “install” On the Homefront: Civil War Fashions and Domestic Life.
Jim Williams, Exhibition Designer/Preparator